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Large bowel resection - discharge

Alternate Names

Ascending colectomy - discharge; Descending colectomy - discharge; Transverse colectomy - discharge; Right hemicolectomy - discharge; Left hemicolectomy - discharge; Hand assisted bowel surgery - discharge; Low anterior resection - discharge; Sigmoid colectomy - discharge; Subtotal colectomy - discharge; Proctocolectomy - discharge; Colon resection - discharge; Laparoscopic colectomy - discharge; Colectomy - partial - discharge; Abdominal perineal resection - discharge

When You Were in the Hospital

You had surgery to remove all or part of your large intestine (large bowel). You may also have had a colostomy.

What to Expect at Home

You may have these problems after you return home from the hospital:

Self-care

Activity:

Your doctor will give you pain medicines to take at home.

Press a pillow over your incision when you need to cough or sneeze. This helps ease pain.

Ask your doctor when you should start taking the medicines you stopped before surgery.

Wound Care

If your staples have been removed, you will probably have Steri-Strips (small pieces of tape) placed across your incision. These pieces of tape will fall off on their own. If your incision was closed with a dissolving suture, you may have had a liquid glue covering the incision. This glue will loosen and can be peeled off after a few weeks.

Ask your health care provider when you can shower or soak in a bathtub.

If you have a dressing, your doctor will tell you how often to change it and when you can stop using it.

DO NOT wear tight clothing that rubs against your wound while it is healing. Use a thin gauze pad over it to protect it if needed.

If you have a colostomy, follow care instructions from your provider. Sitting on a pillow may make you more comfortable if the surgery was in your rectum.

Diet

Eat small amounts of food several times a day. DO NOT eat 3 big meals.

Some foods may cause gas, loose stools, or constipation as you recover. Avoid foods that cause problems.

If you become sick to your stomach or have diarrhea. Call your doctor.

If you have hard stools:

Returning to Work

Return to work only when you feel ready. These tips may help:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor if you have any of the following:

References

Fry RD, Mahmoud NN, Maron, Bleier JIS. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 52.


Review Date: 10/24/2014
Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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