An enterectomy is the surgical removal of a portion of the intestine. It is performed using general anesthesia.

The procedure can be done as either laparoscopic or open surgery, depending on your case.

If you have laparoscopic surgery, you will have three to five small cuts in your lower belly. The surgeon will pass a camera and medical instruments through these cuts. You may also have a cut of about 2 to 3 inches if your surgeon needs to put a hand inside your belly to feel the intestine or remove the diseased segment.

If you have open surgery, you will probably have a cut about 6 inches long in your mid-belly.

In both kinds of surgery, if there is enough healthy small intestine left, your surgeon will sew or staple the healthy ends of the small intestine back together. Most patients have this done.

If you do not have enough healthy small intestine to reconnect, your surgeon will make an opening called a stoma through the skin of your belly. Your small intestine will be attached to the outer wall of your belly. Stool will go through the stoma into a drainage bag outside your body. This is called an ileostomy. The ileostomy may be either short-term or permanent.

Risks include:

– Blood clots
– Breathing problems
– Bleeding
– Heart attack or stroke
– Infection
– Bulging tissue through the incision, called an incisional hernia
– Damage to nearby organs in the body
– Many episodes of diarrhea
– Problems with your ileostomy
– Scar tissue that forms in your belly and causes a blockage of your intestines
– Short bowel syndrome (when a large amount of the small intestine needs to be removed), which may lead to       problems absorbing important  nutrients and vitamins
– The ends of your intestines that are sewn together comes apart (anastomotic leak)                                              – Wound breaking open (dehiscence)