Open Small Bowel Resection

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your caregiver may also give you more specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your caregiver if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.



  • Take whatever pain medicine your caregiver prescribes. Follow the directions carefully. Do not take over-the-counter pain medicines unless the surgeon says it is okay. Some pain medicine can cause bleeding problems for several weeks after a procedure.

  • If you are taking narcotic pain medicine, do not drive. These are very strong drugs.

  • You may need to take a stool softener or a laxative. The aim is to prevent constipation.

Wound care

  • You will need to go back to have your stitches or staples taken out. Ask your surgeon when to do that.

  • Do not take a tub bath until your surgeon says it is okay.


  • Drink enough water and fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.

  • You can go back to eating your normal foods once you are home.


  • You will probably be able to go back to your normal routine after a few days. Do not do anything that requires extra effort until your surgeon says it is okay. Do not lift anything heavier than 15 to 20 pounds (6.75 to 9 kg) until your surgeon says it is okay.

  • Walk as much as possible.

  • Continue to practice deep breathing and coughing. If it hurts to cough, try holding a pillow against your abdomen as you cough.

  • Ask your surgeon when it is safe to drive, have sex, or go back to work.


  • You have any questions about medicines.

  • Pain medicine does not make the pain go away.

  • You do not want to eat, or you feel nauseous or vomit.

  • You are constipated.


  • Pain gets worse, even after taking pain medicine.

  • Your wound becomes red or swollen, or you see blood or fluid leaking from the incision.

  • Your legs or arms hurt or become red or swollen.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have trouble breathing.

  • You have a fever.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.