Complications can result after resection. Learn about some of the potential medical problems that can come from the removal of all or part of the intestines."

Complications After Intestinal Surgery | SBS"

Complications can result after intestinal surgery

LEARN ABOUT SOME OF THE POTENTIAL MEDICAL PROBLEMS THAT CAN COME FROM THE REMOVAL OF A LARGE PART OF THE INTESTINES.



INTESTINAL SURGERY Complications

Some patients who’ve had intestinal surgery may experience complications, but this doesn't mean every patient will. Some possible complications are listed below. If you experience any of these at any point, call your doctor right away.

  • Parenteral nutrition (PN) problems: People with SBS as a result of intestinal resection may receive additional nutrition intravenously with PN. While it can be life-sustaining, PN can also come with complications. These include catheter-associated bloodstream infections and long-term liver or kidney problems.
  • Vitamin deficiencies: Vitamins are essential to a healthy diet and are absorbed in the small intestines. If you have Short Bowel Syndrome, you might not absorb all the essential vitamins your body needs to function properly. This can result in many health problems, depending on which vitamin your body isn’t getting enough of. For example, scurvy, decreased muscle coordination and osteoporosis are all caused by vitamin deficiencies.
  • Mineral deficiencies: Minerals are also essential for your body to function properly, yet they are displaced when you have diarrhea. If you have SBS or chronic diarrhea, you may not absorb enough of the important minerals you need, like magnesium or zinc.
  • Electrolyte abnormalities: Electrolytes are minerals that have an electric charge in the body. They help maintain balance in the body's blood chemistry, muscle action and other processes. They include sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. The incorrect balance of electrolytes can cause unpleasant symptoms such as headache, nausea, irregular heartbeat and muscle weakness.
  • Small bowel bacteria overgrowth: After a resection, too much bacteria may grow in the small intestine. This often happens if the ileocecal valve has been removed during a resection. Bacteria overgrowth can result in gas, bloating and diarrhea.
  • Kidney stones: Reduced absorption of calcium, fats and bile salts from the bowel can create hard crystal-like stones known as kidney stones. These do not always produce symptoms; however, “passing” the stones can be very painful.
  • Acidosis: Causing vision problems, confusion and/or slurred speech, acidosis is when you have abnormally high levels of lactic acid in the bloodstream. This comes from undigested carbohydrates in the large intestine. These undigested carbohydrates produce lactic acid, which your body absorbs. When your body absorbs too much, it creates an imbalanced acid level or pH balance in your blood. SBS patients with poor carbohydrate digestion could be at risk for this condition.
  • Nausea and vomiting: In scientific terms, vomiting is the forceful inverted expulsion of gastric contents from the body. Nausea, on the other hand, is the unpleasant feeling you get before vomiting. The act of vomiting often (but not always) relieves the sensation of nausea.
A Patient's Guide to Managing a Short Bowel by Carol Rees Parrish, MS, RD.

To take a deeper look into the causes of certain SBS symptoms, talk to your doctor and sign up to receive a copy of A Patient’s Guide to Managing a Short Bowel by Carol Rees Parrish, MS, RD.

Have you experienced any of the complications listed above?

Have you experienced any of the complications listed above?

If yes or unsure, complete the Doctor Discussion Guide and talk to your doctor.

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