Gastrointestinal surgery

Gastrointestinal surgery


Dr. Manoj Gupta

Experience 20 years

A specialist in surgical Gastroenterology and liver transplants with a rich...

Any surgery always comes with certain risks, including :

Infection: Anytime the body has to be opened up, infections may enter. Though surgeons are careful about keeping things sterile and clean while performing surgery, there is always a chance of infection.

Pain: Depending on the surgery, there could be soreness and pain during the recovery process.

Bleeding and blood clots: On some occasions, surgery cuts continue to bleed, delaying recovery. Sometimes the body forms a blood clot at the surgery site, and this clot can block a vital blood vessel to the lungs, heart, or brain.

Damage to another body part: During surgery, a healthy body part may be accidentally damaged.

Reaction to anesthesia: Some people may not react favourably to anesthesia and may experience nausea and vomiting.

Surgery done to remove a tumor or diseased body part or for repairing damage, can save the life of a patient. It can also improve the life quality for someone who has not received any benefits from treatments, like medicine or diet modifications.

Colonoscopy is a minor surgical procedure that has significant benefits: it can catch colon cancer at an early stage, enabling a complete cure. It’s crucial to get a recommended colon cancer screening.

Preparation for surgery is relative to the type of surgery you are about to have.

Follow Instructions: The doctor or nurse will explain how to prepare for your surgery. Most likely, you will receive instructions about not eating or drinking prior to the surgery. The doctor may also want you to stop taking certain medicines or vitamins before surgery. It is wise to follow every instruction you get for surgery preparation.

Make a Plan for the Surgery Day and for the period following it: Make a plan about who is to take you to the surgery and who can take you home, even if it is a minor surgery.

Plan about who can help you in the period following your surgery: The week after you get home, happens to be the most crucial time after surgery. If all goes well, you will recover speedily, and if not, you may have to make a return trip to the hospital.

Plan for changes you may need in your living space: Will you manage to climb stairs following your surgery? Can you use the bathroom as is, or will you require some equipment like a grip bar? Will you need someone to bring your food? And in case you need physical therapy following surgery, where will you do it?

The procedure for most surgeries involves cutting into the body using a scalpel (small knife) and other surgical tools. Some procedures may be performed using a scope — a thin tube with a camera and small surgery tools — that enables the surgeon to remove growths in the colon, for example.

Surgery that requires cutting into the body may be either open surgery or, in other cases, minimally invasive surgery.

Open surgery: Here, the surgeon makes one large cut to open up the body.

Minimally invasive surgery, or laparoscopic surgery: In this method, the surgeon makes a few small cuts and uses a camera to view the insides of the body. The surgeon inserts the camera through one cut and surgical instruments in the other cuts. These smaller cuts usually heal faster compared to the large cuts of open surgery.

Anesthesia is used during the surgery to stop the sensation of pain. When local or regional anesthesia is administered, it numbs only particular areas of the body. Contrarily, general anesthesia puts a person into a deep sleep. The type of anesthesia used is relative to the type of surgery performed.

The surgery may be performed either in the hospital itself, an outpatient surgery center, or the doctor’s office or clinic. It depends on the type of surgery to be performed and its level of complexity.

Your doctor will follow up with you and explain how the surgery went and what steps you need to take next. The timing of follow-up depends on the surgery type.

Your doctor will inform you about any follow-up treatment or care and create a treatment plan for you.

Recovery time depends on the surgery and how invasive the procedure was. In the case of simple surgeries, like a colonoscopy, you may return to your daily activities right away. With more invasive surgeries, healing time is longer, and you may need some help to manage the pain after surgery. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about what to expect during the recovery stage following your surgery.