General Surgery

Laparoscopic Bowel Obstruction Surgery

While stomach aches and pains may be common for you, they’re nothing to ignore. When the aches and pains in your stomach turn severe, get in touch with abdominal specialists. You may have an obstructed bowel. Talk to a doctor experienced in the nuances and potential dangers of bowel obstructions. Visit for an exam and consultation. If you need it, laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery is minimally invasive, highly safe, and very effective. You’ll immediately feel better after the procedure. Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ, PA — serving northern New Jersey, New York City, and eastern Pennsylvania — are ready to take your call.

Laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that helps remove blockages in the small or large intestine. The blockage can be inside or outside of the intestine. It can cause either a partial or full obstruction. If left untreated, the condition can turn lethal — causing bleeding, tissue death, and infection of the abdominal cavities. When you suffer from bowel obstruction, the symptoms you may feel include:

  • Abdominal pain that comes in waves
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Tenderness in your midsection
  • Problems with bowel movements
  • Chronic stinky breath

Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ, PA, employs an expert team of doctors experienced in diagnosing and treating bowel obstructions. By feeling and listening to your abdomen — and using x-rays and CT scans — they can quickly diagnose and treat your bowel obstruction.

Understanding Bowel Obstruction

When your doctor diagnoses a bowel obstruction, it means that you have undigested food, fluid, and gas that can’t pass through your digestive tract normally. This condition can cause an infection in your digestive trac, along with other digestion problems like gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

The most common cause of bowel obstruction is due to adhesions. These tough, fibrous bands of tissues sometimes develop after surgery. Other reasons for a bowel obstruction include:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease
  • Volvulus where your bowels become twisted inside
  • Diverticular disease, in which small pouches in your intestine get infected
  • Tumors
  • Colon or rectal cancer
  • Gallstone ileus
  • Chronic constipation
  • A hernia

After the initial diagnosis, your New Jersey doctor may request that you replenish your body with fluids and electrolytes like sodium, chloride, and potassium, especially if you’ve been vomiting. Your surgeon then decides which laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery is necessary to treat your specific condition effectively. Depending on your condition, you may need:

  • Bowel resection surgery, a type of surgery where a part of your bowel is removed. This may be the best alternative if you have cancer, Crohn’s disease, or diverticular disease.
  • Perforated bowel surgery, which is necessary when the diverticular disease causes a hole or tear in your bowel. A perforation is dangerous because it allows the contents of the bowel to leak into your abdomen, which can cause a lethal infection.
  • Small bowel obstruction surgery, the most common form of laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery. Accounting for 65 to 80 percent of all the laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgeries performed, it’s usually done because of the formation of adhesions.
  • Twisted bowel surgery, which has to be done when you’re suffering from volvulus or the twisting of your large intestine.

How this Bowel Surgery Works

Laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery is also known as keyhole surgery because of the way the operation is performed. Common steps include:

  1. Your surgeon makes several one-inch cuts in your abdomen, close to where the problematic obstruction is located.
  2. Carbon dioxide gas is inserted through the holes to inflate the abdomen. This allows the surgeon to get a better view of the organs that need to be operated on.
  3. Using a tube that’s fitted with a tiny camera, the surgeon gets a look at where and how much damage the bowel obstruction has made.
  4. Specialized tiny instruments are then used to remedy the problem. Sometimes, the operation is done using robotic arms, which allows for more precision.

Contraindications of Laparoscopic Bowel Obstruction Surgery

Determining various contraindications is essential to achieve positive treatment results from laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery. Your contraindications can be of different types, including:


  • Intra-abdominal injury or inflammation
  • Abdominal evisceration
  • Significant complications of previous abdominal surgeries
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Uncorrected bleeding disorder
  • Abdominal compartment syndrome
  • Increased intracranial pressure


  • Congestive heart failure
  • Respiratory failure
  • Pregnancy and large adnexal masses
  • Bulge or swelling in the aorta
  • Abdominal adhesions from a previous surgery
  • Cellulitis

How Do I Prepare for Laparoscopic Bowel Obstruction Surgery?

Your specialist will advise you not to consume any foods or drinks for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure. If you have recurring constipation, it’s necessary to empty your bowels before the treatment. Showering with antibacterial soap or body wash 2 days before the surgery and then the evening before your procedure is crucial to reduce the risk of infection. Usage of any blood-thinning medications must be stopped 2 days before laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery to reduce the risk of serious bleeding.

What Should I Expect on the Day of Surgery?

Your surgeon will provide you with final instructions on the day of your procedure. These will include:

  • Removing all jewelry and body piercings to reduce the risk of swelling or skin burns from the use of medical equipment.
  • If you’re wearing artificial nails, remove at least one of them on each hand to allow the pulse oximeter to monitor your blood oxygen levels properly.
  • Removing things like contact lenses, braces, and dentures for similar preventative measures.
  • Wearing low-heeled shoes and comfortable clothes on the day of your treatment since you may experience mild dizziness or abdominal cramping afterward.

After the Laparoscopic Bowel Obstruction Surgery

Normally, the procedure only takes about 30 minutes, but it can take longer if your condition is particularly severe. Most people wake up immediately after the surgery and can leave shortly afterward. You won’t be able to eat anything until your doctor can confirm your bowels are working properly. One of the most common signs that you’re back to normal is being able to pass gas.

You have to stick to consuming only fluids in the beginning. You gradually move on to soft foods and then solid foods. Your recovery may take a few days, but this is a much shorter recovery than if you had an open bowel blockage surgery. Throughout the recovery period, you need to maintain check-ups with your doctor, especially if you had a serious condition like cancer.

If you’re having abdominal pain that lasts for more than a day or two, contact the doctors specializing in bowel obstruction treatment at Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ, PA. Don’t postpone the call — it may just save your life.

This page was modified on Jun 4, 2021 by Dr. Sadek (Surgeon) of Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics
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