Bowel Obstruction Surgery Survival Rates

Technological advancements in the past decade have helped bowel obstruction surgery survival rates in no small way.

However, there could be complications to the surgeries, which might lead to death.

Generally, medical scientists say that bowel obstruction surgery survival rates are higher within the first thirty-six hours of the surgery.

As time passes, the chances of survival continue to decrease. Hence, we advise that patients get the surgical procedure for a bowel obstruction as soon as possible.

We have painstakingly taken the time to compile the results of various research on bowel obstruction surgery survival rates and the best procedures.

The concluding section has a bonus value, so read till the end.

Bowel Obstruction Surgery Survival Rates

What is Bowel Obstruction Surgery?

Bowel surgery is an intervention that involves the removal of any intestinal obstruction, such as faeces, cancer, polyp, infectious tumor, or intestinal distortion.

It is also the repair of intestinal regions that may be damaged due to blockage.

The surgery is usually carried out in a hospital under general anesthesia.

It can be planned in advance, but sometimes intestinal obstruction surgery should be performed as an emergency procedure because of the rapidly growing and life-threatening complications.

You may have a laparotomy performed with a small incision, or you may need an open laparotomy with a large incision.

The size of the block is not a significant factor when it comes to deciding whether you will have a complex or slightly invasive process.

There are several methods used to treat intestinal obstruction, and your procedure may involve steps such as:

  • Removal of a barrier wound
  • Correction of blood vessels
  • Reconstruction of the most severely damaged intestinal tract
  • Ostomy formation.

When deciding how to deal with it, surgeons will consider several factors, including the number and location of the closure, the cause of the bowel obstruction, the risk of infection, and any previous surgery.

Bowel surgery is a great option; the benefits often outweigh the disadvantages for most patients.

However, for some people, the cause of the perceived barrier aside from their age and the overall health profile may lead the healthcare provider to conclude that surgery may not be the best option for the patient.

Bowel obstruction surgery is performed when part or whole intestine is closed, including the small and large intestine.

The procedures to treat intestinal obstruction range from slow laparoscopic surgery to complex open surgical procedures.

These may include ruptured bowel movements, surgical resection, stiffness, colostomy, adhesion removal, or vascular reconstruction.

Chronic intestinal obstruction that doctors can surgically remove may occur in some patients, especially those with advanced cancer. This may be due to the narrow structures or the size of the large plant.

Bowel Construction Surgery Survival Rates

A retrospective cohort study involving patients treated with emergency laparotomy for obstruction of the small intestine at Copenhagen University Hospital (2009-2013).

After a 30-day examination, survival and mortality rates were 28% and 13%, respectively.

Six separate factors were identified as risk factors associated with morbidity by multiple regression analysis.

A high risk of infection is seen in patients with chronic nephropathy as well as in patients who use steroids daily.

Patients with low physical activity or metabolic disorders had a higher risk of death.

Bowel Obstruction Surgery Survival Rates

Risks Involved in Bowel Surgery

Coupled with the general risks of surgery and anesthesia, complications that may occur after intestinal obstruction surgery include:

  • Oedema (fluid accumulation and inflammation)
  • Infection
  • Bowel obstruction gets worse after surgery
  • Injuries to nearby organs of the body
  • The formation of red tissue (adhesion) in your abdominal cavity increases the risk of further intestinal obstruction in the future.
  • Incomplete healing of the regions of your gut together (anastomotic leakage), can cause life-threatening emergency complications.
  • Postoperative complications with your ostomy (colostomy, ileostomy, or J-pouch)
  • Temporary paralysis (cold) of the intestines

Purpose of Intestinal Surgery

Intestinal obstruction may occur acute (acute) or may worsen over time (chronic).

If there are any suspicious reasons, conservative measures may be tried before considering intestinal obstruction surgery. In some cases, surgery is a major treatment and, at times, urgently needed.

Prolonged gastrointestinal obstruction can be dangerous to health.

Surgery is designed to save your small or large intestine and to prevent serious complications that may occur if the prevention is not treated.

When severe, these problems can lead to hypotension, multiple organ failure, or even death.

Complete intestinal obstruction is a medical emergency that requires surgery.
The sooner a significant intestinal obstruction is removed, the better a patient’s bowel obstruction surgery survival rates.

When the surgical procedure is carried out within the first 36 hours of admission, the mortality rate is reduced to 8%, while the delay of 36 hours of surgery has a mortality rate of 25%.

Patient Care and Bowel Obstruction Surgery Survival Rates

Seriously ill patients with the most serious medical malpractice die unnecessarily because care in many hospitals is inadequate, according to NHS-funded research.

More than one in 10 (11%) emergency bowel surgery died within 30 days, according to a medical study that studied 21,000 patients in 192 hospitals in England and Wales.

But the mortality rate is higher than it should be due to the widespread failure of hospitals to ensure that their patients’ lives are free from risk – due to failure of vital organs and intestinal barriers to cancer during and after surgery.

While some hospitals can ensure that a large percentage of such patients are well cared for, a large number are not, which reduces people’s chances of survival.

Problems include the availability of very few specialist doctors, delays in diagnosis, lack of surgical facilities, and violations of hospital work to provide patients with life-threatening antibiotics immediately.

You must work closely with your gastroenterologist to restore normal bowel function and prevent further blockage.

This applies to the postoperative period and, in most cases, beyond.

Medication rules are not all the same, and it may take several attempts to find you the right medication or combination of drugs.

If a particular medication fails to provide relief or if you experience side effects, notify your healthcare provider, who may prescribe a different course of action for you.

You might be asked to keep a record of your digestive movements based on the Bristol Stool Chart, which measures intestinal flow from one (heavy) to seven (running) scales.

Bowel Obstruction Surgery Survival Rates
Bowel Obstruction Surgery Survival Rates

How to Prepare for Bowel Obstruction Surgery

Acute intestinal obstruction can be very painful and often results in a visit to the emergency room.

With severe and chronic intestinal obstruction, surgery may occur within a few hours to three days after diagnosis.

Where Is a Bowel Obstruction Surgery Done

Intestinal surgery is performed at the hospital in the operating room by specialist doctors and nurses.

What to Wear to a Bowel Obstruction Surgery

For surgery and the rest of your stay in the hospital, you will need to wear a hospital gown. It is recommended that when you undergo surgery, you wear loose clothing that is easy to change.

Do not wear jewellery during surgery, and ensure you leave anything of value at home.

Food & Drink for a Bowel Obstruction Surgery

Bowel obstruction surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Ideally, you must not eat eight hours before general anesthesia.

However, when the procedure is performed as an emergency, pre-surgery fasting is not always possible.

Medication Rules

It is important to inform your surgeon team about any prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you are currently taking.

Certain medications may be a problem during surgery. In particular, blood thinners can cause excessive bleeding.

What You Can Bring to a Bowel Obstruction Surgery

In addition to personal care and luxury items such as toiletries and change of clothes, make sure you have your health insurance documents and identity document.

If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication, be sure to carry a list with you.

Some of these medicines may need to be changed, or your healthcare provider may give you new ones after your procedure.

When you are discharged, you will probably not be allowed to drive, so plan your travel arrangements in advance.

What to Expect on Bowel Obstruction Surgery Day

Prior to a bowel obstruction surgery, your healthcare provider will explain the procedure in detail, including a detailed description, the risks of the operation, and what a normal recovery looks like.

You will probably be asked to sign the consent forms at this time as well.
Depending on the size of the procedure, intestinal obstruction surgery may take an hour to three and a half hours.

Just Before Surgery

Before the surgical procedure, you will need to change into a hospital gown and insert an IV into your vein to get the fluids and medicines into your bloodstream.

The next procedure involves transporting you to the operating table.

Your anesthesiologist will first give you an IV sedative to help you relax. The endotracheal tube (respiratory tube) will then be inserted into your mouth and oesophagus before it is connected to a respirator to help you breathe.

Anesthesia medications will ensure that you do not have to move or feel pain during your procedure.

You may also have a nasogastric tube inserted through your nose and down to your mouth to collect blood and fluid.

Surgeons will swipe your abdomen with an antiseptic and install a wall in the operating room to prevent infection.

After confirmation that you are under total anesthesia, your surgery will begin.

During Surgery

Your surgeon will determine the best way to remove the obstruction based on its location, size, and cause.

Most of these procedures will take place before your surgery, but some decisions can be made during surgery.

For example, you may have gastrointestinal cancer that requires more expulsion than was originally planned.

Your healthcare provider discovers additional adhesions in many areas that need to be removed during your surgery.

After Surgery

Once the operation is over, the anesthesia is stopped or reversed, and you will slowly begin to wake up.

As your anesthesia gets older, your respiratory tract will be removed, and you will be taken to the rescue room for treatment.

You will be groggy at first and gradually be cautious. Once you are awake and your blood vitals stabilize, you will be taken to a hospital room to begin recovery.

Your IV device will stay in place so you can get medication and fluids for the rest of your hospital stay.

Similarly, your urine catheter will remain in place until you are able to get out of bed and go shower by yourself.


After surgery due to intestinal obstruction, your stomach and intestines need time to regain normal functioning and healing.

The amount of time it takes depends on the level of your process and any underlying health conditions you may have, like cancer.

Most patients stay in the hospital for as long as five and seven days following gastrointestinal surgery.

It might take three to five months to return to normal activities again.
Your medical team is working with you to manage postoperative pain.

Opioids, commonly used to relieve pain, can lead to postoperative constipation and are used shortly after intestinal obstruction surgery.

Prior to Release

Your healthcare provider will make sure that you can remove the gas before you are allowed to drink a small amount of liquid.

Your diet will start with pure fluids, and (when your body shows signs of being ready) you will gradually move on to a softer diet.

You will be given instructions on wound care, medications, symptoms of infection, problems to look out for, and when you need to make time to follow up.

Follow all the instructions of your healthcare provider and call the office for any questions or concerns.

If a colostomy or ileostomy is needed, you will have a tube attached to the stool to collect the faeces.

Your nurse will state instructions about how you should handle it before you go home.


Some patients require a visiting nurse to examine the wound as it heals, oversee colostomy/ileostomy care, or provide a supply of tubes.


Bowel Obstruction surgery Survival rates depend on a lot of factors, all of which have been discussed in this article.

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