Bowel obstruction

Bowel obstruction surgery in Santa Barbara, California

After abdominal surgery the bowel and organs can stick together as part of the healing process, especially after “open” operations to remove the appendix, uterus, or colon. This complication occurs much less frequently after laparoscopic surgery, which is one reason it is preferable to traditional open surgery.

Dr Thoman Specializes in minimally-invasive gastrointestinal and weight loss surgery.

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  • When the bowel sticks together in a way that twists or kinks it, an obstruction may occur. This complication can happen a few days or many years after the original operation. In most cases the obstruction improves after draining the stomach with a tube through the nose. However, if draining is not effective, or the obstruction keeps recurring, surgery may be required. Dr. Thoman specializes in gastrointestinal surgery including laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery, called enterolysis, in his Santa Barbara, California practice.

    How is laparoscopic bow obstruction surgery performed?

    Dr. Thoman uses laparoscopic enterolysis to effectively correct a bowel obstruction. He performs the surgery using a laparoscope that enables him to see into the body with a tiny video camera.

    The abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide to allow a better view of the operative area. Several small incisions are made in the abdomen through which Dr. Thoman inserts very small, specialized surgical instruments. He uses them to cut apart the adhesions that are causing the bowel to kink.

    Additional adhesions are less likely to form a second time when the surgery is performed this way, versus an open approach.

    What are the benefits?

    When compared to the traditional open technique, the benefits of laparoscopic enterolysis include:

    • Requires only 3 or 4 tiny scars instead of 1 large abdominal scar.
    • Involves a shorter hospital stay — many patients leave the next day.
    • Reduces postoperative pain.
    • Decreases recovery time to days, instead of weeks allowing earlier return to daily activities, including work.
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  • What can I expect after bowel obstruction surgery?

    Most people are up walking and taking care of themselves within hours of surgery. The abdominal soreness is typically mild and lasts a few days to 2 weeks. Because the small incisions can’t burst open like the single large incision, you can return to full activity as tolerated. In general, there are no restrictions with lifting or exercising.

    Is laparoscopic enterolysis safe?

    If performed by surgeon with specialized training like Dr. Thoman, laparoscopic enterolysis is as safe as “open” surgery.

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    We're here to help you through this challenging time as you consider your options for a healthier lifestyle. Our goal is to provide sage and effective modern care in an environment of support and compassion. We strive to give you confidence in our techniques and comfort in our care.
  • We are here for you

    Are you ready to learn more about laparoscopic bowel obstruction surgery in California? Request a consultation online with Dr. David Thoman or call the office of Advanced Surgical Associates at (805) 730-1470. We see patients from Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Luis Obispo County, and Ventura for laparoscopic gastrointestinal and weight loss surgery.