General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

If a person has an intestinal obstruction and needs surgery, how long is the recovery time?

Asked by Aethelwine (42476points) October 21st, 2017

How much time would be spent in the hospital? What about afterwards? If the person has a physically demanding job, how long would they be out of work?

Looking for approximate times, of course. The typical recovery times. Thank you.

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6 Answers

janbb's avatar

It would depend a lot on whether it would be able to be done laparoscopically or of they needed an abdominal incision. Laparoscopic surgery could have a recovery time of a few days to a week; my guess is that.abdominal surgery could require a month to six weeks recovery but that is an estimate.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Recovery also depends on the individuals current heath. Some people require 6 to 9 weeks to recover if an abdominal incision is made.

Aethelwine's avatar

Thank you!

Mariah's avatar

Oh, hi! I’ve not been on Fluther these last couple of days, so I’m just seeing this.

You might know that my most recent hospitalization (around this time last year) was for exactly this.

A bowel obstruction can be resolved non-invasively (via a naso-gastric tube) but since you said surgery was needed, this means an abdominal incision was made. Laparoscopic or not, an incision would have been made – in this case, laparoscopic just means it was a smaller incision.

I believe mine was done laparoscopically. I was in the hospital for 8 days. I didn’t resume working from home even though my job is not at all physical for about 3 weeks post surgery. About one month after surgery I went back into the office – but again, my job is to sit in a chair and type, and I still found a full work-day very draining at this point. I was off narcotics about 5 or 6 weeks after surgery but still in quite a lot of pain much of the time. And to be honest, it took about 6 months before I stopped having random aches and pains that interfered with my quality of life.

It took several months for me to finally heal the abdominal wound – it came open because surprise, it’s really hard to eat after gastrointestinal surgery, and you have to eat if you want to heal.

I don’t know if my case is representative of the average. I have youth on my side but I’m not the most overall healthy person in general.

If you have a personal reason for asking this question feel free to reach out in PM any time you want.

Humane1's avatar

This is serious surgery. General anesthesia paralyzes the intestines. If a portion of the intestine had to be removed, an opening must be made in the abdominal wall and a colostomy bag attached. This gives the intestines time to heal before being re-attached. This might take weeks.
At least, that’s was how it was fifteen years ago.

Mariah's avatar

^ Not necessarily true. I had a couple inches of intestine removed during my surgery last year and did not require a temporary ostomy. But yes, a temporary ostomy is a possibility with this surgery – and if the patient wants to reverse it and go back to “normal” later on, that’s another surgery, albeit a very easy one.

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