What Should I Expect After Small Intestine Cancer Surgery?

Surgery is commonly used to treat small intestine cancer, so if an operation has been recommended for you, know that you aren’t alone. However, undergoing surgery, no matter how common, can still be a source of anxiety for many people. Knowing what to expect following your procedure is a good way to help ease some of your fears and help you go into surgery feeling as prepared as possible.

How long will I have to stay in the hospital following small intestine cancer surgery?

On average, most individuals spend five to 10 days recovering in a hospital following small intestine cancer surgery. However, it is important to note that any postoperative complications can lengthen a patient’s hospital stay. While you are recovering in the hospital, you will be connected to different tubes and machines that will help your body perform necessary functions until it is able to do so on its own. For example, you will likely have a catheter in your bladder to remove urine from your body, as well as a nasogastric tube to provide nutrients and remove your stomach contents, if necessary.

What are the risks of small intestine cancer surgery?

It is important to note that most complications of small intestine cancer surgery are uncommon. While your surgical team will work to prevent complications, you should also understand the risks of surgery, which can help you identify any problems so that you can promptly bring them to the attention of your treatment team. The most common risks of small intestine cancer surgery are infection, bleeding and scarring. Less common complications include:

  • Blood clots
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Difficulty absorbing nutrients from food, sometimes resulting in brittle nails or hair loss
  • Trouble breathing
  • Reactions to anesthesia

If surgery for small intestine cancer has been recommended for you, contact Moffitt Cancer Center by calling 1-888-663-3488 or submitting a new patient registration form online. Our experienced surgeons have unparalleled experience in treating patients with this malignancy and use the latest surgical techniques and technologies to achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life for our patients. Referrals are not required to come to Moffitt.