There are numerous conditions affecting the bowel. The common ones are cancer, diverticular disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). When surgery is indicated this is usually in the form of a bowel resection and primary anastomosis (join up). Occasionally an anastomosis cannot be achieved and under these circumstances the patient will require a colostomy (or ileostomy), either temporary or permanent depending once again on the specific circumstances.
Most bowel resections can be performed laparoscopically (keyhole surgery) and this has distinct advantages, in particular the hospital stay and the recovery is effectively halved over that which one can normally expect with open surgery. For example, with a laparoscopic high anterior resection of the sigmoid colon and proximal rectum the average length of hospital stay is between 3 and 5 days and the time back to normal activity is approximately 3 to 4 weeks. The specific instructions that are required for each procedure can be found in the section pertaining to that procedure.
Read about Bowel Procedures including: