Emergency Surgery, Ostomy, and Wound Care
This page is about post-operative care from emergency surgeries as well as ostomy and wound care.
The most common emergency general surgery operations are laparoscopic appendectomy (appendicittis), laparoscopic cholecystectomy (urgent gallbladder disease), and anal infections.
Emergency surgery is sometimes required for hernias and small bowel obstructions that are not improving.
Emergency colon and rectal surgey may also be required for severe diverticulitis, advanced cancer, and other diseases which present with bleeding, blockage, or severe infection.
More rare causes for emergency general surgery include trauma, breast infections, peptic ulcers, and ruptured spleen.
Surgical drains are placed in places of fluid build-up or infection. These are removed once drainage has slowed. Patients sometimes manage their drains at home until they can come out. For more information on drain management:
An ostomy or "stoma" is an opening of the bowel at the level of the skin. It is common to have an ostomy after both elective and emergency bowel surgery. Generally, the purpose of a stoma is to divert feces from its natural path to protect unhealthy bowel. Ostomies can be made at the end of a section of bowel, "End Ostomy", or can part of continous bowel, "Loop Ostomy".
A significant number of the general public have ostomies but you would never know because they are neither disabling nor honorous. Any patient with an ostomy is followed by an enterostomal nurse. Here are links to ostomy resources: