Removal of large intestine

Patient

Q: What can a patient expect after the complete removal of the large intestine? . Thank you.

Doctor

A:   The large intestines serves as the body's reservoir for undigested food. They also are important for the absorption of water and electrolytes. When they are removed these two functions are lost. There is an inability to form solid stool which can lead to dehydration if compensatory measures are not employed. These measures including drinking lots of fluids. Patients will have diarrhea for may months after removal, as the the small intestines adjust to the changes. The stool frequency will eventually decrease to about 6-8 semi-solid episodes per day.

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