Chronic inflammation in the intestines can cause the walls of your digestive tract to thicken or form scar tissue. This can narrow a section of intestine, called a stricture, which may lead to an intestinal blockage. A strictureplasty is a surgical procedure to repair a stricture by widening the narrowed area without removing any portion of your intestine.

It is important to repair strictures because the narrowing of your intestine could lead to a blockage that prevents stool from passing through the body. Strictureplasty and small bowel resection are two surgical procedures to repair a stricture.

Symptoms of a stricture

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Severe cramping

  • Constipation


What You Should Know About Strictureplasty

Any surgery is concerning, but learning about the procedure can lessen your concerns and give you information to discuss with your healthcare team.

  • Strictureplasty is a generally safe procedure. It is most effective in the lower sections of the small intestine, called the ileum and the jejunum.

  • Strictureplasty is less effective in the upper section of the small intestine, called the duodenum.

  • About half of the people who have this procedure will require subsequent surgery.

  • Strictureplasty avoids the need to remove a section of your small intestine. It is preferred when possible, because removing portions of your small intestine cause sometimes cause other complications, including a condition called short bowel syndrome (SBS).

During the procedure

  • Your surgeon will make cuts lengthwise along the narrowed areas of your intestine, then sew up the intestine crosswise.

  • This type of incision and repair shortens and widens the affected part of your bowel, allowing food to pass through.

  • Your surgeon may repair several strictures during the same surgery.

Ask Your Doctor

  • What preparations will I need to make before my strictureplasty?

  • What are the potential complications from surgery?

  • What kind of restrictions will I have after my surgery?

  • How long will it take me to recover from my strictureplasty?

  • How will the surgery affect my diet and bowel movements?

Related Resources

Short Bowel Syndrome & Crohn's...

Information on Short Syndrome and Crohn's Disease updated 3.18


Surgery for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis...

A brochure with information and resources about the different types of GI surgery.