Perforated Colon-Now What toDo?

Perforated Colon-Now What toDo?

Posted in the Diverticulitis Forum

First Prev
of 3
Next Last
Jeanne

New York, NY

#1 Feb 12, 2010
My story- Ended up in the er New Year's day this year with a perforated colon. I was lucky, 7 days in the hospital with IV antibiotics and I avoided emergency surgery. This was my first experience with diverticulitis. i knew I had some pockets from my colonoscopy two years befor but never experienced any symptoms. i feel great now, working on changing my diet,adding excercise and trying to relieve stress.
I'm getting differing opinions about what I should do next. One camp says, no promises, but this may NEVER happen again or it may happen again. They suggest make my diet changes, carry antibiotics around with me and pay attention to my body.
The other side says, "take that sigmoid colon out and soon!" They say more than likely I will have another attack and most likely not get as lucky as i was the first time.
So my question is , Has anyone managed after a perforation without the surgery? Am I crazy for even considering this?
Dave

Orangeville, Canada

#2 Feb 15, 2010
In my case I never had any symptoms. Then without warning at 45 I had a major perforation. Rushed to ER for surgery and nearly died. If I had only known I would have gone for the elective surgery. I think surgery all depends on the results of a colonoscopy and CT scans and the amount and frequency of attacks. Of course with the advice of a surgeon. This is a serious disease and needs attention. Good Luck !
Jeanne

New York, NY

#3 Feb 15, 2010
Dave wrote:
In my case I never had any symptoms. Then without warning at 45 I had a major perforation. Rushed to ER for surgery and nearly died. If I had only known I would have gone for the elective surgery. I think surgery all depends on the results of a colonoscopy and CT scans and the amount and frequency of attacks. Of course with the advice of a surgeon. This is a serious disease and needs attention. Good Luck !
Hi Dave,
How are you getting along now after surgery? I'm worried about doing this electively as so many people seem to have so many problems afterward. Like you, I never had any pain or problems with diverticulitis before the perforation and feel great now. Of course I may be on borrowed time.
Dave

Orangeville, Canada

#4 Feb 17, 2010
Hi Jeanne, Altogether I am doing good. I was very lucky I did not die from the rupture. Then very lucky I was not septic, nor did I have any infection. I was totally niave when I woke in the hospital, I never new what a colostomy was. I went from being a fit 175lbs to about 155lbs. The resection was 5 months after the colostomy surgery. I was weak and always hungry. I now go to the gym 3-4 days per week and gained back most of my weight. I do still get tired more than I used to. I had open surgery which I understand is more impactive overall to your system. I think your Doctor will advise you on the extent of your diver and what course of options are available. There are always options that are best for you. I have had CT scans and the colonoscopy and am clear. So I will just continue with a higher fibre diet, which is easy to do. After what I went through I am prepare to be totally disciplined. You can ask me anything and I will help. I wish you well.
natalie

Laval, Canada

#5 Feb 17, 2010
Hi Jeanne, I had a colon resection electively for diver 2 years ago and I am so so so happy now! At one hospital, after the 2nd episode, the doctor said "no surgery for you. You're young (37), you respond well to meds, keep going. Eat anything, all is well". 2 years and 2 episodes later (all 4 requiring 4 days in hospital each with IV meds), I changed hospitals. The doctor operated 2 months later (gave my colon time to heal). For me, it changed my life in a positive way. Good luck and continued good health to all!
Jeanne

New York, NY

#6 Feb 18, 2010
Thank you Dave and Natalie for your supportive words. I am really besides myself. I just got the final word from the doctor that it is in my best interest to do this electively.
Have all your functions returned pretty much back to normal? That's my big concern, that I won't be able to "control" myself after the operation.
I'm very tired too, after my perforation and I wasn't even operated on! I think its because I totally changed my diet in the last two months, eliminating all red meatamong other things.
Thank you both for responding.
senior moment

Peterstown, WV

#7 Feb 18, 2010
I wish I could do electively surgery but I have ITP which is an unknown reason for drastic drop in platelet count. I have had this since 2001 and I bleed easier than normal people.

To do surgery platelets are suppose to be above 140,000 and mine are always around 20,000-30,000. So if I have this surgery I have to have a platelet infusions and possible blood transfusion to keep me from bleeding excessive on operating table.

A platelet transfusion doesn't last long as plateles can drop so fast so I fear for my safety on operating table.

I am just dealing with my attacks (had 2) and hope to God I don't have anymore. It really scares me. Somedays I am just counting the days,months on when I will need this surgery in fear.
Peter

Milford, CT

#8 Feb 19, 2010
Jeanne wrote:
Thank you Dave and Natalie for your supportive words. I am really besides myself. I just got the final word from the doctor that it is in my best interest to do this electively.
Have all your functions returned pretty much back to normal? That's my big concern, that I won't be able to "control" myself after the operation.
I'm very tired too, after my perforation and I wasn't even operated on! I think its because I totally changed my diet in the last two months, eliminating all red meatamong other things.
Thank you both for responding.
Hi Jeanne,

I'm 44 and had the surgery March 2nd 2009, it was a life saver for me. Constant attacks and never felt good for more than 1 week at a time! I guess I was lucky in that after my surgery, I returned to normal bowel function within 2 weeks and never looked back. Things work perfectly and I had 12 inches removed (sigmoid). I'm not sure why some people do well and some dont, but don't worry too much about the consequences of having the surgery. Just think of how your life will be so much better. As far as going to the bathroom, my frequency is 1-2 times per day normally. If I go on a fiber binge or eat lots of food, I'll go maybe 3-4 times a day. I try to eat smaller portions and seem to do very well with that. My surgery was elective by the way, I went in feeling pretty good and now I feel great all the time!

Good luck.

Peter
Kathy

Nashville, TN

#9 Feb 19, 2010
Jeanne wrote:
Thank you Dave and Natalie for your supportive words. I am really besides myself. I just got the final word from the doctor that it is in my best interest to do this electively.
Have all your functions returned pretty much back to normal? That's my big concern, that I won't be able to "control" myself after the operation.
I'm very tired too, after my perforation and I wasn't even operated on! I think its because I totally changed my diet in the last two months, eliminating all red meatamong other things.
Thank you both for responding.
Hi Jeanne,

I had my first documented attack in Oct 2009, CT revealed chronic diverticulitis so I tried to changed my diet, increased fiber and drank lots of water. On dec 13th 2009, I had a second, serious attack. Another round of antibiotics and CT scan with surgery recommended. I got three medical opinions and had elective surgery on Jan 28th. Three weeks post op so far so good. My surgeon told me the timing was perfect as lab tests indicated a prior abscess that would not have healed. Lucky for me no emergency surgery was needed.

I was terrified of having the surgery electively after reading all the stuff on the internet but felt like it was my best option. I'm in my mid forties, with two active teenagers a super-busy job, etc and having emergency surgery scared me more than doing it electively. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best and will keep an eye on this forum for updates.
natalie

Laval, Canada

#10 Feb 20, 2010
dear Jeanne, yes, all functions are back to normal, if not better. Four days after surgery, my med. team said " go home, rest 'cuz you won't feel human until 6 weeks pass but eat anything you want and LOTS of fiber and water". I swear, I have not been constipated in the last 2 years!!!!!

If you need surgery, you MUST try to have it electively because outcome is assuredly better than if operating on an inflamed colon. night all.
sjcy

Tulsa, OK

#11 Feb 21, 2010
I had laparoscopic surgery for diverticulitis last year in April. I had had several attacks starting in May of 2008 at age 53, the first one was very bad, peritonitis but no perforation. I had a lot of adhesions and scarring and recurrent infections. The surgeon was able to get rid of most of the adhesions and took out all of my sigmoid colon (12 inches). He had done a colonoscopy previously and knew that I had very few diverticuli anywhere else in my colon. Anyway, the surgery went well and I was soon back to normal. It does take a few months for all the pain to completely go away, but it's a lot better within a few weeks. My bowels function just fine now, in fact better than they did before the surgery! And as long as I exercise and eat right, and get enough sleep, I feel great, which is pretty much normal for all of us human beings, especially those of us getting up there in our 50s. ;)
Jeanne

New York, NY

#12 Feb 23, 2010
Thanks all for your stories.
I made an appointment to see the surgeon for a second consult. I have so many questions and need some more assurances.
From reading all your stories, it seems this 'condition' can come on quite suddenly (as in my case) and keep repeating. I've been out of the hospital 2 months and feel pretty good. Sometimes i feel slight twinges on the lower left side, but no pain. Have any of you felt this? I have been super careful about my diet and was hoping maybe I could escape further attacks becuse of this. But it looks like Kathy tried this and still had further attacks.
What testing is necessary before elective surgery?
I just had a CT Scan and the surgeon says he does not need a colonoscopy since i had one 2 years ago showing diverticulosis. CT scan confirms perforated diverticuli.
I guess we're all terrified of surgery.
Kathy

Nashville, TN

#13 Feb 24, 2010
Jeanne wrote:
Thanks all for your stories.
I made an appointment to see the surgeon for a second consult. I have so many questions and need some more assurances.
From reading all your stories, it seems this 'condition' can come on quite suddenly (as in my case) and keep repeating. I've been out of the hospital 2 months and feel pretty good. Sometimes i feel slight twinges on the lower left side, but no pain. Have any of you felt this? I have been super careful about my diet and was hoping maybe I could escape further attacks becuse of this. But it looks like Kathy tried this and still had further attacks.
What testing is necessary before elective surgery?
I just had a CT Scan and the surgeon says he does not need a colonoscopy since i had one 2 years ago showing diverticulosis. CT scan confirms perforated diverticuli.
I guess we're all terrified of surgery.
Hi Jeanne - I had two cat scans, one in October 2009 then one in late December 2009. In my case there was a significant increase in damage/scarring in my colon between the two cat scans. I'm guessing due to the severe infection I had in mid-December. The surgery revealed the abscess.My surgeon explained it would not have shown up on a cat scan as the abscess was on the backside of my colon. So my timing was good. It's scary surgery but almost 4 weeks out - it will be 4 weeks tomorrow - I feel better than I have in months. Wish you best! Kathy
Jeanne

New York, NY

#14 Mar 1, 2010
Kathy wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Jeanne - I had two cat scans, one in October 2009 then one in late December 2009. In my case there was a significant increase in damage/scarring in my colon between the two cat scans. I'm guessing due to the severe infection I had in mid-December. The surgery revealed the abscess.My surgeon explained it would not have shown up on a cat scan as the abscess was on the backside of my colon. So my timing was good. It's scary surgery but almost 4 weeks out - it will be 4 weeks tomorrow - I feel better than I have in months. Wish you best! Kathy
Hi Kathy,
So you didn't have a colonoscopy just prior to surgery? The surgeon I'm considering says he doesn't need one to do the surgery and that the CT Scans I just had will suffice. This surgeon is a highly recommended, very experienced doctor. It just throws me off since two other opinions I've had have wanted to do a colonoscopy.
It sounds like you are doing really good! And if you feel better now, than the surgery was the right decision.
Jeanne

Kathy

Nashville, TN

#15 Mar 3, 2010
Jeanne wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Kathy,
So you didn't have a colonoscopy just prior to surgery? The surgeon I'm considering says he doesn't need one to do the surgery and that the CT Scans I just had will suffice. This surgeon is a highly recommended, very experienced doctor. It just throws me off since two other opinions I've had have wanted to do a colonoscopy.
It sounds like you are doing really good! And if you feel better now, than the surgery was the right decision.
Jeanne
Hi Jeanne - I did have a colonoscopy in November as my doctor wanted to make sure everything was okay. I had a polyp removed and some testing which verified no cancer. Yea! The results were shared with my surgeon. He ordered the second CT after the infection that I had in December.
DianaB

Kent, WA

#16 Apr 8, 2010
senior moment wrote:
I wish I could do electively surgery but I have ITP which is an unknown reason for drastic drop in platelet count. I have had this since 2001 and I bleed easier than normal people.
To do surgery platelets are suppose to be above 140,000 and mine are always around 20,000-30,000. So if I have this surgery I have to have a platelet infusions and possible blood transfusion to keep me from bleeding excessive on operating table.
A platelet transfusion doesn't last long as plateles can drop so fast so I fear for my safety on operating table.
I am just dealing with my attacks (had 2) and hope to God I don't have anymore. It really scares me. Somedays I am just counting the days,months on when I will need this surgery in fear.
I had surgery on March 17, surgery went well with no problems, but I had severe anxiety and panic attacks; my bowel movements were over 10 a day at home, I found a web site called greattastenopain.com which is a way of combining your food to alleviate intestinal issues. I purchased it and have been following the eating plan for about a week, I have not had diarrhea and my bowel movements are about 3-4 a day, it's worth at least reviewing the site, and it works for IBS and all of the other intestinal issues people have due to our diets....I am still careful about what I eat, still hesitant on the fruit, but I must say that 3 weeks out from surgery I am progressing right along. I went out alone yesterday for the first time in awhile, as I recover the anxiety lessens because I know things are getting better. With the medical issues you have regarding surgery it would benefit you to check out the Great Taste no Pain eating plan...good luck to you.
sean

Braintree, UK

#17 Sep 22, 2010
thats what happened to me about 12 weeks ago. my specialist says monitor it and it may not come back for 10 years. how have things been since feb?
Jeanne wrote:
My story- Ended up in the er New Year's day this year with a perforated colon. I was lucky, 7 days in the hospital with IV antibiotics and I avoided emergency surgery. This was my first experience with diverticulitis. i knew I had some pockets from my colonoscopy two years befor but never experienced any symptoms. i feel great now, working on changing my diet,adding excercise and trying to relieve stress.
I'm getting differing opinions about what I should do next. One camp says, no promises, but this may NEVER happen again or it may happen again. They suggest make my diet changes, carry antibiotics around with me and pay attention to my body.
The other side says, "take that sigmoid colon out and soon!" They say more than likely I will have another attack and most likely not get as lucky as i was the first time.
So my question is , Has anyone managed after a perforation without the surgery? Am I crazy for even considering this?
Jeanne

New York, NY

#18 Oct 15, 2010
sean wrote:
thats what happened to me about 12 weeks ago. my specialist says monitor it and it may not come back for 10 years. how have things been since feb?
<quoted text>
Hi Sean,
Since my last post I was hospitilized at separate times for an emergency femoral hernia and partial blockage to the small bowel. The hernia could have been due to the excessive weight loss after my diver attack in January and the blockage to scar tissue from the same. Good news though, no recurring diverticulitis!
I did get other opinions from two well recommended surgeons. The first said if it was him, he would wait. The second also said no to surgery. He felt if i have another attack in a few years, it was still better to be hospitalized and cleaned up than have this surgery. It makes sense if you cannot clear your symptons and have constant attacks.
I am hoping I can go a distance before I need the surgery. For now I am being careful with my diet and going about my life. I am very tuned into any signs though. Last week i thought i felt a few twinges on the left side, nothing major, but i immediately cut back on the fiber. We can only do what we can do.... Jeanne
Gillian

Liverpool, UK

#19 Oct 20, 2010
Jeanne, I had a perforation which left a partial blockage because of scar tissue. I tried to live for a year with the symptoms ( pain in abdomen all the time, bleeding, severe constipation) until I eventually had open surgery to remove the stricture. I ended up having 24 inches removed because the perforation had caused such a mess inside (7 hour op) There was a fistula I was unaware of caused by the blockage and lots of adhesions (which had been causing the pain) I would recommend having the op before you end up having another perforation if you are having any painful symptoms as they will just get worse over time.
I had a bit of a rough recovery with a wound infection but am so pleased that I had it done. I have no colostomy either and hope to lead a completely normal. painfree life in the future.
carol ann

Dublin, Ireland

#20 Oct 23, 2010
i have diverticulitis and it is the nastiest disease i can think of, at the moment i am on the second day of pain, diarrohea and lots of bleeding, i am at the point of giving up!! i was hospitalised last year and treated with antibiotics, a colonoscopy confirmed i had diverticular disease , it doesnt seem to matter what i eat, it attacks me out of the blue and pain so bad i have to get down on the floor to stop passing out,!!i get attacks like this quite often nearly once a month, there is a lot of stress and other illnesses in my life ,like other people, i am also afraid to travel as this has happened when we have been away on weekends, my doctor gave me colofac to take for the ppain but i might as well take smarties! if only there was something to ease the initial pain out there??thanks for listening to me.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 3
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Diverticulitis Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Emergency surgery: My diverticulitis experience (Jun '13) 20 hr Sara Bazan 15
Long lasting pain in Diverticulitis area Wed dazeja 1
News Diverticulitis Surgery Complications (Oct '11) Wed Jnk8392 380
Food and Recipes and How We're Doing (Jan '13) Tue applecake 1,447
What to eat during flare ups (Apr '12) Jun 27 2 days in 57
Diet After Bout of Diverticulitis (Feb '15) Jun 27 Judy 6
Recurrent diverticulitis after bowel resection (Sep '13) Jun 26 Karsar 22
More from around the web