How bad is the surgery?
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woody

Bolton, CT

#1 Mar 31, 2011
I am currently recovering from my second outbreak of diverticulitis since the second half of january. My doctor has stated that due to the fact that I've had two severe outbreaks so close together she would like to operate and take out part of of the colon. In a perfect world it will be done laparascopically. But I haven't been able to make it that long between outbreaks. She is hopeful that I will be able to heal up before the surgery so that she doesn't have to open me up all the way. I have a few questions:
How will the pain/discomfort compare to a diverticulitis outbreak?
How long will the recovery time be?
Will there be a lot of complications?
Im pretty nervous and a little depressed that as soon as a I get better, I have to go have this done.
Gillian

London, UK

#2 Apr 1, 2011
Woody, I won't lie and say that it's nothing as it is pretty major surgery however you have it done. However, lap is supposed to be quicker recovery time as there is no large incision to heal.

The after effects of the surgery cannot be compared to a DD attack as they are completely different. You do not feel ill after the surgery, just very sore to begin with - but you know that everyday you are getting a bit better. It is hard to put a timescale on it because everyone is different in their reaction to pain and the their ability to heal. The thing to remember is that it is a major op which will take some time for your body to fully recover from. I would plan for a few weeks to rest and recover from it. It is recommended here (England) that you take it easy for about 6 weeks afterwards.
However you have it done, you will be up on your feet and walking about within a day or so of the op. It will be painful to start with but it gets much easier with each passing day. And they do give you painkillers.

There are potential complications with any surgery, but the majority of people sail through without any.

I had open surgery and suffered from complications (leaking from the anastomosis(join) and an infection in the wound) but, I am still here to tell the tale, and have never once regretted having it done.

And, the op is a one-off inconvenience, not like the DD which just keeps coming back, getting worse each time.

“I am here for your own good”

Since: Apr 08

Not Important

#3 Apr 2, 2011
I was rollerskating 2 hours after the surgery, so its not a big deal :)
Serously though...I am now 8 days past my surgery and i still cant walk normal. If i am laying down i feel great. The second I sit up to walk or stand I am in pain. I still think I have a hernia or something, but the docs keep telling me this i normal for some people after a surgery like this. The muscles in my abdomin need more time to heal. WHo knows?
Anyway....get it done. If you screw up and perforate a bowel you WILL increase your risk of dying or having major complications. I was vey fortunate to avoid the colostomy bag...I had my surgery done 3 days after a flare up. I begged them to give my antiobiotics to calm down the 4th attack in 4 months. They obliged and said therewere no promises going into my surgery laproscopically. Luckilly....it stayed that way and te colon was ok to join together. Good luck with your surgery...please get it. Its well worth it in the long run...
Gillian

London, UK

#4 Apr 2, 2011
Mr Fister, It IS normal to feel in pain when you walk for a couple of weeks or so after this op. Even having it done laproscopically doesn't stop the internal bruising, cutting etc... from hurting.You just need to take things easy for a couple of weeks and allow your body to heal in its own time. If your doctors have examined you and are satisfied that everything is ok, then just relax and give yourself a break - you are still only a week out from major surgery.
Frank

Lutz, FL

#5 Apr 3, 2011
Hi,

I had two bouts of Diver. About two months apart. One thing saved me from having to go down the road of surgey. I started taking a Daily Probiotic Capsule. No prescription needed. Get it at local pharmacy, Walgreens, walmart, etc. I can't speak for anyone else. But the Probiotic capsule replenishes healthy bacteria and I have been great ever since. Also need to build up your fiber intake. Good luck.

Frank
Andre

Fairfield, CA

#6 Apr 12, 2011
Im about 3 weeks from the DV surgery. This was no cake walk. I had been suffering for about 3 months with the latest attack. I first went to the ER because I could no longer take the pain. They gave me antibiotics intraveneously for about a week and sent me home with a bunch of pain pills and 14 more days of antibiotics. Couldn't take the pain and stopped taking the pills after 10 days. Went back to the hospital and was immediately re-admitted. Given more IV antibiotics. The DV did not respond. The docs thought it was colon cancer. Had the surgery. They had to cut me open. Damn it hurt but, the pain meds were excellent. Since my colon was so inflamed I had to have a colonostomy bag. They are messy but I managed to get my head around wearing one and I can change or empty it like a pro. I was told it would be 6 mos before they re-attach my colon. After follow up visits, the time for follow up surgery has been reduced to 2 mos. Immediately after surgery I felt very weak but Im getting stronger each day. Surgery is no joke and I had to get my head around a number of issues (ie sex with a colonostomy bag on, I lost 80 pounds, etc) I still count my blessings because I don't have colon cancer. It's tough but, it does get better each day.
Mary

San Antonio, FL

#7 May 17, 2012
I find myself depressed due to this terrible desease. My first bout with diverticulitis was two years ago in which I ended up in the hospital (ER). They removed two polyps, one was pre-cancerous. Yes, this desease can get ugly. I was hospitalized due to heavy bleeding and given nothing but liquids for one week until I got better. I'm sure antibiotics were included. I presently have another flare-up and again ended up at the emergency room. This time they put me on two anti-biotics (Cipro & Flagyl)and was sent home that same day. After three days of meds am feeling a little better but was told that I may be headed towards surgery if I don't improve. My stomach feels very bloated and tender. I'm terrified everytime I eat something. I pray that I don't get the surgery but I'm just in denial, my GI doctor already suggested it. Get this! My regular MD informed me that it doesn't really matter what you eat because research hasn't really proved that a good diet really helps. WHAT???? Oh well, I can only pray that I get better. I do plan to eat healthier and keep track of the flare-ups. I want to thank everyone for sharing.
Georgia

United States

#9 May 17, 2012
Hi Mary,
I'm so sorry you are going through this.
You say you are terrified to eat anything. Something most of us do when we have an attack is go on the Mayo Clinic diet for Diverticulitis. That way you shouldn't have to be afraid to eat. At this time do not eat high fiber foods, till the colon has a chance to heal.
Until you have your surgery use this diet if you have a flare-up.
A diverticulitis diet gives your digestive tract a chance to rest while your doctor treats your diverticulitis. By limiting yourself to clear liquids and slowly adding low-fiber foods to your diet, your digestive tract has time to heal. Diverticulitis diet during an attack
During an attack of diverticulitis, your doctor may recommend diverticulitis treatments. Your doctor may also recommend that you stick to a clear liquid diet for two or three days.
Foods and beverages allowed on a clear liquid diet include: Broth, Clear soda, Fruit juices without pulp, Ice chips, Ice pops without bits of fruit or fruit pulp, Plain gelatin, Plain water, Tea or coffee without cream.
Diverticulitis diet once signs and symptoms begin to resolve
As you start feeling better, your doctor will recommend that you slowly introduce low-fiber foods.
Low-fiber foods include: Canned fruits, Desserts without seeds or nuts, Eggs, Enriched white bread, Fruit juice with little or no pulp, Low-fiber cereals, Milk, Yogurt or cheese without seeds or nuts, Smooth peanut butter, Tender meat, poultry and fish,White rice or plain pasta, noodles or macaroni, Well-cooked vegetables without seeds or skins. You may need this low fiber diet for at least a couple weeks or more before slowly starting back on the fiber foods.
Also it is extremely important to eat tiny meals—about the size of half a sandwich. To much food can also cause a good amount of pain. Good luck, I sure hope this helps.
Rose

North Hampton, NH

#10 May 17, 2012
I had it 3 weeks ago, laparoscopically. I feel about 99% myself and pain-free at this point. My sigmoid turned out to be infected with an abscess when they got in there but I did not have to be converted to an open procedure OR have a colostomy bag. My colon was stuck to my pelvic sidewall and ovary. It was a mess. I credit my excellent surgeon for getting that all out of there with the scope. I got lucky that in spite of an active infection (didn't even know I was infected right before surgery), they were able to hook me back up. The pain while in the hospital is minimal if at all. Pain pumps with morphine in them are a life saver. The first week at home was a little rough. Just sore and tired, but even that felt 10x better with a dose of Vicodin. I would do it again a hundred times!

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#12 May 17, 2012
This is a test.

Topix is not working correctly today.
Mom

Kansas City, MO

#13 May 17, 2012
Hi Mary,

I had the surgery about 3 weeks ago. I was able to have the procedure laparoscopically as well, but I did have to have an ostomy because when they got in there things were a mess and were infectected and adhered. I am back in the hospital and have an incision that is now open and having to heal from the inside out. It hasn't been easy. I'm worried and scared about the incision and it seems like it is taking forever.it seems like my road to recovery is filled with obstacles. But, even with all this, the alternative of living with all the DD problems and complications was at least as bad as this, the pain was more and it seemed like the DD was getting worse. At least this way I am headed toward better even if I am on the slow train and depressed and anxious. I am not sugar coating this. I am not having an easy time here, but if I had to choose to do this over, I still would. Ask me in another month, and I am planning on saying that life is great and being rid of DD is great.
Adriana _ Hek

Los Angeles, CA

#14 May 21, 2012
I want to thank everyone for sharing. My boyfriend is schedule for surgery soon after two bad episodes . We are worried and scarred not knowing if this will help and how long is the recovery. I feel a bit better reading this Thank you! And wishing everyone health!
Gillian

Harrow, UK

#15 May 22, 2012
Adriana, It will help and once he is through the surgery and recovering he will feel so much better.

The chances of it returning are very small and he will be able to eat practically anything he wants without worrying. Just think -he'll be able to take you out for meals again!

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#16 Jul 3, 2012
hi, i have been reading all the post on surgery recovery time. i have had diverticulitis for 4 years now,hospitilized in may 2010 for 4 days, and from there i have had one attack after another. i stayed on cipro and flagyl for almost 2 years with about 4-5 week breaks in between flareups. i have done every diet,avoided all seeds,ect.that they tell you to and i am in another flareup now. my doctor told me yesterday that we had fought this battle long enough and i needed to have the surgery. i have 13 inches of diseased colon on the left side. my whole intestinal system is sore and hurting,i do have an appt with a surgeon thur to see what he will do with me. i am very nervous about this,i guess i am afraid they will find more than i am expecting in there,like adhesions and such. but reading what all of you have been thru has helped me and i should be ok. i can stand the pain of surgery-the diverticulitis is bad!!! good luck to you who have had the surgery and recovering. wish me luck,i will find out soon when i will have the surgery . thanks,i have learned a lot on here. i will post what the doc says,and i will appreciate any comments from any of you..
DianaL

San Francisco, CA

#17 Jul 3, 2012
gbittt, I can honestly say that I have zero regrets about having the surgery. I had been having attacks for years and last summer I was hospitalized. In November they took out 8 inches of colon and spent a whole lotta time cleaning up adhesions and a very large and nasty abscess that was attached to my bladder that the surgeon was surprised to see.

Just a few weeks after the surgery I could tell I was much healthier. This disease can take you down. Without the disease you can regain health quite quickly (if you are good and not overdo it or under do it by not walking and eating well).

It is MAJOR surgery. It will hurt but you are already in so much pain. What helped me was to know that each day I was getting better and better.

Best of health to you!

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#18 Jul 3, 2012
gbitt,

Sorry you're having a flare-up. Here is the Mayo Clinic Diet for diverticulitis that's advised when having DD attacks.

The Mayo Clinic has a diet specially for diverticulitis (Topix won't let me post the URL to that page, so here it is):

Diverticulitis diet
By Mayo Clinic staff
Definition

A diverticulitis diet is something your doctor might recommend as part of a treatment plan for a mild case of acute diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) in your digestive tract become infected and inflamed. Mild cases are usually treated with antibiotics and a diverticulitis diet, which includes clear liquids and low-fiber foods. More-severe cases typically require hospitalization.

Purpose:

A diverticulitis diet can't treat or prevent diverticulitis. Rather, it's intended to give your digestive system a chance to rest. A diverticulitis diet is typically recommended along with antibiotics for mild or uncomplicated cases of diverticulitis.

Diet details:

A diverticulitis diet starts with only clear liquids for a few days. Examples of beverages allowed on a clear liquid diet include:

Broth
Clear soda
Fruit juices without pulp, such as apple or grape juice
Ice chips
Ice pops without bits of fruit or fruit pulp
Plain gelatin
Plain water
Tea or coffee without cream

As you start feeling better, your doctor will recommend that you slowly add low-fiber foods.

Examples of low-fiber foods include:

Canned or cooked fruits without skin or seeds
Canned or cooked vegetables such as green beans, peas and potatoes (without the skin)
Eggs, fish and poultry
Refined wheat and white bread
Fruit juice with little or no pulp
Low-fiber cereals
Milk, low-fat yogurt and cheese
White rice, pasta and noodles

Results:

You should feel better within two or three days of starting the diet and antibiotics. If you haven't started feeling better by then, call your doctor.

You should also contact your doctor if:

You develop a fever
Your abdominal pain is worsening
You're unable to keep clear liquids down
These may indicate a complication that requires hospitalization.

Risks:

The diverticulitis diet has few risks. However, continuing a clear liquid diet for more than a few days can lead to weakness and other complications, since it doesn't provide enough of the nutrients your body needs. For this reason, your doctor will want you to transition back to a normal diet as soon as you can tolerate it. Your doctor may even recommend switching to a high-fiber diet to help prevent diverticulitis from recurring. Just be sure to increase the fiber in your diet slowly and aim for the level recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans — at least 25 grams of fiber a day for women and 38 grams for men.

I hope you recover soon!
gbittt

United States

#19 Jul 6, 2012
thanks dianal, i am having the surgery on the 26th,and i am thinking i have an abcess on my bladder also due to the pain in that area and i have no uti,plus adhesions. i have been in pain for so long,and felt bad for so long ,so its time to give in and do this.i wanted to wait until i had finished the antibiotics i am on now before i had the surgery hoping that i would or could have my intestine sewed back together and not have to wear a colonostomy bag. i gues i will find out after the surgery is over.i am glad you have done well with yours and i am going to take your success as a very good outlook with mine!! a
DianaL wrote:
gbittt, I can honestly say that I have zero regrets about having the surgery. I had been having attacks for years and last summer I was hospitalized. In November they took out 8 inches of colon and spent a whole lotta time cleaning up adhesions and a very large and nasty abscess that was attached to my bladder that the surgeon was surprised to see.
Just a few weeks after the surgery I could tell I was much healthier. This disease can take you down. Without the disease you can regain health quite quickly (if you are good and not overdo it or under do it by not walking and eating well).
It is MAJOR surgery. It will hurt but you are already in so much pain. What helped me was to know that each day I was getting better and better.
Best of health to you!
gbittt

United States

#20 Jul 6, 2012
Deb from Mich wrote:
gbitt,
Sorry you're having a flare-up. Here is the Mayo Clinic Diet for diverticulitis that's advised when having DD attacks.
The Mayo Clinic has a diet specially for diverticulitis (Topix won't let me post the URL to that page, so here it is):
Diverticulitis diet
By Mayo Clinic staff
Definition
A diverticulitis diet is something your doctor might recommend as part of a treatment plan for a mild case of acute diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) in your digestive tract become infected and inflamed. Mild cases are usually treated with antibiotics and a diverticulitis diet, which includes clear liquids and low-fiber foods. More-severe cases typically require hospitalization.
Purpose:
A diverticulitis diet can't treat or prevent diverticulitis. Rather, it's intended to give your digestive system a chance to rest. A diverticulitis diet is typically recommended along with antibiotics for mild or uncomplicated cases of diverticulitis.
Diet details:
A diverticulitis diet starts with only clear liquids for a few days. Examples of beverages allowed on a clear liquid diet include:
Broth
Clear soda
Fruit juices without pulp, such as apple or grape juice
Ice chips
Ice pops without bits of fruit or fruit pulp
Plain gelatin
Plain water
Tea or coffee without cream
As you start feeling better, your doctor will recommend that you slowly add low-fiber foods.
Examples of low-fiber foods include:
Canned or cooked fruits without skin or seeds
Canned or cooked vegetables such as green beans, peas and potatoes (without the skin)
Eggs, fish and poultry
Refined wheat and white bread
Fruit juice with little or no pulp
Low-fiber cereals
Milk, low-fat yogurt and cheese
White rice, pasta and noodles
Results:
You should feel better within two or three days of starting the diet and antibiotics. If you haven't started feeling better by then, call your doctor.
You should also contact your doctor if:
You develop a fever
Your abdominal pain is worsening
You're unable to keep clear liquids down
These may indicate a complication that requires hospitalization.
Risks:
The diverticulitis diet has few risks. However, continuing a clear liquid diet for more than a few days can lead to weakness and other complications, since it doesn't provide enough of the nutrients your body needs. For this reason, your doctor will want you to transition back to a normal diet as soon as you can tolerate it. Your doctor may even recommend switching to a high-fiber diet to help prevent diverticulitis from recurring. Just be sure to increase the fiber in your diet slowly and aim for the level recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans — at least 25 grams of fiber a day for women and 38 grams for men.
I hope you recover soon!
thanks deb, i have copied the diet where you have posted it before and have followed it,it has helped a lot. it makes good sense to rest your intestines with a flareup. i am going to stay on the low residue diet up until the surgery hoping this will help some. i have antibiotics until tue and then i wait until the 26th. your posting the diet for people on here is great. thanks .
DianaL

Hayward, CA

#21 Jul 7, 2012
Just another thing gbittt, you want to be in the very best shape before surgery you can be in. Treat yourself very well, don't overdo anything. If you can't exercise at least get good, long walks in. If anyone gives ya guff, tell them you need to be in the very best shape before surgery. It's funny, I don't think many people -certainly not younger people - can comprehend how debilitating this disease can be.

I also asked all my friends to put up a good word, positive healing vibes and prayers for me. I am pragmatic yet it helped knowing there were lots of people cheering me one.

We here will be cheering you on! Stay in touch and best of health to you!
janae

Wilmington, NC

#22 Jul 18, 2012
Hi gbritt,
My surgery is scheduled on July 25th. Hopefully we will both feel better after all this is over. Don't know yet if mine will be lap or open . The Dr said he would attempt lap but was not sure due to previous abdominal surgery scar from hysterectomy. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you the best.

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