Regrets on having Diverticulitis surg...
Don

Seguin, TX

#82 Jul 25, 2012
Woody wrote:
Good Luck Don, I agree with you all the way. I don't want anymore attacks either, and hope to plan Surgery soon at my follow-up next week. However, I do know that even with Surgery it won't prevent future Diverticulitis, but it won't happen in the same piece of colon :-)
At least I am better informed about this condition and need to be more aware of my diet.
Thanks Woody and all who responded. Tomorrow is my surgery. I was hoping to have the colon resection laproscopically (since the results have been overwhelmingly successful on this site) but my surgeons have advise a hemicolectomy (full incision down to belly button) due to the frequency of my attacks. A little more evasive than the lap but I've asked a few of my medical friends and they agree. I will let everyone know how it goes; will be in hospital 5 - 7 days so it will be a while.

There was a couple of things I wanted to pass on regarding my last diverticulitis attack:

- Ensure Clear nutritional drink help a lot when on clear liquid diet. I had little strength after last attack and didnt eat for 6 days. This stuff helped tremendously.

- Ginger helped my nausea while taking the Flagyl and other antibiotics. I went with Ginger Snaps, warmed in microwave for a few seconds.

- Chewing gum helped the metal mouth side effect of Flagyl.

Again thanks for this site and responses; take care and good luck to all. Don

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#83 Jul 25, 2012
Best of luck tomorrow, Don!

I have a full incision, too. It's not so bad. Especially since I expect you'll be skipping the colostomy bag. But careful with lifting things after the surgery. Go easy! You'll be sore for a while. I'm headed for another open surgery in December to get rid of my colostomy, too.

Post when you're cogent again! We'll keep a lookout for your next update!

((Hugs))
bob shamrock12

Mission Viejo, CA

#84 Sep 19, 2012
I had surgery on the 10th of September - home on the 14th of September - very early - they said i healed up quickly and no complications. Meds have been great - i had a spinal block where they injected pain meds into the spine directly - i had NO pain till they removed the spinal on thursday. The Narco's seem to work well. So here i am now 9 days out and able to eat whatever i want - they do suggest high fiber - but said if i wanted to eat it - go ahead. I am hoping that this ends the 11 + year odysey of having diver attacks. I am sure i had them at least 30 years ago - undiagnosed then. This can be a very nasty disease.

Since: Jul 12

Laguna Hills, CA

#85 Sep 19, 2012
bob shamrock12 wrote:
I had surgery on the 10th of September - home on the 14th of September - very early - they said i healed up quickly and no complications. Meds have been great - i had a spinal block where they injected pain meds into the spine directly - i had NO pain till they removed the spinal on thursday. The Narco's seem to work well. So here i am now 9 days out and able to eat whatever i want - they do suggest high fiber - but said if i wanted to eat it - go ahead. I am hoping that this ends the 11 + year odysey of having diver attacks. I am sure i had them at least 30 years ago - undiagnosed then. This can be a very nasty disease.
Happy to hear your surgery went without a hitch and that you are home and doing well!

Now onward and forward to a diverticulitis free life.
angela

Salem, OR

#86 Oct 15, 2012
I am newly diagnosed with both diverticulitis and diverticulosis after both ct and colonoscopy I am now experiencing a second flair. My gi doc seemed very nonchalant about my diagosis and really vague about treatment , essentially what not to eat, take all your antibiotics. Now in my second flair but really not ever feeling well after the first inital attack. Weak, nausea, bloating, diarrhea constipation, for over 5 months. And now the pain again, I feel like I have gotten more honest information from here then the specialist gave me . Thank you so mich for sharing. Im going back to my pcp armed with more knowledge and going to be referred to a colo-rectal specialist for some options.
REK

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#87 Oct 18, 2012
Newbie here.
I am a 67 y.o. male.
After 5 attacks over the past 2.5 years I've decided to go with surgery. Scheduled for early December and hopefully lapro. I previously had open surgery and can honestly say I am more concerned about the after effects from this surgery. From most of the posts it seems like the recovery is a long and difficult one and permanently life altering. Are there any post surgery members in my age group that can give me some encouragement? I need it.
REK

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#88 Oct 18, 2012
In my last post I intended to say open HEART surgery.
DonH

Converse, TX

#89 Oct 18, 2012
Hello Everyone,
I'm a 50 y.o. Air Force veteran. My problems with diver start with first attack in Nov 2011; followed by second and third attacks in Feb 2012 and May 2012 respectively. Two of %he 3 attacks resulted in hospitalization and each was progressively worse. Each attack was followed by Antibiotics and Antifungal meds.
After my third attack my Surgeon and I agreed 100 percent that surgical intervention was the best option. The attacks were too frequent and he did not want to risk perforation; which complicates "Everything".
My surgery was the 25 July 2012; I sweated bullets between May and July praying not to have an attack. The surgery is much easier when there is no flare/infection. Luckily I made it. I had no doubts about the surgery; a little nervous but the diver attacks were really bad and the medication almost as bad.
I had the full incision (hemicolectomy) on 25 July with 1 1/2 feet of colon removed. I spent the entire week as an inpatient with the first four days having the epidural from the surgery on board with a Narcotic pump also. I used way more narcotics after the epi was removed. The epidural really helped. I couldn't leave until I passed gas "from bottom" as surgeons phrased it and that took a while for me. Once that happened had to keep food down.
Not going to play it down; its a major surgery and it was a long recovery. I took the entire 8 weeks as short term disability. I limited narcotics once I was home and stuck to Ibuprofen. I slept on the sofa to stay propped up and drifted in and out during the night while watch USA dominate the Olympics. I started walking immediately with my wife and kids to make sure I didn't topple over and staple removed two weeks post op.
I'm feeling almost normal, bowl movements aren't quite back to normal, but everything functioning. I still walk for 2 miles 5 days a week, so my weight has stayed down.
All in all, although I'm only a few months out I feel that the surgery was a success. The surgeons said that they got all of the affected area plus more and inspected the remaining colon which was disease free. And no colostomy bag! To be honest the surgery was less worse than the last diverticulitis attack. I do not regret my decision and would do it again.
I wish all of you well and if you have any questions of me feel free to post. From my previous post Ensure Clear was a life saver.
DonH
Hospitalized

Honolulu, HI

#90 Oct 18, 2012
Hello, I am a 32 you female who just recently had the same surgery that you speak of due to the many diverticulitis bouts that I had since 2006. My most recent one I went in to the ER on 29 Aug mind you I had a scheduled appt with general surgery on the 30th (the next day)to discuss options of having the procedure done electively, but was admitted before I could. I must say that when I went in my pain was way past a 10 but had calmed down with the IV pain meds that were given, but low and behold the following night I woke in sever pain. Long story short, that section of my colon had now ruptured. Thank God I was already in the hospital, and was soon rushed to the operating room. I was told by the docs that I was in a very serious condition and was a very sick patient when I came to them and was very luck to have made it. All I can remember was being back and forth in the ICU with the sound of the monitor alarms ringing in my ears. I spent a little over two weeks in the hospital and I am now about a month in my recovery. My advice is to get every opionion you can, but if all test have been done and you have adhered to the diet that has been given to you and you still continue to have the flare ups, you may want to seriously consider the surgery. My worst fear was the colostomy bag when I was first presented with the surgery back in 2006, my goodness I was only 26 at the time!! So that is why I kept putting it off, but I tell you it was the most scariest thing to have been rushed in the OR in that condition. With that being said. I ran from the surgery but it eventually ended up catching me in the end!
myfathersdaughter wrote:
Hello, I am new to this board. I have just had my third attack of diverticulitis in 4 years. I was in the hospital for 3 days on iv antibiotics and am now home feeling much better ( 90% pain free) and on a low residue diet.
All my doctors except my brother who is an Internist tell me to have the colon resection surgery before I have another attack and it is much more dangerous.
My brother believes that complications ( perforation, damage to surrounding organs, etc.) can occur with the surgery.
My question is this:
Has anyone regretted having the surgery and why?
Thank you!
Hospitalized

Honolulu, HI

#91 Oct 18, 2012
I would follow what DonH says about steering away from the narcotics post surg. It will only slow down your intestines and cause your progress major delay. Well that was my case anyhow! My bowels are still not 100%, I believe due to the heavy at home narcotic use, so Im a little bummed out about that. I also still have plenty of diverticuli so I am praying that I can began to have frequest bowel movements so those wont become flared!
Good Luck and my prayers are with each of you who have or are dealing with this disease.

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#92 Oct 18, 2012
Hospitalized,
Sorry you went through all that. Did you end up with a colostomy or not?
REK

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#93 Oct 19, 2012
Don,
Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad you are doing well. It helps to hear a positive story.
In my case those awful antibiotics relieved the attacks but the flairs are coming more frequently, are more severe and lasting longer but I was never hospitalized. I've had 3 doctors concur on the surgery..... of course they're not having the operation.
My surgeon is confident that he can do the procedure laparoscopically.
It's not the surgery but the possibility of a "bag" and a long and difficult recovery that worries me most.
Well at least I have 6+ weeks to get myself ready......not sure if that's good or bad though. I fully understand your "sweating bullets" comments.
Rob
DonH wrote:
Hello Everyone,
I'm a 50 y.o. Air Force veteran. My problems with diver start with first attack in Nov 2011; followed by second and third attacks in Feb 2012 and May 2012 respectively. Two of %he 3 attacks resulted in hospitalization and each was progressively worse. Each attack was followed by Antibiotics and Antifungal meds.
After my third attack my Surgeon and I agreed 100 percent that surgical intervention was the best option. The attacks were too frequent and he did not want to risk perforation; which complicates "Everything".
My surgery was the 25 July 2012; I sweated bullets between May and July praying not to have an attack. The surgery is much easier when there is no flare/infection. Luckily I made it. I had no doubts about the surgery; a little nervous but the diver attacks were really bad and the medication almost as bad.
I had the full incision (hemicolectomy) on 25 July with 1 1/2 feet of colon removed. I spent the entire week as an inpatient with the first four days having the epidural from the surgery on board with a Narcotic pump also. I used way more narcotics after the epi was removed. The epidural really helped. I couldn't leave until I passed gas "from bottom" as surgeons phrased it and that took a while for me. Once that happened had to keep food down.
Not going to play it down; its a major surgery and it was a long recovery. I took the entire 8 weeks as short term disability. I limited narcotics once I was home and stuck to Ibuprofen. I slept on the sofa to stay propped up and drifted in and out during the night while watch USA dominate the Olympics. I started walking immediately with my wife and kids to make sure I didn't topple over and staple removed two weeks post op.
I'm feeling almost normal, bowl movements aren't quite back to normal, but everything functioning. I still walk for 2 miles 5 days a week, so my weight has stayed down.
All in all, although I'm only a few months out I feel that the surgery was a success. The surgeons said that they got all of the affected area plus more and inspected the remaining colon which was disease free. And no colostomy bag! To be honest the surgery was less worse than the last diverticulitis attack. I do not regret my decision and would do it again.
I wish all of you well and if you have any questions of me feel free to post. From my previous post Ensure Clear was a life saver.
DonH
Mike

Minneapolis, MN

#94 Oct 20, 2012
Hi
I am a 48 year old who had hand-assisted laproscopic surgery for recurrent diverticulitis on October 1st. I had my first bout of diverticulitis about 8 years ago. Initially I only had one episode each year - these were mild and went away with antibiotics. Although the first few times I had to take flagyl/cipro I did fine later on i developed many of the side effects that others have described here - the worst being constant nausea. I was able to swith to amoxocillin which worked well for several years. About two years ago the bouts of diverticultis starting happening more frequently and about a third of the time the first course of antibiotics did not work so I would have to switch to a second antibiotic. Finally after two years of diverticulitis every four months I decided to have the surgery. This was a hard decision as unlike many here my bouts were always quite mild (no hospitalization needed).

I had the surgery two and half weeks ago. I thought I would be in pain after the surgery but the epidural worked great - the only pain I had was from the air they pump into for the surgery accumulating around my shoulders. The surgeon removed my sigmoid and descending colon. The only complication from the surgery was that my remaining bowel swelled up enormously so instead of leaving after 4 days I ended up in the hospital for eight days. While there were a few tough days by and large my recovery has gone well. I went back to work after two and half weeks. I still get tired more easily and my bowel is not 100% back to normal but I feel pretty good - every day gets a little better. My surgeon seems pretty happy with my progress and thinks that I should be completely recovered in another 4 weeks. If things continue as they are going now it will definitely have been worth it.
Kevin

Ardsley, NY

#95 Oct 20, 2012
Hello All,

I just wanted to share my diverticulitis experience with all of you, so I can help some of you. On 8/25/2012 while at a friends house I had a sudden tearing sensation under my belly button. The pain was present throughout the night and on the next day it became unbearable! I was soaked in sweat, had a fever if 104.1 and could not even stand up. Rushed to hospital, CT revealed diverticulitis with no perforation or abscess. I spent 2 days at that hospitsl and was sent home on Flagyl and Cipro. 4 days later, have fever of 102.3 on above drugs! Drove to different hospital another CT which revealed a perforation now. I spent 2 days at that hospital and was told to continue to take Flagyl and Cipro. After about a month, I started feeling okay until I stated urinating air.... Freaky! I told my GI doc this and she ordered an immediate MRI which revealed a fistula between my colon and bladder! I was admitted to hospital and had my sigmoid colon removed laproscopically and my bladder fixed. I spent 4 days in the hospital after surgery and I was sent home, no bag or catheter. I am now 1 week post surgery and feel great! I highly recommend surgery if you are having problems with diverticulitis. I only had that one attack, but I would not want to live in fear that another attack is around the corner.

Hope this helps!

Kevin

Since: Jul 12

Laguna Hills, CA

#96 Oct 21, 2012
Kevin, Rob and Mike,

Just finished reading your posts. I am happy to hear that all your surgeries went well and that your recoveries are not only going smoothly but in much less time than most. I wonder if men recover more quickly than women? From all the posts I have read including yours, it sure seems like it.

I am envious but as I wrote, extremely happy for all of you. This is an operation that is not only a major one but the recovery can limit our day to day lives for weeks and in some cases years.

Good health to all of you!

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#97 Oct 21, 2012
Lovedusty,

Your comment and observation is VERY interesting and astute! How are you?

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#98 Oct 21, 2012
P.S. I would edit to change"is" to "are" but on this damn site, I can't!

Since: Jul 12

Laguna Hills, CA

#99 Oct 21, 2012
applecake wrote:
P.S. I would edit to change"is" to "are" but on this damn site, I can't!
Hi Applecake!

I am improving day by day. I must admit though that it is going slowly and that it has been challenging not only on a physical level but also on an emotional one. I find that i am a changed person. I am now extremely sensitive and cry on a daily basis. Anything can set me off, from the memory of loved ones that are gone to feeling badly that my daughter and husband still have to help take care of me. Maybe I am a little depressed?

Granted I am only a few days and 3 weeks post-op but my energy and stamina are low. I was walking more 1 week post -op than I am now. I just don't have the energy. This afternoon was the first day other than my 1 week follow up to my surgeon's office that I have been outside my home. My husband drove me to the harbor/ocean and we walked a bit and looked at the water. It was wonderful to see and feel the ocean, the birds, the sea life and people!

My friends and family have been wonderful, calling, writing and sending gifts and I am improving so I am very appreciative and grateful for all that I have. It is just my very low energy level that has me concerned. I am usually a high energy person and this is something I am not used to.

As far as my plumbing goes, it is working well. I have been fortunate that I have a maximum of 3 bowel movements a day. Granted they usually happen within 5-10 minutes of each other and they are unpredictable but I am having them. I am taking a fiber supplement that my surgeon recommended. Something I said that I would never take but I am afraid of having a bowel obstruction so I am following my doctor's order. Gas is minimal and all my openings are closing well except the large one around my bellybutton is still not completely healed. Hopefully in another week or two. I am being conservative and still following a low residue diet. I would love to eat beans and salads but will wait to do so. Just to be on the safe side.

I hope you are doing well as well as everyone on this board. I feel like we all are friends even though we have never met. In some ways I have been more intimate with everyone here than with my family and friends. Thank goodness this forum exists. Everyone her has helped me, given me hope and encouragement and for that I am truly grateful!

Thank you everyone and good health!
katymars

Colorado Springs, CO

#100 Oct 21, 2012
hello everyone, I am scheduled to undergo surgery both for diverticulitis and gall bladder on Oct 30th. Reading your comments has really helped me feel better, I have been pretty scared about the surgery especially the fear of having an infection post op. I'm glad to hear how many of you liked the epidural, can you get up and walk with that? I think the waiting for the surgery is the worst, I wish I could just get it over with!
kate

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#101 Oct 22, 2012
Hi Kate,

I totally understand. I have a second surgery coming up in December.

Lovedusty,

I had such a difficult time after surgery that I am hard pressed to believe that the actual surgery was unrelated to my down-mood in a physiological sense. It was a kind of unrelenting anxiety the likes of which I have never experienced. Even if I wasn't consciously thinking about something difficult; even if I wasn't feeling sorry for myself, it wouldn't let up. It was as if my body's stress mechanism was working on its own and in overdrive. Your attitude toward this has never been 'woe is me'. You have had a positive and take-charge approach to all of this, so I really don't think the problem has to do with your thought process. Sometimes depression can be related to a person's thoughts and constant dwelling on negativity. I absolutely do not think this is the case with you. I think it's a physiological side effect of the surgery. I don't think the medical profession has a complete understanding of how the gut and brain work together, but they are beginning to see that there are connections; they're just not there yet.

I've said this so many times before, but after my surgery I had to go on antidepressants.(Celexa) And prior to surgery - as a result of the infection combined with life events - I was experiencing a great deal of stress. I believe all of these things were connected and the actual surgery left my gut without some amount of serotonin that was being produced by my bowel. That's my suspicion anyway. And I think it takes a while for the body to adjust and everybody reacts differently.

Anyway, I think it's important for people to know that depression can be a side-effect of the surgery...so you don't contribute to the issue by doubly feeling bad for feeling bad. Know what I mean? I think it's a temporary physiological consequence and I think you should talk to your doc about it.

Sending you love and get-well-soon thoughts.

xxoo

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