Advice for After Colon Resection?

United States

#705 May 3, 2011
Hi I had a sigmoid colon resection surgery and a small hernia repair all at once. I was 6 days in hospital and went home. Felt good except for the normal pain from surgery. Stayed on a sort of bland diet for a couple of weeks. I am able to eat just about anything I like. No popcorn yet but looking forward to that day. My problem is I developed and under 2 to the staples I had a pocket and an infection. They cleaned it out in the office and I have a nurse come each day and clean the wound and pack it with a dressing every day. That was not doing the trick and now am on a VAC therapy system. Hoping to get this over with soon. It has been lots of antibiotics and I developed thrush and had to do a nystatin rinse and I still have a little of that problem too. I am hoping to get this vac therapy done in a couple of weeks or less. Hang in there I feel really good otherwise. Have not experienced what others have and an thankful for that. Just the infection and the wound care is no fun... Faye

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#706 May 4, 2011
Faye -I had the vac-therapy for 3 months to heal the whole of mine after it was re-opened to clean out the infection. They do work very quickly. I too had none of the problems that others talk about and my bowels worked perfectly from the day I had my op -just the wound healing took so long. Hang in there -it will soon be over. One thing to mention -the scar left by the vac is not a nice white line. I know it is early days for me (7 months) but the scarring is very unsightly and looks more like the scarring from a scald more than anything.

Orlando, FL

#707 May 6, 2011
Well I have not been on since August of last year. Turned out I did have a hernia, had to have surgery.. still not doing well. I had to change jobs due to the fact that teaching young children was too stressfull and physically draining. I have gaine so much weight and I am always bloated no matter what I eat. I have developed pain around where the hernia was and now in my colon again... Today I was in severe pain and have to wear baggy clothes, nothing tight on my stomach as the pain will be too great. I am without insurance at this time because of changing jobs and my surgeon turned me over to a collection agency for 4000.00 which I am paying 100.00 a montho on. My insurance at the time only paid half of the surgery and hospital bill.. SIGH! so, if I need another surgery (god I hope not) I would not be able to pay, nor would I be paid for time off. but I am grateful that I am alive to spend a few more 'Mother's Days' with my kids.. I do not want to complain, just updating. Has anyone else experienced the hernia and pain after the surgery? 6 months after. Happy Mother's Day to the moms.

Lower Plenty, Australia

#708 May 6, 2011
Debby, I do not have private health insurance, and my operation was done in a public hospital. I paid nothing, but I guess my yearly tax and the fact that I am a pensioner has something to do with that. I suppose if I had to have a specialist it would have been different. As it was, the surgeon at the local was brilliant.

Redmond, WA

#709 May 7, 2011
I guess my post was either to long (Not by what the site told me ) or I've been censored. To bad I want others to know what I've experienced. But have learned a lot here. That my Surgeon, and Family Doctor could not help me with.

What I have too say doesn't mean anything here, even if it's true. TOO BAD !! Sometimes the truth sucks !! Thanks for kicking my behind out of here.:(.

I will leave this page open to me for a couple of days, in order to get a response from directly from an administrator. Nothing I've said is untrue, if you think so please tell me, but don't ignore me.

Thank you ..

Bristol, UK

#710 May 7, 2011
TTMcCall -Sorry that I don't know what you are referring to. Try posting again, but break your post down into smaller separate ones if it is long.-It does sometimes refuse to send/post longer contributions. I'm sure that what you have to say is just as important as anybody else's. Good luck -hope you do try again.

PS. copy your post before you click to send it -then you can always just paste it to try again rather than writing it all again.

It's happened to me once or twice - soooooo frustrating!


#711 May 8, 2011
Hi all, I had my sigmoid color removed over 10 years ago and have never been the same since. To this day even if I just eat yogurt, I have uncontrollable gas & bloating. I have been to numerous gastro-enterologist and they all say there is nothing I can do about it. I either have diahhrea or constipation and rarely anything in between. I feel sick a lot because what goes in does not always come out in a timely manner. Very depressing. Haven't had a normal life since and also have problems with the scar tissue twisting. It doubles me over with pain...also nothing anyone can do. It's horrible.

Lower Plenty, Australia

#712 May 8, 2011
TTMcCall, sometimes the system backfired on me too, however, I believe I may not have put the numbers in correctly, or pressed "submit" before I did.

Lindakaa. Feel for you. You obviously had a lot of intestinal scarring. I guess you have read all the forum entries. Maybe you can get some more help from those who have written.

Hampton, NH

#713 May 10, 2011
This is for the veterans out there- I am almost 12 weeks put from my resection and still have tenderness above my navel where the colon was joined. It isn't bad, but if I accidentally bump anything off of it or lean on my middle it is sensitive. Any thoughts on that and when it might get better? I still have the ponchy stomach but that is fine, the pants still fit!

Vic- my lap was a hand-assist, so my scar is long enough for a hand to fit through! I don't like to picture it!

Lindakaa- things sound difficult for you. I am assuming you have tried it all, have you tried probiotics or different diets like gluten free? I have regular diarrhea but I know stress is the biggest culprit for me.

Redmond, WA

#714 May 10, 2011
Gillian wrote:
TTMcCall -Sorry that I don't know what you are referring to. Try posting again, but break your post down into smaller separate ones if it is long.-It does sometimes refuse to send/post longer contributions. I'm sure that what you have to say is just as important as anybody else's. Good luck -hope you do try again.
PS. copy your post before you click to send it -then you can always just paste it to try again rather than writing it all again.
It's happened to me once or twice - soooooo frustrating!
Thank's Gillian, sorry for the outburst. Just frustrated with my predicament. None of the pre or post operative outcomes have happened. This is the only place that I've gotten good information. I felt a little crazy before finding this forum. Just glad that I'm not alone. Now I know that I'm the exception, but not the rule.
Barry 1944

Newquay, UK

#715 May 11, 2011
Chris wrote:
I was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in my colon and had a colon resection about a year ago. At the time I was 36 years old. I had problems before the surgery having a decent bowel movement, it was always small pieces and I never felt like I expelled everything. The surgery went as well as can be expected I guess, however I Still do not have decent bowel movements. I'm past due for another colonoscopy. Guess I'll find out soon if another tumor/polyp is still blocking my colon. The doctor/surgeons didn't seem to be much help answering my questions about whether things are normal...maybe things are different for everyone. But as for myself, I have way worse heartburn and worse problems trying to deficate. This is embarrassing to talk about, but maybe it will help someone, or they can help me! Thanks.
similar to Chris, I am post op now 6 weeks after a radical colon resection thru laproscopy. Complications = my bowels refused to work for 2 weeks after the op and I lost nearly 30 lbs, thank God Im now eating and taking Fresubin 2kcal supplementary drinks.
For 4 weeks I got stomach cramps thru excessive wind, this has now subsided and my motions are gradually getting back to a normal routine.
My doc put me on tablets to reduce the amount of gas and therefore cramps, these were successful and gradually the amount of gas has reduced.
Chris is right in that it seems to affect people differently, I have been told by both my surgeon (who I must say has been spectacularly brilliant all the way though) and 1 of my docs that diet and eating frequency is trial and error, certainly for me their help and advice has been crucial as I'm now feeling well, starting to gain weight and the great news is histology and the last CT scan my surgeon tells me I'm cancer free so no Chemotherapy.
The only help I can offer is take notice of your body, diarise what you eat and if you get a contra indication with bowel movement or cramps, try cutting out individual food 1 by 1 until the bad symptoms reduce. Then you can reintroduce a food item again 1 at a time till you find out the food yr tummy / bowels like or does'nt like.
I have found that the Fresubin 2 kcal drinks seems to stabilise my tummy / bowels or maybe its just my getting better, but I would suggest that as diet is such a critical element after a colon resection, ask your doc to prescribe if he / she recommends Fresubin drinks as a supplement ( your docs may be reluctant as they are damn expensive) but worth a try as they seem to have made my bowels settle to where I have at least regular motions with no adverse affects.
To all
Be positive, don't be afraid to analyse your diet to cut out what b affects you and keep asking your doc for assistance with diet and supplements if necessary. Your doc may refer you to a nutricianist who could help.
Good luck to all

Redmond, WA

#716 May 11, 2011
The post that never showed up was from the heart, but accurate. It's been to long now since I posted it, to recall, or reprint it. My story is too long anyway to repost it.
The latest is thing was a prescription for Colestipol. Took it for a week trying to control my multiple BM's. But got almost all of the side effect's described for this medication. Cramps, Constipation, Bloating, and Blood. All of which was said to be rare effect's. Guess I'm rare, as I wish that I had the outcomes of others here.
The blood part freaked, my freak. So I called it in, as my Doc had asked. But the blood part happened on Friday, continued on through Saturday. Because I couldn't get my Doc . I stopped taking it. Today I'm back to feeling better, no blood, but still some cramps. All are subsiding now, so it was the new medication.
Dave T

Romeoville, IL

#717 May 19, 2011
Just found this forum. I had 2' of my colon removed in Oct '08 for diverticulitis at the age of 39. I have never been the same since. To make a long story short I need to take a cap of Marilax in the morning in my coffee as well as one at night with Physillium Husk or I can't have a BM at all.

I have no energy and fell into a depression and gained a lot of weight. My doctor put me on anti-depressants and I instantly lost 10 lbs. I went off of them and instantly gained it back.

So right now I'm trying to figure out what's going on with my metabolism.

Please try changing your diet first. Go for a year before doing what I did to myself.

Lower Plenty, Australia

#718 May 19, 2011
I put down my lack of energy to the advancement of years! However, that is really no excuse because I know I should be exercising more. Dave T, you are right. Diverticulitis seems to come after too many years of bad diets. All ye out there....! White bread was not a good thing, shortcrust pastry was not a good thing, roasting potatoes and other vegetables is not a good thing, refined flours turned into the most delectable cakes etc. is not good. But wait on! Start putting fibre back into all these things, do not fry vegies, cut the fat off meats, use wholemeal flour and then some, you will also feel fuller after eating much less! And so you can say no to stomach problems!

Bristol, UK

#719 May 20, 2011
I do think that after the surgery you have to make an effort to change the lifestyle which landed you with this disease or you won't feel the benefit of it. Whether it is changing what or how much you eat, exercising more,learning relaxation techniques, avoiding stress (I have taken a massive drop in income and am not going back to the pre-op stressful job).

I know that some people on here are suffering side effects from the surgery -(I am going back in for another major surgery to 'reconstruct' my abdomen after a nasty post-operative infection) but most of these things sort themselves out eventually.

Eight months after the op, I, for one, am still so glad to wake up every morning to another bowel- pain-free day and be able to eat and drink without pain. Yes, I do now suffer from 'urgency' and have 3-4 BMs a day ( I always have to go in the middle of the night as well)- and have learned to stay away from certain foods that cause lots of wind or diahorrea. BUT to me, those are minor inconveniences in comparison to how my life was before the op.

Redmond, WA

#720 May 20, 2011
My expectations were higher than the outcome, I've had. The prognosis's were wrong, the hospital stay was became a month or more. I don't blame the Dr. it's just that I appear to be different than others. Wish it wasn't so though. I am getting better just a lot slower than most here.

But I'm glad to have others to give input, so I don't feel so all alone.

Bristol, UK

#721 May 20, 2011
TTMcCall -I too was in 6 weeks after the op. Was told it would be a week to 10 days. I do know that there is a lot that I was not told about before I had the op. But on the whole, I am quite satisfied with how my bowels work now. I don't know about you, but the year before my op was the worst in my life - perforation, nearly died from peritonitis, 4 different hospital admissions, bleeding at each BM, severely blocked colon from a stricture, and then to top it off, I ended up with a fistula to the bladder/vagina which gave me continual chronic bladder infections, stinking urine, high temperatures -to say nothing of the pain (especially the pain of passing wind through the urethra and vagina. All in all a very, very poor quality of life. I went from an active, healthy middle-aged woman to a feeble invalid in severe pain all the time in the space of a year.

I am now getting back to the pre-diver days. It's slow going with the effects of the post-op infection but I will get there. And my bowels DO now work and I have no pain whatsoever with them. I was just unfortunate with the wound infection and I have never once regretted having the op.

What diet things have you done to address your BM problems

Bristol, UK

#722 May 20, 2011
Dave, are you eating plenty of fibre in your everyday diet. I too get very constipated now if I slack up on the high-fibre foods so make sure that I eat lots of them. I take fibre supplements only if I am not able to eat my normal diet for any reason. I find that the supplements don't seem to work as well as proper food. And food has a variety of different kinds of fibre, whereas the supplements only have one. Also, the high-fibre foods are usually those foods which are high in vitamins and minerals.

And you need to make sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids or the extra fibre will only constipate you further,

The down side is that you have to go to the bathroom more often -but that is a small price to pay for a healthy gut - and you have to go for a pee more than once a day anyway!

Bristol, UK

#723 May 20, 2011
Vito -it can take up to a year for the incisions to heal completely. You may get stabbing pains, aches, itches, and twinges as the nerves heal back together. It is all perfectly normal for it to be sensitive for months after the op.

Mcnary, AZ

#724 May 22, 2011
deborah wrote:
i have to say...i am going to see my surgeon monday....we will be scheduling a surgery date for lap surgery....after reading all these posts it seems there are more health issues after the surgery...i am it worth it to have the surgeryat all with the post problems least with diver its not all the time....just about everyone has nasty complications and more attacks....i thought the surgery was a good thing.....i dont' know what to think anymore and this surgery now has me more concerned then the diver itself...anyone else getting ready to schedule surgery feeling the same way......
No not everyone has these type problems after their surgery. I am a female 70 years old. had 18 in of colon removed along with a hernia repair. left the hospital after 6 days. about 3 weeks after my surgery i had a small pocket of infection under 2 of the staples which they opened up.^This small wound had been more troublesome than the surgery. I can not seems to get this wound as small as it is to go away. has anyone else had this problem... i have a nurse come daily to clean.pack and put a clean dressin on. i had no other problems after the surgery than this and i can ear anything i like and have normal bm each day. I do take one colace stool softener each day. get well everybody..

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