Advice for After Colon Resection?
Joy

Brampton, Canada

#82 Aug 25, 2009
Stacy wrote:
I'm so glad to have found this site. I know it is all unfortunate, but I'm glad not to be alone in my symptoms. I had a laparoscopic bowel resection, 5" removed (so little compared to most of you!) on Aug. 14, 2009. I'm 34 yo and I've never had a surgery, so all of this is new to me. I was told I could resume my normal diet, but I don't feel hungry most of the time; in fact, I feel quite full even if I haven't eaten anything. My stomach is uncomfortable and I feel really gassy, but am unable to pass it. Also, I constantly feel the urge to "go", but nothing but extremely small, soft pieces of stool, mostly one or two pieces comes out. Very frustrating, especially since most of it happens during the night. I get up every 2 to 3 hours feeling like I really have to go just to have nothing expel. Is this normal? A few days after I was released to go home, the vicodin was making me constipated, and my doc said to take Milk of Magnesia, and that helped me go, but it was too much going and caused burning!! I now pass blood with those small pieces and I'm wondering if it's from the burning (maybe hemorrhoids)? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!
Hi Stacey, I started this string about a month after my surgery last December and can tell you that your symtoms sound very familiar. I was having many small loose bms, felt nauseous a lot of time with tons of gas. I found that I had become lactose intolerant and could tolerate very little fibre. Over about 3 months things gradually got better and I was able to increse my fiber intake and now, after 9 months, I can tolerate dairy again and am up to a full 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day! I feel great now. Thye don't explain to you that this knocks your digestive system for six and everything stops working properly for quite some time... at least that was my experience! I ate a very bland diet for quite a while and, on the bad nights, I would take a couple of gravol and a Gas-X before going to bed to help! Once you get off the pain killers I doubt that you will have a constipation problem at all, I have not needed any laxatives at all since my surgery. These days I just eat a very healthy diet, lots of raw fruits and vegetables (all organic), some white chicken, feta cheese, a little fish, a little dairy (but no too much) and lots of liquids, water, fresh squeezed juice, decaf tea etc. Be patient, things will get better over time :-) Joy
Joy

Brampton, Canada

#83 Aug 25, 2009
Hi Stacey, I forgot to mention that it is best to eat very small meals frequently. I also felt full almost as soon as I started eating... it is gas! In my case it improved when I stopped eating cheese and changed to lactose free milk.... funny thing is I was never lactose intolerant before in my life, go figure? Joy
Stacy

United States

#84 Aug 26, 2009
Joy wrote:
Hi Stacey, I forgot to mention that it is best to eat very small meals frequently. I also felt full almost as soon as I started eating... it is gas! In my case it improved when I stopped eating cheese and changed to lactose free milk.... funny thing is I was never lactose intolerant before in my life, go figure? Joy
Thanks for the response, Joy. I haven't eaten cheese or drank any milk, which is normal for me, so I can't attribute it to that. I'm sure it is something else I am eating, but can't quite figure it out. I can't help but eat very small meals since I feel full as soon as I start to eat something, and nothing sounds in the least bit appetizing anyway! I know I'm too soon out of recovery to feel any kind of normality, I'm just impatient to get back to an ounce of normalcy!
Chuck N

Oscoda, MI

#85 Aug 26, 2009
Stacy wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the response, Joy. I haven't eaten cheese or drank any milk, which is normal for me, so I can't attribute it to that. I'm sure it is something else I am eating, but can't quite figure it out. I can't help but eat very small meals since I feel full as soon as I start to eat something, and nothing sounds in the least bit appetizing anyway! I know I'm too soon out of recovery to feel any kind of normality, I'm just impatient to get back to an ounce of normalcy!
You are going to be fine.Takes time for your body to adjust to the missing colon.Be patient,be glad you had the surgery while you are young.You will return to normal.Give it 6 weeks.Good luck.
Chuck N

Oscoda, MI

#86 Aug 26, 2009
Oh yes, Some blood is normal.I too was worried when this occurred.But it did stop eventually.
Stacy

United States

#87 Aug 27, 2009
Thanks, yes, I have to be patient to recover after this!!! I am pleased that the bleeding seems to have gone away, but I still can't expel properly. I haven't been on pain meds since the second day out of the hospital because of the constipation. It's so weird - the stools that are able to come out are soft (and extemely small!), so it's not like I need a stool softener - and I have a lot of pressure down there as if I really have something I need to get out, but nothing usually, and sometimes the little pieces of soft stool. The worst thing is the pressure - my stomach feels fine after eating the small meals all day and I don't feel gassy or bloated anymore - I just can't perform a satisfying bowel movement!
Joy

Fremont, CA

#88 Aug 27, 2009
Stacy wrote:
Thanks, yes, I have to be patient to recover after this!!! I am pleased that the bleeding seems to have gone away, but I still can't expel properly. I haven't been on pain meds since the second day out of the hospital because of the constipation. It's so weird - the stools that are able to come out are soft (and extemely small!), so it's not like I need a stool softener - and I have a lot of pressure down there as if I really have something I need to get out, but nothing usually, and sometimes the little pieces of soft stool. The worst thing is the pressure - my stomach feels fine after eating the small meals all day and I don't feel gassy or bloated anymore - I just can't perform a satisfying bowel movement!
Hi Stacy, I seem to remember quite a few "false alarms" too... and very small bms, very frequently at times! I expect you just need to be patient, it took my several months to start feeling anything like normal so don't worry. Easy for me to say :-) Take Care, Joy
Laurie

Salt Lake City, UT

#89 Aug 27, 2009
Hi, I'm a 46 year old female and had a bowel resection done on July 7th. I too experience all the horrible symptons mentioned in this forum. As days go by they do seem to get better. I was wondering if any of you have experienced hair loss after your surgery. I've been losing hair for over a month now and am wondering if it's from the surgery. I'm pretty healthy and don't take any medications. Thanks
Joy

Brampton, Canada

#90 Aug 27, 2009
Laurie wrote:
Hi, I'm a 46 year old female and had a bowel resection done on July 7th. I too experience all the horrible symptons mentioned in this forum. As days go by they do seem to get better. I was wondering if any of you have experienced hair loss after your surgery. I've been losing hair for over a month now and am wondering if it's from the surgery. I'm pretty healthy and don't take any medications. Thanks
Hi Laurie, no hair loss for me. Hopefully it is just temporary and will grow back soon! Take Care, Joy
bstrom

Chaska, MN

#91 Aug 30, 2009
Stacy wrote:
Thanks, yes, I have to be patient to recover after this!!! I am pleased that the bleeding seems to have gone away, but I still can't expel properly. I haven't been on pain meds since the second day out of the hospital because of the constipation. It's so weird - the stools that are able to come out are soft (and extemely small!), so it's not like I need a stool softener - and I have a lot of pressure down there as if I really have something I need to get out, but nothing usually, and sometimes the little pieces of soft stool. The worst thing is the pressure - my stomach feels fine after eating the small meals all day and I don't feel gassy or bloated anymore - I just can't perform a satisfying bowel movement!
Stacey,
I am 32, male and am having the EXACT same issues as you. I had about 6" taken out of my sigmoid and had my resection done lapro. I had my surgery on 8/17 and was released 8/21, felt good and had ok BM's until 8/27. That is when the problems began. I feel like I have to go often and it hurts lots of pressure similar to being constipated but like you I pass very small soft stools. It feels like it should be hard and big from the amount of pressure, but its not.
I hope we get past this, because it is very difficult to deal with and scares me about going back to work. I planned on going back on 9/10 but there is no way I could in this state. Please let me know if you find something that works for you to relieve yourself. Thanks
Joy

Fremont, CA

#92 Aug 31, 2009
Hi Bstrom, I remember having similar feelings after my surgery. It takes quite a while before things start to normalize (months). Try to keep drinking lots of liquids and stay close to a bathroom for a while. I was very concerned that I would never be able to live a normal life again but I am feeling great now so try not to worry too much and be patient :-) Joy
Bstrom

Chaska, MN

#93 Aug 31, 2009
Joy wrote:
Hi Bstrom, I remember having similar feelings after my surgery. It takes quite a while before things start to normalize (months). Try to keep drinking lots of liquids and stay close to a bathroom for a while. I was very concerned that I would never be able to live a normal life again but I am feeling great now so try not to worry too much and be patient :-) Joy
Thanks Joy!
I have read a lot of your posts and it is great to hear that you are doing so well, it has given me hope and I am sure so many others. Did you have the lapro or open surgery? I had the lapro and one other thing I have noticed is one part of my incision just doesnt want to heal over. It is at the bottom and the bend in my waist when I sit, or the part where my pants rub up against. It leaked in the hospital, mostly clear, kind of a yellow/reddish definitely not pus. The doctors said it was healing great and that leaking is okay. It scabbed over and stopped leaking but would get kind white mushy in the shower. I do my best to keep it from being soaked but it is hard. Just yesterday it started leaking again, same as in the hospital, if I put a gauze on it it leave a yellowish/reddish wet spot. Did you have anything like this? I am also still very tender around the incision, goes about 2 inches either side, is that normal.
Sorry for all the questions, you just seem to be very knolwedable.
thanks again.
mark

Minneapolis, MN

#94 Aug 31, 2009
I would not worry to much about the hole not closing up right away. It needs to heal from the inside out the doc told me. I had a reversal on a colostomy do to a diver rupture. It took a good 6-8 weeks for the hole to close up completely. It keeps scabbing more and more and once it gets to that point it close pretty fast.
Bstrom

Chaska, MN

#95 Aug 31, 2009
mark wrote:
I would not worry to much about the hole not closing up right away. It needs to heal from the inside out the doc told me. I had a reversal on a colostomy do to a diver rupture. It took a good 6-8 weeks for the hole to close up completely. It keeps scabbing more and more and once it gets to that point it close pretty fast.
Thanks Mark.
You were spot on with what the doctor told me on the phone today. I gave them a call just to be safe. They also told me to put gauze on it since it is right on my waistline and my pants keep rubbing it, I think that is what is making stay open. See you are in St. Paul, where did you have your surgery done?
Joy

Fremont, CA

#96 Aug 31, 2009
Bstrom wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks Joy!
I have read a lot of your posts and it is great to hear that you are doing so well, it has given me hope and I am sure so many others. Did you have the lapro or open surgery? I had the lapro and one other thing I have noticed is one part of my incision just doesnt want to heal over. It is at the bottom and the bend in my waist when I sit, or the part where my pants rub up against. It leaked in the hospital, mostly clear, kind of a yellow/reddish definitely not pus. The doctors said it was healing great and that leaking is okay. It scabbed over and stopped leaking but would get kind white mushy in the shower. I do my best to keep it from being soaked but it is hard. Just yesterday it started leaking again, same as in the hospital, if I put a gauze on it it leave a yellowish/reddish wet spot. Did you have anything like this? I am also still very tender around the incision, goes about 2 inches either side, is that normal.
Sorry for all the questions, you just seem to be very knolwedable.
thanks again.
Hi Bstrom, Yes I had Lap surgery, Three hples, a 1" scar vartical above my belly button and a 21/2" scar vertical below the bikini line... all healed very well and quickly! I never had a problem fortunately although I have read others on this forum that did. I was careful to wear dresses and nothing to rub at my waist because I heard about the potential for that problem by reading other posts. Whenever I was home I would just wear a loose nightie and robe so no rubbing! I hope it heals up soon for you :-) Joy
mark

Minneapolis, MN

#97 Aug 31, 2009
Bstrom wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks Mark.
You were spot on with what the doctor told me on the phone today. I gave them a call just to be safe. They also told me to put gauze on it since it is right on my waistline and my pants keep rubbing it, I think that is what is making stay open. See you are in St. Paul, where did you have your surgery done?
I had my surgery done at mercy hospital in anoka, Im actually from champlin. I had two bouts of diver over a 2-3 month period. I was very sick and lost 30 pounds over that period. Infection finally cleared and was felling good and gained back all my weight in a week or two. Then i ruptured my colon on aug 3 of last year. I had peritonitis and was stuck with a colostomy for three months. nov 13th i had the reversal. got out then two days later i had a blockage went back in for five days and had a ng tube for 24 hours, I didnt sleep the whole time it was in. I still have some gas pains its bad at times so I am on a diet of no bread pasta or pastry. I eat plenty of green vegies and easy to digest foods now. Im the poster child of what can happen with this disease. I had a two month wait for a consult for surgery and 15 days prior I ruptured. I also had a blood clot after my first surgery also 2 days after i was released. that one still hurts when I lift stuff. doing good now losing weight on my special diet trying to stay active really helps. im 6-2 41 and 225 by the way
bstrom

Chaska, MN

#98 Sep 1, 2009
mark wrote:
<quoted text> I had my surgery done at mercy hospital in anoka, Im actually from champlin. I had two bouts of diver over a 2-3 month period. I was very sick and lost 30 pounds over that period. Infection finally cleared and was felling good and gained back all my weight in a week or two. Then i ruptured my colon on aug 3 of last year. I had peritonitis and was stuck with a colostomy for three months. nov 13th i had the reversal. got out then two days later i had a blockage went back in for five days and had a ng tube for 24 hours, I didnt sleep the whole time it was in. I still have some gas pains its bad at times so I am on a diet of no bread pasta or pastry. I eat plenty of green vegies and easy to digest foods now. Im the poster child of what can happen with this disease. I had a two month wait for a consult for surgery and 15 days prior I ruptured. I also had a blood clot after my first surgery also 2 days after i was released. that one still hurts when I lift stuff. doing good now losing weight on my special diet trying to stay active really helps. im 6-2 41 and 225 by the way
WOW, you really did go through it all. Well I am glad you are doing better and I hope you are done with it forever! I went to the Mayo Clinic and so far I am happy with my service/care. I am going back on 9/10 for my follow up, wish that was sooner, but I guess it doesnt really matter since they don't expect you to really feel better until then anyways. If I can just get past this feeling of being constipated then I will be good to go. I want to go back to work next week, but will be afraid to if I have to keep going to the bathroom.
I am close to you, I am 32, 6' and 220, now weigh 207, but that is mostly from loss of appetite. I just dont feel like eating that much anymore, which is good because I used to eat HUGE meals. I am hoping to change my eating habits so that I eat small balanced meals throughout the day.
Stacy

United States

#99 Sep 1, 2009
Well, sorry to say I had some sort of relapse this weekend. I was tired of not being able to pass anything, so I tried eating salads and fruits and took 2 Dulcolax stool softeners this past Friday. I also ate 1/4 of a cheese enchilad with a small amount of rice and beans at a local joint with my hubby. Now, I don't know what did it, but I started cramping Friday evening and couldn't pass anything, but I assumed that the stool softener just needed time to work. 2am Sat. morning, I started with diarrhea with horrible cramps, going every 30min to an hour, non-stop, until Sunday afternoon. I was so miserable! It finally occurred to me that I should try Pepto or something so I could sleep Sunday night. The Pepto worked and I felt better Monday morning, but I hadn't eaten anything Saturday or Sunday for fear I would make it worse, so I felt really weak. I ate very little yesterday as my stomach just felt upset and full and nothing seemed appetizing, but I figured I'd better eat something so if I have diarrhea again, something solid would come out - I went so often, the last few hours of sunday evening, i was expelling bile or something; looked just like it does when you do the prep. Last night after dinner, cramps and diarrhea started again, only nothing would expel until the 3rd cramping session, and then I threw up. I called my surgeon and he said that this might just be something that needed to pass on its own because it didn't sound like an infection or anything serious like that. All I know is that I was completely miserable and am hoping that it doesn't happen again tonight. Any thoughts on what would've caused such a horrible reaction?
bstrom

Cincinnati, OH

#100 Sep 1, 2009
Stacy wrote:
Well, sorry to say I had some sort of relapse this weekend. I was tired of not being able to pass anything, so I tried eating salads and fruits and took 2 Dulcolax stool softeners this past Friday. I also ate 1/4 of a cheese enchilad with a small amount of rice and beans at a local joint with my hubby. Now, I don't know what did it, but I started cramping Friday evening and couldn't pass anything, but I assumed that the stool softener just needed time to work. 2am Sat. morning, I started with diarrhea with horrible cramps, going every 30min to an hour, non-stop, until Sunday afternoon. I was so miserable! It finally occurred to me that I should try Pepto or something so I could sleep Sunday night. The Pepto worked and I felt better Monday morning, but I hadn't eaten anything Saturday or Sunday for fear I would make it worse, so I felt really weak. I ate very little yesterday as my stomach just felt upset and full and nothing seemed appetizing, but I figured I'd better eat something so if I have diarrhea again, something solid would come out - I went so often, the last few hours of sunday evening, i was expelling bile or something; looked just like it does when you do the prep. Last night after dinner, cramps and diarrhea started again, only nothing would expel until the 3rd cramping session, and then I threw up. I called my surgeon and he said that this might just be something that needed to pass on its own because it didn't sound like an infection or anything serious like that. All I know is that I was completely miserable and am hoping that it doesn't happen again tonight. Any thoughts on what would've caused such a horrible reaction?
Sorry to hear you are still feeling bad. I think the encilada might be taking it a little too far, at least for me I would not be able to venture out that far yet. Those can be rough on you even when you are 100%. I am still having the problem of needing to go and hardly anything coming out. I do know some of it is gas because I have had the urge to go and then I pass some gas (feels like it can't get out, possibly blocked) but it gives me some relief. I am taking milk of magnesia every night, makes me go, kind of diarrea but some normal stuff, so I am just making sure I drink a ton of water with it. I also take benefiber to try and give some bulk to my stools, doctor said I could take 2X a day if I want, can cause gas, but might help with the stools. Sunday was bad, Monday was really good, tuesday was in between, so I still have some experiementing to do to see what makes my system work normal. Honestly I think it is just time. But I only eat things like bread, sandwich, pretzels, pudding, soup, pasta, nothing too crazy. Hope you feel better, let me know if your condition changes and I will do the same. Good luck
Joy

Fremont, CA

#101 Sep 2, 2009
Hi Bstrom and Stacy, If your are reacting anything like I did to the surgery, and it sounds like you are, I did have that feeling of not being able to expel either gas or stool, and I also had some bad episodes with bms about 9 times in 2 or 3 hours, usually in the evenings. Even 6 weeks after my surgery I ate out once (just a chicken club and fries) and had excrutiating gas pains for hours after. I also had a lot of episodes with nausea, the worst on Christmas day after eating a little Xmas dinner... that was 3 weeks aftr my surgery! My solution was to eat vry bland food and low fibre. Also very small protions. So I would have a little oatmeal or a fibre one bar once a day (usually in the morning), a half ham sandwich for lunch... I mean one slice of bread, a tiny amount of butter and a single slice of ham. Maybe a little soup or mash potato and a tiny amount of white chicken for dinner etc. Then you just have to wait for thigs to start to imporve. Quite honestly I thought I might have gone from the frying pan into the fire by having the surgery but after 2-3 months thigs started to improve and I gradually was able to increase my fiber and the variety of foods. I now eat far healthier than I did before and my husband bought a juicer and makes me both veggie juice (if you add an apple it is quite sweet and tasty) and lots of fruit juices. I have a bowl of original fibre one every day with banana and berries on it and eat lots of salads, some fish, fajitas with white chicken, chicken spaghetti etc. I feel great these days (it has been 8 months). I still have about 3 to 4 bms per day and occasional gas but am so glad I had the surgery and got my life back :-) So, as I have said many times, be patient and very careful about everything you eat for a while... it just isn't worth the suffering afterwards! Stay strong :-) Joy

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