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Anyone had a colonic resection?

(7 Posts)

I have a totally non life threatening problem.. diverticular disease. Despite being only in my 40's with a good diet I have extensive divertica (all round) and a stricture in my colon, which gives me a lot of pain and frankly spoils life, as I can't eat decent meals (as they get stuck in the stricture) so I am losing weight, fed up and sore.

Following my recent colonoscopy which showed the extent of the problem I have been referred to the colorectal surgeons to see if the best way forward is to cut out the strictured bit. Not sure if they will be able to just do that and rejoin or whether I might need a temp stoma, as I have had a lot of miserable flare ups recently. Frankly they could remove the lot!

I would be grateful if anyone has any experience to share.. how bad is the op? Will I one day be able to poo normally (strictures/constipation/pain currently.. depdenent on meds and suppositories) Is a stoma, should it come to that, a massive deal? (doesn't scare me objectively as I work with severealy disabled young people and am used to holes in bodies :D)


TorianaTollywobbles Fri 21-Nov-14 21:04:30

Hi Medusa, I've only just seen your post but wanted to share my experience if it helps.

My dh had a bowel resection due to cancer last year. The op was quite a big one, scar from chest to groin and he had a temporary stoma.

He was in hospital for a week after the op, but ended up back in due to dehydration, thats one thing to be really careful of and especially with a stoma as well.

It took a few weeks at the least to get over the op and you will need to be really careful. He had a epidural after the op which was supposed to give pain relief for the next few days, but unfortunately his failed. It is difficult and painful to move about for a while as well.

You should be able to poo normally I would have thought, dh still has some issues with that but as he had to have his rectum removed this is something he has to live with.

He had his stoma reversed after 6 months. The stoma really is not bad and not a massive deal once you get used to it. The important thing is having the bag to fit exactly right as leaks can cause sore and irritated skin around the stoma. We had a stoma nurse come out and visit for the first few weeks to make sure he was coping ok and the stoma was healthy and working properly. The other thing to watch out for is blockages, no peas or sweetcorn! Luckily he only had a blockage a couple of times, while painful each time the blockage cleared by itself.

I am happy to answer any other questions you might have if I can. My niece also has a stoma at the moment due to Crohns, so we are well used to them in our family.

Hope all goes well for you.

tallulah Fri 21-Nov-14 22:08:50

I had a resection due to bowel cancer. Mine was by keyhole surgery so I was only in hospital 5 days. I have to go more often than I used to but it's manageable.

I was very lucky I didn't have a stoma but did lose my rectum so it took a while for things to settle down.

larryphilanddave Sat 22-Nov-14 14:30:59

Relative's experience - two surgeries, years apart, for two sites of stricture at each surgery.

Go into hospital, relatively straight forward op but took a few hours both times, long-ish abdominal scar (I think because of the multiple sites, first scar was re-used in second surgery).

1 week in hospital post-op, epidural for the op followed by IV pain relief for about a day or two, after which moved onto morphine pills (combination of slow release and quick release). Weaned off slowly through GP after discharge.

6 week initial at-home recovery: daily nurse visits to change bandages and check stitches until healed enough to maintain personally, final visit to local clinic to check all was well and discharge from regional nursing team. Weaned off of the morphine during this time.

6 month overall initial recovery: much better after 1-2 months but still have to be cautious, no carrying heavy items or over exertion, tired out more easily than pre-op, weaker overall, walking shorter distances etc.

6 months to 18 months post-op: continuation of regaining strength, getting back to normal, surgery can really take it out of you as the abdominal muscles play a part in a lot of what you do. But generally all okay by this point.

This isn't trying to say that it takes 6 months just to start feeling 'okay', this is the outline given by the gastro team at the hospital and relative followed this trend pretty much. I would say that by 2 months post-op things were much better and much closer to 'normal', but there is a longer period of recovery for regaining full strength and physical capability.

Suffice to say however the op had a very positive impact and felt much better and glad to have had it done! Within 6 weeks of the op was happily out and about enjoying a birthday meal in a nice restaurant without constipation/vomiting/passing out...

Best of luck with it flowers

larryphilanddave Sat 22-Nov-14 14:37:12

PS forgot to say, despite two sites of stricture on two separate occasions, with two subsequent surgeries, the bowel is still long enough and has not required a stoma. Bowel movements happen as usual, can vary at times and can still have some constipation or diarrhoea, and some pain, but that is the nature of their illness (chronic, no cure, just treatment and diet for management, so not just dependent on strictures), but generally they are fine in that regard.

Thank you smile The info really helps!

gobbin Sat 22-Nov-14 19:29:35

I currently have a temporary stoma although mine is an ileostomy (small bowel). This was after an emergency bowel op (have previously had a normal resection 15 yrs ago).

It's not a problem at all. The only thing I have to do is drink 800mls dioralyte a day or I get dehydrated (and am on mega doses of loperamide) but have no pain, no issues.

I saw the surgeon on Monday about reversal which will happen at some point in the next 6m but have requested to have the stoma back if the reversal fails or I have too many problems afterwards.

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