I'll tell you my story and I hope it helps. I had a pseudo-polyp mass in my transverse colon after having crohns for 20 years. I'm 41 now. I had my surgery on 10/3/08 and spent 4 nights in the hospital. My health and strength were very good going in so I'm sure that helped with my speedy recovery. I was scared about the surgery, but I picked a surgeon that I had total confidence in. I knew I could come out with anything from a colon resection to total colectomy with a bag. I knew my surgeon had the experience to do the right thing.
When I woke up after the surgery, I had extreme pain. That is something you may want to discuss. Maybe they can get the morphine in sooner! Once the pain subsided and I found out I did not have a bag, I was so elated. I had an extended right Hemicolectomy. They removed my right colon and part of my transverse. The next day after surgery, I was feeling pretty good. I got out of bed for a walk. I had such a positive feeling because the surgery went well. I had read the recent studies about gum chewing and brought my own to the hospital. I started the morning after surgery. It felt good to have that flavor in my mouth - that helped my sprits too. I passed gas after about 65 hours (morning of 10/6), and according to my research, is pretty fast. After that, the hospital started me on a clear liquid diet for breakfast and lunch. I had a soft regular dinner.
On my 4th day, the doc's said I could be released. I had a regular breakfast with no problems. I was home later that day.
Here I am at home now on the 5th day and I feel great. Yes, there is some discomfort from the incision, but it's not so bad. Especially with the pain killers.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for your story HJ. It is so great that your recovery is going well! I really hope my husband has a similar experience, no matter what we do! Part of your story made me realize that I do not know enough! I mean, you had a hemicolectomy.... and I've never heard of that specifically. I don't totally understand what you mean about right colon or transverse. I am baffled that there are so many different types of surgeries and all I know is that they want to remove his entire large intestine! I mean, that is all I know.... other than that I know they can do a resection surgery.
I have done some more research and it seems that most resection surgeries are done in the small intestine? However, we know that he has a stricture in his large intestine. Do you think thats why they want to remove the entire thing? I believe there is some "friability" going on so maybe they think it is too weak to reconnect. However, I feel pretty strongly that they don't have enough information about the strength of his colon and/or the prevelance of the desease in him to make that decision.
My instinct tells me that he does need surgery, since we are probably dealing with scar tissue... but the idea of removing the entire lrg intestine so soon, without even trying other meds seems over the top still. Oh, and in regards to the question about where the scar tissue is from, I would assume the active desease was just there so long without treatment that it built up? But, I don't totally know.
I want to thank all of you! Because of your responses we are seeking a second opinion. We probably wouldnt have done that otherwise. MY husband finally agreed that it was necessary to go through the process of talking to another doc. I am glad he is not apathetic anymore... just angry... which is at least a good sign that he moving forward in the greiving process. So.... again... THANK YOU.
Oh, by the way, yogaprof - I do wonder if it is a UT infection. It seems like that is fairly common among crohn's patients. He is having his urine tested on Friday when he gets a CT scan. I just hope and pray there is not a fistula impacting his bladder. Fingers (and toes) crossed!!
Thanks again, and I look forward to more advice and support on this forum.
In medical-speak, any word with -ectomy on the end usually means "surgical removal of."
So a "colectomy" would be surgical removal of the colon.
"Hemicolectomy" would be surgical removal of half (hemi, like hemisphere) of the colon.
If you look at anatomy, the colon comes from the small intestine on the right side, goes up, then across the belly right to left, then down the left side. The right side that goes up is the ascending colon. The part that goes right to left is the tranverse colon. The part that goes down the left side is the descending colon. Then it meets the sigmoid colon, then the rectum, then the anus, and out.
Friability is another medical term used often in endoscopy when the tissue is brittle, or it breaks apart easily when touched. Healthy colon tissue, like skin, should stay intact when poked, but friable colon tissue will break apart when poked. Think of wet tissue paper, or, conversely, really dry, arid soil that's all cracked.
Friability usually responds to prednisone, and it also often responds very well to Remicade/Humira/etc. Friability could be a reason why the surgeon would be hesitant to try a resection (because it is possible it would be too weak to hold the resection), but again, this is where meds could help before the surgery is undertaken.
Patients can and often are put on Remicade or Humira *before* having surgery, and it's generally considered safe to be on one of them while having surgery. It's possible that one of those meds could heal up the remainder of his colon so that it could take a resection successfully.
As for resections, they can be either in the colon or the small intestine. Probably the end of the small intestine is the most common site, but the colon is common as well.
And, yes, the stricture of scar tissue usually comes from active disease scarring areas over time. In some people that process takes decades. In others it takes just months.
It sounds like you and your husband are learning quickly how to deal with this and I commend you both for that. Good luck with the second opinion.
Beave - thank you!! This was SO helpful! I like the option of trying Remicade or Humira and then possibly a small resection. I will be much more educated before the second opinion, so they will have to answer all my specific questions rather than just tell me what they want to do :)
First is the CT scan to make sure we know where he is affected by the crohn's since they have only gotten so far with the colonoscopy.
Thank you again!!!
THanks Hj! I have not found my hometown in the list yet, but I am about 3 hours from #20.... Not ideal... but, this is a great list to have!
Humira sounds interesting. If it would increase the liklihood that only a small resection would be needed, I'm all for it. I guess we'll have to see what some other docs say.
Post Edited (flaherty12) : 10/9/2008 11:50:52 PM (GMT-6)