Mormor Vicky--question about your sigmoid colon resection

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 10/9/2007 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   

You had responded to an earlier post that you had a stricture in your sigmoid colon and opted for a resection. I have a stricture there also, and I will be doing tests soon (a barium enema or CT scan, they are letting me know tomorrow) to see if this stricture is serious, because I have been having severe pains that come and go, and it is really affecting me at work. These pains do not feel like a normal Crohn's "flare," and both I and my doctor is concerned that I have a stricture in the sigmoid colon that is causing partial obstruction, and that will need resectioning, either by laparoscopy or regular old big-incision surgery.

My questions to you (if you don't mind answering): What were your symptoms before they found your stricture? What was the procedure (pre and post) like? Were you in much pain? How long were you in the hospital? You are the only person I have read about that has had this done, and I would really, really appreciate anything you can tell me about your experiences!! :-) :-) No one else it seems has had a colon-resection due to stricture...

Frankly, I am scared and angry--I have had my Crohn's completely under control for Years now--I was a "normal" person for over 4 years--and now they think I might need surgery, and this is the first cut-you-open surgery that I will EVER have had...

Thank you so much for anything you can tell me. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/9/2007 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   

dear considering a bag, I have had a part of my colon resected due to adhesions and small constriction.  I have had about 4-5 feet of small intestine, abcesses and other bad stuff also about a foot of large intestine removed.  Both surgeries were in 1996, and yes thank god surgery has definetely improved since then, I also had my gall bladder out along with multiple hernias, and adhesions/scar tissue removed in 2006. dx in 1993ish with CD, have had problems since I was 8 or 9 years old.  Surgery can be scary but for me it was well worth it.  I did take almost a year to heal, due to multiple complications from the surgery and CD and some of the meds.  I do think that getting a second opinion from both a surgeon and GI doc would be good things, also it seems to me that the bigger hosptials may do a better job.  My first surgery was in university hosp. clevleand, if I had not had it there I am not sure I would have lived if I had the surgery at any of the smaller hospitals outside of cleveland.  My second and third surgeries were at small local hospitals but we did overkill on the tests and were pretty confident about what my surgeon was getting into. Having the same surgeon also seems to be a good thing unless you have a bad experience.  good luck and god bless us all who have diseases- mike 

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 10/9/2007 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   

A little bit of history. I have a 26 year old daughter with Crohn's since she was 12. Everytime she flared she would lose weight. I was quite overweight and couldn't imagine I had Crohn's. Even my doctor told me back when I was 32 that I had IBS. For years I had "d" about 3-6 times a day. Usually after I ate lunch. Now that I look back I realized about 5-6 years ago it changed. More urgency and some mild gut pain. I lived with it so long that it becomes part of your life. Fatigue was probably my hardest to live with symptom. I just thought I was getting older and slower and just a fat lazy slug.

Last year I started passing air when I urinated. I remember having read something before about fistulas to the bladder because of my daughter. I had a bladder infection being treated but decided I needed to go to the ER and let them decide if I needed to see an urologist or a GI. My PCP said an urologist but I was leaning to a GI especially because of my history of D. Went into the ER on Thursday, a ct scan was performed when the fistula was found. Had to prep for a colonoscopy for Friday morning. Couldn't get past my sigmoid from stricture. Doctor recommended, well really told me I needed a resection not only because of the stricture but they were going to have to repair my bladder. Now remember, we still didn't know at the time I had Crohn's. The surgeon was pretty sure, 90% exactly, that it was diverticulitis. He said I was going to have to have a resection and repair my bladder anyway so we might as well find out what I had at the time of surgery. Had the surgery on Monday. Home on Saturday. Because I also had to have my bladder repaired I was sent home with a foley bag. That was pretty gross. I was pretty out of it too. I did have a wonderful support system though. Even a hubby that cleaned me up. I know. TMI devil

I was back at work in five weeks. Even though it took me awhile to get my energy back to pre-surgery levels, my level just kept going up and up. Until I had a reaction to 6-MP and landed back in the hospital in November with bone-marrow suppression. Another 11 day visit in isolation. By the middle of January I had joined the Y and felt 20 years younger. I can't believe I missed so much time because I just couldn't have this disease. I'm too fat to have this disease. I've lost 60lbs and only have 40 more to go. But I really think I'm starting to flare again. I've got terrible tailbone pain and have lost my energy level. It was a wonderful 9 months though. Waiting for a call from my GI.

Full belly incision was above my belly button all the way down to pubic area. Scar barely noticeable. The only thing I regret is how much colon they took out. Sigmoid, descending and part of my transverse. What I worry about is if/when it comes back it will probably come back in my rectum since that is the area that as been left behind. I don't regret at all having the surgery because I had a feeling of complete renewal. I felt wonderful for the first time in years and I didn't even know I was sick. Silly me. I didn't even have to be put on a bag.

Maybe they can just remove the stricture like they did with me and you won't have to worry about a bag. Good luck and let me know what you decide to do. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

By the way, my husband told me not to scare you. He thinks I get too worked up by reading other peoples troubles. I told him that it really relieves my mind when I talk to people who are going through similiar experiences. I hope I have helped you.
Vicky / 47 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (26) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 10/10/2007 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Mike and Vicky,

Thank you so much for the info about both of your surgeries. My surgeon's nurse called today, and just from my symptoms, they are fairly sure that I need a resection done on my sigmoid colon.

I am having a barium enema done to really get a picture of how bad the stricture is on the 19th. The nurse told me that they could probably do a laprascopic procedure (only small incisions) for the resection since I have never had surgery yet and am thin. She also told me to be prepared for the surgeon to (once again) propose that I have a complete ileostomy done, so that they are only "putting me through one surgery." They say that their main concern is that I am a high risk for colon cancer...I just don't feel I want to resort to that yet (I am only 26! thankfully I have a fiance who loves me and understands my illness), and I know my surgeon thinks it is an easy choice, but not when it is your own body...

I spent today figuring out how the heck I am going to be able to miss the 6-8 weeks of work that they said I would need to...I am a teacher, and our union has some policies to help people in this position, but money will be tight, and it's just another thing to worry about...Not to mention just being scared about having my first major surgery. It is funny, I never thought I would be scared/anxious, but I Really am...

Sigh. Tomorrow is open House for my students' parents at school. I am just so tired of having to put up a good front when I feel bad.

Thanks again. This message board and your input really helps me to de-stress and get a handle on the big picture--health comes first!!

:-) :-) :-)
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