Colectomy Three Weeks Ago: My Stool's Changing Colors, Is this Normal??

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SubColectomyHereICome
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 7/16/2008 2:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a subtotal colectomy about three weeks ago, and I've been having about 2-3 BMs a day. I've been noticing that my stool changes colors almost daily now... it was yellow and runny for a while, then it was a little bit thicker and brown, the other day it was a pinkish/redish color, yesterday it was yellow again, and today it is green. Does anyone know if this is normal? Has this happened to you? Thanks for your help.

LittleE
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 7/16/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   

SCHIC, I had a proctocolectomy with ileostomy 2 months ago, not a subcolectomy, but I too noticed shortly after beginning to eat "real food" that my stool exhibited a wide variety of colors and consistencies varying from day to day.   Yellow, green, brown all occur for me too; I guess it just depends on what you ate that day.  When it was pinkish for you, did you eat something red earlier?  Mine was only reddish wneh I drank a lot of fruit punch Gatorade...

Mentioned the color changes to my stroma nurse when they started, she said it is no cause to be concerned. 

:)

E


Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3071
   Posted 7/16/2008 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Ditto to Little E's response...Captain Crunch made mine scary! Jello is another shocker no matter what color it is.

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 7/16/2008 10:58 PM (GMT -6)   
yeah food can make some weird stuff happen! if you don't eat alot, you may get some greenish runny stuff, at first that is normal, it's the bile. If you eat red, it looks red, if you eat chocolate it's really really dark, if you eat blue it smells horrible and is sort of greenish. and froot loops really make it crazy!

2much2bear
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 624
   Posted 7/17/2008 4:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi sub

Glad all is going well??? I assume you are very happy with the outcome?
I was wondering what your symptoms were before the surgery and how long you had them and also how much/often laxatives you took.... i am very concerned at the moment that i may have damaged my small bowel due to excessive lax intake over the past year - senna. though no markers were left in my small bowel, i know of someone on here who is still constipated even after the t/c :( She too excessive amounts of ducolax for 6 months...thanks
1997: Diagnosed IBS
2003: Rectocele/cystocele - Pelvic floor repair surgery;
2006: Mucosal prolapse/Obstructive Defaecation Syndrome/Slow Transit Constipation - STARR surgery;
2007: Partial volvulus (cause of ODS?) - Sigmoid resection. Result: immediate colonic inertia;
2008: Now contemplating colectomy as I need to take up to 30 senna tablets daily for some kind of bowel movement (albeit not 'normal' or all at once).  Always in discomfort/pain. 
 
Scared to have TC as told I could become incontinent - can't get my head around the fact I might require a 'bag' :(


SubColectomyHereICome
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 7/18/2008 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all, for your feedback. I guess nothing IS wrong with me! :) To answer your question, 2much2bear, I am very happy with the outcome. I am actually going to the bathroom... Still getting used to the concept! I am 25 years old and have been constipated all my life, ever since around potty training age. I have seen countless doctors, all of them said that I have severe IBS. They'd just give me drugs, and they'd never work. A few times my colon would spasm and the pain would be so severe I'd vomit. I was also soooo bloated (and uncomfortable). I looked pregnant. I am not a fan of laxatives because they do take a toll on your body, but over the last 6 mos. or so, I began drinking a few glasses of "Smooth Move" tea every weekend to clean me out. This is a gentle laxative that really worked for me. I did not take laxatives regularly before that- I guess I just dealt with the stool in me. I had the sitz marker exam before the surgery too, and all markers were left in my colon at the end of the week. I've been going about 3 times a day on average since the surgery... I am VERY happy. To be honest, the recovery in the hospital was the most miserable thing I've ever done (but only because of complications, I had to have a second surgery and extended stay), but it was SO worth it. Have you spoken to your doctor to see if your colon is damaged from the laxatives? I'm sure they can do tests to determine if you are a candidate for surgery. (You haven't had surgery yet, right?) BEST OF LUCK. Please keep me updated!

Janiepain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 662
   Posted 7/18/2008 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
2much2bear,
 
I am in the process of preparing for a colectomy (I've had all the tests and flunked with flying colors!).  I just completed 3 months of biofeedback, which didn't help at all, and I have an appt. on  July 31 to discuss moving forward with the surgery.  I have lived on laxative for 30 years...no kidding.  If I don't take a laxative, I don't go.  Period.  I'm 52 years old, and even before I started taking senna every 4 or 5 days to clean me out (30 years ago) I was miserable....took enemas, ex-lax, feenamint, you name it, I took it.  I've told every Dr. I've had about this my entire life and most of them just said to drink more water and exercise.    Anyone with this problem knows that in a perfect world that would work, but not for us.
 
My surgeon knows my history of senna, and didn't tell me there was a 50% chance of being incontinent at all.  He said there could be complications, but his experience is (he is a colon surgeon) that after a year, every patient he's had said they were sorry they waited so long to have the surgery.
 
I was told 25 years ago I would probably need this surgery one day.  3 years ago I went to another colon specialist and without all the testing, he said I needed a colectomy.  I refused to believe it.  Last Xmas I had a terrible experience though, and I swore I was going to do something about this.  I had all the necessary tests, am trying biofeedback, may have the STARR procedure for a rectocele, and hopefully can wait until the first of the year to have the colectomy.  I had tests done on my small intestine and it seemed to work ok...just not the large.
 
I doubt seriously that taking senna for 6 months will make much difference in the outcome.  You should talk to your surgeon about it, but my surgeon told me he hears our story often...and that usually if you have colon inertia, you need a colectomy before you're 40.  He said I was lucky laxatives worked as long as they have for me.
 
Good luck; I'd be interested in hearing what your Dr. says about your laxative use.
 
Janie

vette guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 650
   Posted 7/18/2008 11:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had my ostomy for 19 years now. And, unless your stool is purple with yellow Polks dots I wouldn't give the color of your stool a second thought! Seriously though, as it's already been stated, the color of your stool is generally the result of the different foods you've eaten. Even black stool can result from taking iron supplements(Pepto Bismol turns it black too!), so it's not necessarily a sign of blood in stool.
 
And, just to warn you in advance, Red Gaterade and Powerade will turn your stool beet red!

SubColectomyHereICome
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 7/20/2008 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Haha... Thanks for the heads up, vette guy!

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 7/20/2008 6:44 PM (GMT -6)   
something else, if you eat purple or orange it also will turn it red, although not as bad. And purple gives you the red color and the blue smell! ick!

2much2bear
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 624
   Posted 7/21/2008 8:29 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey Janie

I hope all goes smoothly - thanks for the input.  I have never asked my dr whether the senna is damaging, but i know it must be, but not sure the effect it has on the small bowel as yet.  i wont get to speak to them now as the next time will be when i have the op.  over here you only get to speak to your consultant if you pay a lot of money to see him, but i am having the op though the national health service.

Sub - hope the pain sorts itself out and is nothing too awful - I just saw your other post.

i am doing a trial this week - no laxatives. My hynotherapist gave me a CD and said to use it every day for a week without laxatives.  its gonna be a tough one.

karen x


1997: Diagnosed IBS
2003: Rectocele/cystocele - Pelvic floor repair surgery;
2006: Mucosal prolapse/Obstructive Defaecation Syndrome/Slow Transit Constipation - STARR surgery;
2007: Partial volvulus (cause of ODS?) - Sigmoid resection. Result: immediate colonic inertia;
2008: Now contemplating colectomy as I need to take up to 30 senna tablets daily for some kind of bowel movement (albeit not 'normal' or all at once).  Always in discomfort/pain. 
 
Scared to have TC as told I could become incontinent - can't get my head around the fact I might require a 'bag' :(

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