surgery on apr 30th

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 4/20/2008 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   
sad   I will be having my first crohns related surgery in less than two weeks. I have been diagnosed since 2000 with many flares, hospital stays , lost time from work and way too many days just lying on the couch with no energy. I have been on pentasa, asacol, predisone( too many times), remicade, imuran and am now on humira every other week. I am getting a lap resection of the terminal ileac and cecum. I have so many worries, although I have been sick for 8 years this just seems so much more serious now. Can You guys help answer some questions? Here they go:
1. How bad is the pain post-surgery and what will be my med options?
2. How bad will the scar be?
3. How long out of work?
4. how musc of a chance for complications?
5. has anyone experienced the new normal I am hoping for after?
I am a nurse so that makes me overly worried because I have too much knowledge of surgery horror stories. I am making myself sick with worry. I wish I could have had emergency surgery so I would not have had tome to do all of this stressing first. I am a married mom of 3 and I just hope to be able to take my kids to the beach this summer, pain free. I know there is no cure for this GROSS, SUCKY, LIFE-DRAINING, HORRIBLE, CONSTANT PAIN IN THE --- DISEASE WE CALL CROHNS, I just would love a little break.
Even with all of my whining I realize it could be worse like cancer, a tumor, HIV or other diseases. So I count two blessing for everytime I vent about my situation. It would be nice to meet some friends who understand. I am the only on I know with this. Gets kind of lonely and I am tired of being the friend with ISSUES. Thanks for letting me get this out. I look forward to making new buddies on this site.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 4/20/2008 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Cheergems! Welcome to the Forum. I haven't had the type of surgery you are going to have, but there are many here who have. I'm sure the will chime in shortly.

I am praying that the surgery gives you relief. It might help if you focus on the light on the other side of the surgery. A couple weeks (probably) of unpleasantness (!!) but then improvement! It helps me to remember that with the passing of every day, every hour, every minute -- I am closer and closer to being better! And that is the positive hope that gets me through!

Let us know how it goes!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 4/20/2008 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nicole,

Well i just went to see my doctor as surgery is one of my options. I basically asked all the questions you have and I have also posted here the same questions. It all depends on what type of surgery you will have meaning how much are they taken away. You can be in the hospital for up to a week but it all depends how your body reacts to the surgery. Then recovery is 4 to 6 weeks the pain all depends. I have been told the scare is 1 cm. After the surgery you will experience diahrea for how long again everyibe us different.d afte

Please keep us posted after your surgery. Good luck and I hope that you will have no difficulty.

Natalie :)

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/20/2008 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nicole:

I'm sorry you are at the point where you need surgery. It sounds like you have waited as long as you possibly can. My situation is a bit different because I didn't know I had CD until I woke up from surgery for what I thought was appendicitis. I had two surgeries, 5 months apart last year because of complications. But I've been told by every doctor I've seen that it was highly unusual and a rarity. Most CD patients have remission after surgery.

1. How bad is the pain post-surgery and what will be my med options?

I would ask for a pain pump. I didn't have one with my first surgery and it made all the difference in recovery of my second. Be prepared for not having anything by mouth until you pass gas. That was horrible to me the first time around because I wasn't expecting it. The second time around I had a nose tube so I was allowed to have ice chips right away.

2. How bad will the scar be?

If they can do a laproscopy it won't be bad. Unfortunately for me they couldn't. My first scar was about 3 inches long, below my belly button. The second one was about 6 inches long and goes above my bb now.

3. How long out of work?

I had about 5 weeks off the first time and 7 the second but I was in the hospital for a week before they did surgery the second time.

4. how musc of a chance for complications?

Rare, but in my case I did have them, as stated above.

5. has anyone experienced the new normal I am hoping for after?

I didn't the first time, but I've not had pain the time around since I recovered from surgery. I still have loose stools, etc. And I have a fistula that hasn't healed, but the pain I was experiencing daily is now gone.

I wish you lots of luck on your surgery. Hang in there.

ski bum
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 451
   Posted 4/20/2008 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Nicole - I am having just about the same surgery as you in 2 days (4/22), except mine will be via laparotomy rather than laparoscopy. I opted for surgery at this point because despite trying Pentasa, Entocort, Imuran and Humira, I still have bouts of intense pain. about a month ago, I would say the pain was everyday, but for the last week, the pain is more sporadic, but I've also limited my diet to mushy things (apple sauce, chicken soup, ensure..). I decided to schedule elective surgery and get the offensive area resected, before I end up in an emergency situation. I've never been hospitalized nor have I suffered an obstruction (unless the pain I endure many nights has been temporary obstructions). I do have a strictured area in TI confirmed on U/S and small bowel follow through ~20 cm. My brother also has crohns and had the same surgery 5 1/2 years ago. He has been telling me to get off the medications that don't seem to be doing anything and just get the surgery. He has remained in remission, but his last colonoscopy did show signs of inflammation at the anastamosis site (no stricture). He has never regretted his decision. He's my older brother and a physician, and I respect and trust his opinion. I tried to do things a little differently than him (he never tried any medication other than Pentasa), but I'm ending up having the same surgery he's been telling me to have for several years. When I have a semi-good night, I second guess my decision, but 4/22 is approaching very quickly and once I start the bowel prep tomorrow at 6:00, I can stop doubting my decision. I hope I'll be able to tell you that everything went well and I wish I had opted for surgery earlier.

As far as horror stories - I'm a nurse and an attorney and defend malpractice claims. "Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise..." would apply here.

I think your recovery will be somewhat quicker by having laparoscopic surgery. My surgeon told me the recovery time is 2-4 weeks. I told my HR person that I will be off definitely for 2 weeks, other than that, I have to see how it goes. But I have a sedentary job and can work from home for a little while anyway. I already have some conference calls lined up before even two weeks. My brother took off 4 weeks and he said he felt good enough to go back to work after 2 weeks. As far as complications, my surgeon told me there's a 2-3% chance of an anastamotic leak. That's pretty much the only complication he told me about.

I'll stop rambling. I wish you new found health after your surgery and a speedy recovery.
50 y/o F. CD dx'd Aug 05. Initially on Pentasa, then Imuran 125 mg. Started Humira (very reluctantly) on 10/24/07. Currently on Humira and Entocort.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 4/20/2008 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nicole I had about the same surgery in Jan. I did not have any problems other then infection after staples were remoed but I had a 6 inch scar and it looks better then when I had abcess surgery. This was my first resection and the infection cleared up in no time and stayed closed. They removed my fistula area's so I don't worry about them now. I only took one pain pill after 3 days and was in for 7. Was glad to get some home help from my teen . I don't have any pain and haven't since about a week after surgery. Hope you get your wish and get to spend that time on the beach. I am looking forward to a good summer ,just finished painting my cupboards so been busy , good health is paying off. All the best. lol gail
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