Small Bowel Resection...scared

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 9/19/2009 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I know I haven't been here in awhile but could I persuade any of you guys to tell me about your small bowel resection? My doctor says I need one and I'm pretty scared about it since I've never had surgery before in my life. How bad is the pain? Are you awake for the NG tube and the catheter? I must admit part of my fear is that I'll awake during surgery...yes, I did happen to run into that special on TLC/Discovery can't remember the channel but hasn't happened to one of you guys, right? Also, the going to sleep part has me pretty freaked out...what does that feel like?

Thanks for reading and hopefully not laughing (or at least don't tell me you're laughing lol).

Solanges : ) cry
Solanges: )

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/19/2009 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't had a resection, but I have had abdominal surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.
First of all, I hate catheters with a passion, but it only hurts for a second while they put it in. After that you're fine. I just don't like the idea of having a tube in that area.
I didn't have any problems as far as the surgery went. They knew I was nervous and in pain beforehand so they gave me painkillers via IV so I was pretty much asleep before they even anesthetized me.

There was a lot of D after everything was done, but they gave me really good painkillers so there wasn't as much pain as I thought.

Anyway, I know it's not the same thing...I at least wanted to share the fact that abdominal surgery will inevitably be comfortable at times, but it's not unbearable. It's good to spend as much time as possible in the hospital sleeping. It helped me anyway.
You'll be all right!!!
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking: Prednisone 5 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, omeprazole in the morning, and a women's multivitamin. I'm also trying a B vitamin complex, but it doesn't seem to be working so I'm considering the shots.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/19/2009 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Take a deep will not wake up during surgery!! I had a bowel resection in 1/08. They will wait until you are asleep before they place the NG tube and foley catheter. I woke up and my NG tube was out, the catheter stays for a couple of days until you are up moving well. I had a spinal placed in the operating room which helped with pain relief and also had an On-Q pain pump placed in my incision that bathes the area in numbing medicine. They will give you plenty of pain medication in the recovery room and also get you set up on PCA analgesia so that you can push the button and give yourself pain medication when you are alert enough to do so. I'm a registered nurse and had never had surgery before. Sometimes knowing too much is not a good thing, I was very nervous before the surgery. Luckily once you are on the table, the anesthesiologist puts you to sleep really fast and the next thing you remember is waking up in the recovery room. I actually woke up on our way out of the OR and i thought i was at work and couldn't figure out why I was the one laying on the bed. They quickly reminded me that I'd just had surgery and that it was all over with already. After that I was back sleeping until sometime in recovery. The first day you are pretty in and out of it. I remember hearing people talk but don't recall seeing their faces. Probably just as well. Just remember, you will be fine. It's not the most pleasant thing you will ever go through, but if you are sick enough for surgery you will be glad to be on your way to feeling better!! Good luck!!
33 year old female
CD of Terminal Illeum and Rectum Diagnosed 12/04
Unable/Unwilling to use immunosuppressents due to Melanoma history in 2000.
Illeocolonic Resection 1/08  (18 inches of terminal illeum, illeocecal valve, right colon and appendix)
Current Meds: Pentasa, Fosomax, Iron, Vitamin b12 injections, Vicodin as needed, Entocort 9mg for 8wks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 9/19/2009 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Check out this thread:

I asked a lot of the questions that you have. My resection is this Tuesday.

*activated your link*

Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 9/22/2009 8:01:56 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 9/19/2009 9:21 PM (GMT -7)   
They should put in catheter and NG tube when out. I'm sure you can get some valium or something if you're really nervous before the surgery.

And don't worry about waking up in the middle of surgery. If you do, you should get a nice settlement for it.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.

Amor fati - Nietzsche

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 9/19/2009 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a resection in December of 07. They put in the tube and catheter when I was completely out - I never knew it. I don't even remember the catheter after surgery, but I'm sure I had it for awhile. I remember being given a pain shot in recovery, and I had the pump as well. I think I was only in the hospital for 3 days - and mine was full blown surgery, not laproscopy. I was up walking the next day, and walked all over the hospital. They had me wearing a "girdle" which really helped support things, and made the pain bearable.
I can also tell you I feel so much better now, and have had very few problems since the surgery. Just one major flare a few months ago that put me to bed for a week, but that's all. I don't regret having the surgery - I would do it again to stop hurting like I had been. wink
This disease will NOT defeat me!

Diagnosed with Crohn's in December, 2004, at the ripe old age of 52. Currently on Remicade and in remission.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/20/2009 12:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Solanges,
I'm 30 and have had Crohn's since I was 12. I have had 3 resections and one temporary illiostomy. I've also been hospitalized over 3 dozen times due to Crohn's problems.

With regards to your questions,

I've had the NG tube inserted before surgery and when surgery was not required. It is uncomfortable, but the relief it brings is well worth it.

I've woken up with a catheter in place, it does not feel uncomfortable and is usually removed within about 2 days. Removal of the catheter does not feel like anything at all, you won't even know that they did it till they tell you it is out.

Falling asleep under general anesthesia is no different than falling asleep at the end of the day. The only difference is that you do not dream during general anesthesia. As far as waking up during surgery, you are more likely to be in a fatal car accident on the way to the hospital than for that to happen. Don't worry about it you'll be fine.

Post surgery, the pain I've felt has ranged form moderate to severe. I had an epidural in place once and have always had a morphine pump which works quite well. If you are in pain it can be dealt with so do not be afraid to tell the nurse or doctor.

I'm sure that you will make it through this just fine and that it will bring you some relief. I know the anxiety that you are feeling as I felt the same way before my first surgery.

Best wishes.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/20/2009 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I second all that has been said above. I just want you to know that for most, after they recover from the surgery, they can't believe how much better they feel crohnswise afterwards, and wonder why they waiting so long. Just be sure to get on maintainence meds afterwards to help keep yourself in remission. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/20/2009 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
i had a samll bowel resection in 2000, two feet was removed. i did wake up but i had no idea at all until they told me. It was not as bad as my mind made it out to be, the recovery is not bad it will take a month or two before you get back to yourself, at least that's what it took for me. I had a ton of fistula so it was a long operation but i felt like a new person afterwards. good luck with everything, best whishes to you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 9/21/2009 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences with me. They really helped a lot to make me less nervous. I just want to get the whole thing over with.
Solanges: )

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 134
   Posted 9/21/2009 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi!  I just want to add my two cents.  It is important, I think, to not decide that surgery is "bad" and meds are "good", or meds are "bad" and diet is "good", or excercise is "good" and giving in to fatigue is "bad".   I have learned that chronic illness is complicated, and many treatments are there for us.  They are all helpful or not depending on our own personal situation, and we need to be open and gentle with ourselves.  I have crohn's, autoimmune hepatitis, sarcoidosis, scoliosis and a highly dysplastic colon polyp (pre-cancer).  It is quite a journey.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 9/21/2009 7:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Solanges said...
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences with me. They really helped a lot to make me less nervous. I just want to get the whole thing over with.

It's really true, I feel much better about surgery after hearing everyone's experiences. I'm almost done with my prep! It's the Miralax prep, which is much easier than the Golytely type preps.
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Current Meds: Humira since 7/08, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, Vitamins D, E, & K, Calcium, Magnesium, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods

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