Surgery questions

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New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/1/2010 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all - New member here.... 33 yr. old male. Crohn's in terminal ileum region for past 15 years. Recently, flare ups are becoming more frequent, even though I exist on a *no* residue diet. My latest xray showed 25 cm of strictured bowel with fistulas, and my doctor has recommended surgery. No involvement in the colon at all, thankfully. I've never had surgery before and am a little nervous about this!

The plan is to do a laproscopic resection on May 25- which will remove the ileocecal valve and the diseased portion. I realize it won't cure the problem, but it would be nice to eat normally again without so much fear about whether it will cause a flare! So, my question is this - I've read somewhere how the removal of the IC valve can lead to a significant change in bowel habits.... some have mentioned having to use the bathroom upwards of ten or more times a day because of this surgery! I know there are may on this forum with experience with this - what can I expect after? How long was your recovery? Did it significantly alter your "normal" routine? Did you return to normal after recovering completely?

Thanks for any advice!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/1/2010 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I am anxious to hear too, because I am looking at surgery too.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

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Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/1/2010 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had 2 resections myself. The first was similar to what you will be having, only difference mine was a full open surgery and was an emergency. Yes immediately after the surgery you will have some explosive diarrhea, but once your bowels adjust to the changes things will quiet down. Now I am not going to lie, some do have continued diarrhea, but with the help of things like Questran you can help it be more manageable. But with having two resections already I tend more towards C than D. The biggest changes I have noticed is that I don't tolerate some foods that I could eat before. I.E. no more red meat or pork. I just don't digest them as well. I also have found that a modified low residue diet works best for "me". I have the stricturing/scarring type of Crohns and don't do well with too much fiber. (In other words I tend to develop alot of adhesions and scar tissue). But I do bet you will be feeling much better after the surgery. I know I did. I hope that I have helped some.

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 5/1/2010 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   
The way it was explained to me when we were considering a resection of the terminal ileum area was that part of the healthy cecum and ascending colon "might" have to be included depending on the blood supply to that area.

The last 3 feet of the ileum are supposed to absorb most of the bile salts used by the ileum in digesting our food. The cecum absorbs some of the residual bile salts. The bile salts are what irritate the colon lining and interfere w/its ability to process our stool and remove the water firming the BM up by the time it reaches the rectum.

So much depends on how much of the TI must be resected and how much, if any, of the cecum and ascending colon how much trouble we will have w/diarrhea after resection of the ICV area.
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.

Scott Crohnie
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 5/2/2010 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I had surgery to remove the ileum and a small section of colon due to strictures and fistulas. The surgery was done in Feb of this year and I have noticed a big increase in the d. I have a stoma and the output from it has been much higher and very watery. I take imodium to try and reduce which helps a bit. I also have problems with my electrolytes suffering from low calcium, potassium and magnesium and take supplements for all of them but I have already been hospitalised for low calcium and potassium a few weeks back and still have problems keeping them at a reasonable level. The problems with my electrolytes has only really started since the surgery.
But the good news as I complete free of the Crohn's disease at present and can eat anything I want whereas previously I was restricted on what I could eat.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 5/2/2010 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
tallpianoguy~welcome to the forum! I didn't have major issues after my first resection :-) Recovery wasn't easy, for me, because I had lost so much weight and was starting from zero. Once I recovered, I was able to work and have a life for the better part of 10 years...unmedicated...which I do not recommend!! My luck didn't last, but we are all different, just stay on meds after your resection!

Scott Crohnie~there are many ways to help with electrolytes and potassium deficiencies. Have you checked out the Ostomies Forum? You can get there from the 'quick jump' and welcome, too!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
Proctocolectomy in 2008

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