Has anyone had an epidural for pain management after surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 12/4/2007 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
My doc said that I will be having an epidural for pain after my surgery. I am wondering if anyone else has had this, and if they put it in before or during surgery. Also how will I walk if my legs are numb? Oh and if anyone has had the open resection surgery for the ileum...where and how long is the scar.
thanks so much yeah
Diagnosed: 2003, age 18 (had issues with it since I was 12)
Meds for crohns: 20mg Prednisone, 9mg Entocort, 400mg Remicade, 50mg 6-MP, 40mg Prilosec, 1mg Folic Acid, 5/325 Percocet.
Other medical issues: Hereditary Spherocytosis (hemolytic anemia) iron deficient anemia, polyarthralgia, ovarian cysts, Migraines
Surgeries: Spleen and gallbladder out at age 6, Tonsils and Adenoids out at age 21. Looking at resection surgery this year.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 12/4/2007 6:13 PM (GMT -7)   

I had an epidural after my resection two years ago.  It kept the pain to a bare minimum for me.  Definitely was the way to go I thought.  Mine was placed before my surgery, but I was totally out when they did it.  I was in the waiting area getting final prep for surgery, next thing the anesthesiologist came in, gave me something, and several hours later I was waking up, and doing quite well, pain wise.  My epid. line needed to be repositioned once on day two, but I was pleased with the effect.  I had the epidural in for 4 days then I was put on percocet by mouth, which is what works best for my pain.

My surgery was open and my incision is from about three or four inches below my belly button to about two or so inches above my belly button.  It has healed quite well.

I wish you the best!!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 12/4/2007 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I had an epidural for my last resection and it was ok, not great because I had respiratory issues that limited the amount of medication I received so always had some pain, but the good part was that the discomfort was constant. There were no peaks and valleys like there is when you are receiving injections.

At least two things to be aware of -- some individuals develop an allergic response to the medication. It is very common to feel itchy. There is medication to counteract that, but you have to let the nurses know if you begin to feel itchy. They might not ask. Also, the epidural can increase your nausea. I suffer from positional nausea with just about any narcotic medication so when I tried to sit up for the first time, I felt great waves of nausea rushing over me. There is medication for this as well and it is very important to let your nursing team know if you are feeling queasy. You do not want to be getting sick to your stomach after abdominal surgery.

The more you are able to move around the more quickly you will get your bowels moving and the less you will suffer from gas and bloating, which can be a common feature of any abdominal surgery. It is hard at first to stand and walk. You don't need to do much at first but do try a bit, especially while you still have the epidural in place. You should be able to move relatively comfortably and that will speed your recovery.

Good luck next Thursday and start looking forward to better days. They are coming.

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 12/9/2007 9:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I had the epidural for pain after my ostomy resection. I declined it preop since that is when they wanted to put it in. I asked my surgeon he said no you should be fine you have a high tolerance for pain. Well the Sx was more complicated than thought prior to opening me up since the abscess had spread to my abd walls and they had to be scraped. I also had lots of adhesions wheich they were not expecting. I was on dilaudid post op after my resection then 1 week later for the temp ostomy/partial colectomy. I was up bending over in the sink in my room washing my hair the day after surgery in both those cases. After my last one though forget it. They gave me so many pain meds iv post op they finally after 12 hours decided to place the epidural. My next surgery I will be haing I am definitly having them place the epidural.
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 12/9/2007 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I had an epidural with my resection and it was done during the surgery. It made the pain easy to handle, the catheter easy to deal with, and I had no problems walking with it. But when it wore off I was miserable. The catheter was so painful and uncomfortable I told them they needed to take it out or I would tear it out myself! ( I meant it too!) But the epidural definitely made the first 24 hours very easy.
diagnosed 11/06, solving the mystery of years of on/off abdominal pain. No more "it's just a virus". 33f with 2 boys, a lovable dog, and a wonderful husband. 150 mg Imuran, bowel resection 9/07, healing well and feeling well.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/9/2007 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I think the epidural is a great idea. On my first resection they attempted the epidural, but the dumb anthesiologist put it too high and it didn't work for me. But I think it would work great if it was placed properly. I hear people have quicker recoveries with the epidural.

I have had two open resections. My scars go a little above my bellybutton and below also. Its about 5-6 inches. No more bikinis for me. HA!! Of course I didn't wear them before.

You know how we are always talking about being so bloated we look pregnant? I saw some pictures of me recently from before my last resection. I was skinny everywhere else, but my stomach was so big. I guess my intestines were really swollen, cuz I don't look like that now.

Hope your surgery goes well and you have a long, long remission. God Bless.

Gail *Nanners*
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/9/2007 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I had an open re-section december last year and had an epidural put in prior to surgery, had a small local anasthetic before hand and felt no pain or discomfort as it was inserted. Unfortunately in my instance the epidural didnt work fully. It worked brilliantly on my left hand side but apparently i have a membrane (I think was really too concoius) that was blocking it from reaching the right hand side which was very uncomfortable. The care team though were very quick in replacing it with an IV pain killer and it is apparently very rare.

As far as the scar it is pretty much exactly the same as AKTeach's.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 12/9/2007 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I had one my last surgery, and it was the best my post surgery pain was ever controlled. Sometimes it may not go in straight, or move, which means stopping and restarting (lots of pain in between for me because other meds just don't work well for me). The first couple days I couldn't get out of bed because one of my legs was numb, after they stopped the meds and restarted, it worked better on "just" my abdomen. They put it in while I was out for the surgery, not sure if it was before or after, the important thing is that I don't remember, lol.

Good luck with your surgery, make sure you talk to your surgeon about pain meds after they take out the epidural, just to make sure it's in your chart, you may or may not need them, but it's better to have it in there just in case.

As for the scar, I don't know for sure, I've had so many and they always go back in the same place, my scar is kind of long now. I do have pictures of myself in a bikini (many, many moons ago, lol) on my honey moon which was after a resection (before my ostomy of course). The bottoms were french cut, but I can't make out a scar above my navel. It's hard to believe I was ever that young and skinny, lol.
Crohn's Disease   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 12/9/2007 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
my scar is overlapping. I look like a jigsaw puzzle. I had an inguinal hernia surgery in 1986, had my gall baldder out in 99 and then these past 3 surgeries. None of my Sx have been laporoscopic. I have 4 scar lines total from my surgeries, one is where my temp ostomy was where the stome came through. The surgeries for the CD have all gone through the same scarline and my upcoming Sx will be the same since my fistula is along the scarline. My surgeon said had I not had the surgeries I would not have had a weak area in my abd wall causing it to be an abscess just growing under my skin rather than a fistula...i guess the way he made it sound I am lucky that it was able to go through and have the ability to drain on its own.
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987

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