Advisability of elective extended left hemicolectomy

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/5/2008 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I am a 58 year old female and have been dealing with annual/bi-annual recurring bouts of diverticulitis. According to reports from my CT scan and colonoscopy I have "numerous" diverticula in my sigmoid colon and transverse colon and a few in my ascending colon. I had four emergency surgeries to drain abscesses back in 1983. My doctor is advising an extended left hemicolectomy (removal of the sigmoid colon, left descending colon and part of the transverse colon) I am hesitant to submit to this elective surgery because my quality of life is very good except for my flare-ups. I am apprehensive about what my bowel/urinary/sexual functions would be like after this surgery. Has anyone out there had any experience with this?

Post Edited (Sachamo) : 3/5/2008 12:48:27 PM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/31/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sachamo,
Like you i also suffered for years from the effects of diverticulitis. I had them extensively in the sigmoid, the ascending and almost half of the transverse colon. I suffered for years with bloating & constant constipation that could only be releived by taking Fleet or epsom salt. And that would only help for a few weeks at a time. I thought i could live with the condition until the condition worsened to the point where i developed a FISTULA TO THE BLADDER. The diverticula had become so infected that they in turn infected the Bladder & small particles of stool began to show up in my urine. Urinating became extremely painful and i then had a constant fever, which required surgery-Left Hemi Colectomy and bladder surgery.
I was hoping i would have been ok, but when the fistula developed, i had no choice but to do the surgery.
I didnt want to miss too much work so i elected to have it done December 20th,09. lots of holidays to recoop. They removed the sigmoid, the ascending and a portion of the transverse. They then joined the the transverse directly to the rectum. (the infected portion of the bladder was excised). I was in the hospital for 7 days. The surgery was successful. I ate and drank nothing for the six days i was in the hospital, only IV fluids.
The 8" long vertical scar from just below (what u would call the Bikini line)was quite prominent and scary looking. While it was tender, it hurt only mildly, unless you tried to laugh or sneeze. Hiccups which i had after the fifth day was painful in the stomach area.
I developed diarrhea  after the fifth day and had to use incontinent briefs for the next 3 days. However that soon ended once i started eating again. It was difficult getting in and out of bed within the first 10 days after surgey. After that my strenght began to come back (by the way i began working from home a couple of days after i left the hospital. in fact i had to fight hard not to do all the things i was acustomed to doing in order not to affect the healing process).
I had one normal bowel movement per day up until a couple of weeks ago. Now i notice i'm having about two every three days.
Everything so far is working out just fine. I am hoping it will stay that way.
Bye the way there has been absolutely no change in sexual desire or function.
While i cant tell you what to do, i am extremely glad i had this surgery.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 3/31/2009 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   

I had a total proctocolectomy due to UC and had a jpouch made.  It was by far the best decision I have made.  I am very physically active and can do everything I did pre-illness.  I'm a long distance international hiker (100-200 miles) and backpacker.  Lack of colon and rectum has not stopped me.


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 4/1/2009 4:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I would think it would be better to have surgery before it becomes and emergency situation and you don't have a choice of your surgeon and then the recovery would be even harder. Quality of life is better post worries about abscesses/perforations...I have no ill effects from my colon removal:)
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