Finished Testing, Dr. recommends 2 surgeries and biofeedback...anyone have this?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 662
   Posted 3/20/2008 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had constipation my whole life.  I'm 52 years old, and the only way I've been able to have a BM for 30 years is to take Senokot weekly.   Over the years, the laxatives haven't worked as well... I've been to several drs. over the years and their suggestion was always to drink more water, fiber, etc.  Of course, I tried everything, but I knew there were other problems than just my diet.
I finally went to a Colon and Rectal Center, had all the testing (sitz marker, EMG, anal maometry, defogram) and today I saw the surgeon.  He said of 120 markers, I still had 119 in my colon (no surprise!), and that in addition to my colon not working, I had problems with my rectum as well.  I have a large reticole (sp?) and my muscles are not working properly.
He suggests biofeedback--he said it can't hurt, and while he's sure I'm going to need to have my colon removed, this is a first step.  Next, he thinks I should have the STARR procedure, because without it, I'll still have problems once my colon is removed.
There's no rush to do this, but I'm starting biofeedback in a couple weeks.  He recommends 4 to 6 treatments and see if there's any improvement.  His feeling is that it probably won't solve any problems, but may help after the colon surgery.  When I asked if he sees this alot, he said fairly often, and that most of his patients who need the colon surgery are in their late 30's to early 40's, and that if laxatives have helped me this long, I've been lucky.  He said my case is more complicated because of the rectum problem, but he really feels the surgeries will help.
Just wondering...has anyone had both surgeries and had improvement?  I'm really nervous about all of this, but it would be so nice to just be able to poop!!
Thanks for any advice!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 3/22/2008 11:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Janie,

What an ordeal! Did your doctor say anything about an ostomy? I'm familiar with the tests you've taken - I am studiously avoiding them at the moment - but not familiar with the STARR procedure. My surgeon has also suggested biofeedback, with the ultimate goal of reversing my ostomy, but I like my ostomy because with it I CAN poop for the first time in my adult life without pain or misery,

I suppose I can't be of much assistance because I'm not familiar with one of the proposed the procedures and I'm not sure what you're looking for, but let me assure you, nervousness is natural. Hopefully some other folks on the list can answer your specific queries.
diagnosed Endometriosis 2001
first surgery 2003 - lesions found in rectum
7 major procedures in 2007 including 10-hour endometriosis dissection, ileostomy, ilestomy takedown, colostomy
No longer taking testosterone, codeine, vicodin, xanax, or receiving acupuncture 2-3 times a week
Loving life and re-entering "the world"
still taking the occasional valium :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 662
   Posted 3/24/2008 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for responding.  The STARR procedure is for a recticole (sp), which is another problem, apparently.  It's sort of a bulge in my rectum that doesn't allow stool to pass easily...or at least that's my understanding.  When my Dr. explained this to me, I was sort of in shock and I know I didn't understand everything.   I'm just wondering if anyone has had this surgery....I know I read that someone had one, but I can't find the post now.  All of this is just overwhelming.

My doctor didn't mention anything about an ostomy...he said he would attach my small intestine to my rectum.  I asked about the success of this surgery, because I've read about so many problems on this board. He assured me the success rate is very good.  He said he performs this surgery regularly and if it wasn't successful, he wouldn't be performing them.  He added that there can be complications, but usually these problems can be resolved, or at least made manageable.

I'm starting biofeedback in a few weeks, and will have 4 or 6 sessions,and then we'll go from there.  Surgery seems so extreme to me, but when I take my laxative that I have been taking for 30 years and it won't work well, then I'm sure I should have surgery.  Like you, I just want to poop.  Without laxatives, I have absolutely no urge at all.  It seems like such a simple thing to do, doesn't it?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 624
   Posted 4/4/2008 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
hi Janiepain :-)
I am new to the site after searching for slow transit constipation and posted a thread a few days ago that you might want to read headed SURGERY FOR SLOW TRANSIT CONSTIPATION. 
unfrotunately our condition is something that is different for everyone - as you will see from the many posts on here.  however, surgery is the last resort all depending on your quality of life - mine revolves around the loo, and i now dont work, aprt from working from home which is a blessing.  so i am considering surgery.
i had STARR - was offered biofeedback, but declined, as knew that wasnt my problem.  anyway all the tests should show that up for you i thought?? cant remember their names, but they insert different instruments into your back passage and ask you questions etc and how much you can tolerate...
Who wouldnt have rectal problems after years of straining and such like???? eyes    so lots of ladies have rectoceles, but doesnt always mean they need to have them fixed.  i had starr and other procedures for mucosal prolapse - my rectum is apparently quite narrow now. 
so sorry you had to take lax all your life it seems - i do hope something positive comes out of hte tests...
take care
karen x

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