Hi Everyone... I just found this site and it looks like you all are such a great supportive group! I hope that maybe you can answer some questions for me.
I'm 41 and have now had two gastroenterologist and an oncologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center recommend I have as much of my colon removed as possible. I have a genetic disorder... attenuated familial adnomatous polyposis... which means that I keep getting a bunch of precancerous polyps and have an 80 to 100 percent chance of getting colon cancer. In addition, I suffer from chronic severe constipation... and my colon is so twisty and looped around that it is next to impossible to do a colonoscopy on me to screen for polyps.
We see the surgeon tomorrow and I have to decide how much colon I want removed. I was thinking just the right side of it, but the oncologist wants me to have a subtotal in which the rectum and a few inches of the sigmoid would be left. What I wonder is what are the chances that I would be able to have a subtotal without a colostomy? The oncologist said that he thought they would be able to do a subtotal without me needing a bag... but that there is a chance I would need on temporarily. What have been your experiences? Has anyone here had this surgery without needing a colostomy?
I want to have the surgery laparoscopically, but I have had three major abdominal surgeries already (ruptured appendix, gall bladder removed, and c-section scar). I'm thinking that I won't be a candidate for laparoscopic surgery. For those who had open surgery, how long did you stay in the hospital?
How soon were you able to eat again? I've read some people lose weight and others gain weight. Can anyone explain why there would be weight gain after this surgery? I've recently lost 70 pounds and I really don't want to gain it back again.
Finally, I'm totally phobic about surgery. On my last surgery, they had trouble intubating me. I'm terrified that they will have that problem again and not be able to get oxygen to me quick enough. I am almost panicked right now just thinking about it and want to back out of the surgery and just not have it done. But of course, there are serious risks with that decision, too.