Total Colectomy in Four Days..any advice

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/8/2008 1:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I am having my total colectomy Monday the 11th...I am finally getting nervous...does anyone have any advice as to what to expect after surgery?  Especially that long did most people stay in the hospital?  Anything special I should take to the hospital?  Any comments would help..thanks

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 8/8/2008 4:07 AM (GMT -6)   
yeah  good luck sugarbug!! i have heard of ppl in hosp forr as little as 5 days, i was 2 weeks. As for the 1st day i was terrified so the docs gave me a sedative in the morn of the op, my op lasted 5 1/2 hours. But being honest the 1st day is quite hazy. between the pain and the morphine, i can only remember bits, of the day. i was in resuscitation for about  4 hrs post surgery then i was stable enough to go to ITU. What i do remember is the trapped air at the shoulder blades, very painful, and i had not been pre warned about that. They do pump you full of air during the surgery. I didn't sleep well, and was constantly sick, about 4 days post op i had an ng tube inserted, had that for about 4-5 days. But my advice take all the pain relief offered. I had quite a long recovery time once i was allowed home, but most ppl are fine near enough the 2-3 weeks post op. But after a long painful year( i developed num erous food intolerances) my new meds are finally working, i am glad i had the op now, and i am sure you will be too. But Sugarbug, you will find the strentgh to get through it. You have no doubt had a crappy and painful existence just now but look at it this week, you should finally beable to begin the rest of your life to the full without the probs of before. this week i have decorated constantly on my own. Yeh i have been sore by the end of each night, but not my tummy!!! Just the usual place that get sore with too much physical activities, legs, arms and back. I am feeling so confident now about my future, without pain!! so fab. Along with my newly toned muscular arms, lol they actually gave in, in protest yest and decided they would be doing no more work for the day. LOL mind of their own. But i am ready to go again today, and i am so happy to actually beable to help around the house now. For years i have gotten tired and sore very quickly and now i am outpacing my hubby. yeh me!!!! so i will be thinking of you and praying for a very speedy recovery, and if it takes a little longer well, we will all be here to guide and support you. say goodbye to a painful life and hello to a new pain free one
amanda xx :-)
extreme constipation from birth
fainting spells aged 15, then diagnosed I.B.S
anal fissures, haemorrhoids internal and external
mucous and bleeding
sigmoidoscopies, endoscpies, scans, x-rays, bloods
h-pylori aged 24-26
more tests, diagnosed severe slow transit, marker tests took 3-4 weeks to come away
large colon removed in 2007, aged 27( surgeon said removed 10ft) no colostomy
still in severe pain, awaiting dietician appt, now lots of food intoleraces
meds- ibuprofen, fluoxetine, amitriptyline,and omeprazole

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 8/8/2008 5:15 AM (GMT -6)   


Good luck with your surgery on Monday! I had my colon and rectum removed and was out of the hospital in 4 days, so hopefully your stay will be that short.

If you are having open surgery, you will want to bring a small pillow with you to press against your tummy when you roll in bed or need to get up out of bed.

For the most part, you will be receiving strong pain medicine through IV and will sleep a lot. When I was awake, I would mostly watch TV or talk on the phone, so bring your cell phone and charger.

Slippers and a robe are nice to have, as well as hard candies to suck on, since you might not be able to eat for a couple of days.

Everything is going to be fine. Keep in mind that you are going to feel so much better once you've healed up from surgery. Please keep us posted on how you're doing once you get home.

Take care,


Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1251
   Posted 8/8/2008 5:40 AM (GMT -6)   
The pillow works well for when you have to cough or when you're laughing (both involve using the tummy muscles). Hold the pillow against your tummy - it does help!
I have had an ileostomy for 32 years now due to UC.
Moderator of the Ostomy Forum
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 8/8/2008 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I had my surgery done June 10th. I was a little groggy afterwards and my tummy hurt but the pain reliever helped wonders. I walked within 4 hours of my surgery. This will help you heal so keep walking. I had constipation my entire life so I was not prepared for the instant results. I started to have bowel movements within the first 2 hours and at first I had many. They were loose and watery and I had up to 10 a day. This slowed down after about six weeks to 4 a day. Have lots of toilet paper for when you come home and you may need baby wipes and a cream for butt burn.
I am a very active person and the slow recovery was hard for me. It had a hard time slowing down for the recovery. It took about two months until until I could walk my dog again.
I did not have the typical results and was home from the hospital in three days.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/8/2008 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone...I am sure you all realize how much your replies mean to me.  I don't a great support system of friends b/c I think they are all tired of me and my I had my gallbladder surgery I had some real pain that didn't go away as fast as everyone told me.  It took about three weeks before I could really walk around.  I'm using that as a guide for this one.  Anytime I have an injury or surgery, I usually have complications so I'm praying it's different this time. 
We (my husband and two kids and me) are supposed to go to Mexico at the end of I fooling myself it will happen?
Did anyone have trouble with people acting like you were making a bid deal out of nothing with having this surgery instead of taking a laxative?
Sugarbug (Jennifer)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 8/8/2008 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
i just got home from my 1st j pouch surgery 2 days ago after being in the hospital for 6 days. i've never had surgery before this so i was surprised by how difficult it was to walk. i still can't completely stand up straight, but it gets easier every day, although in the evenings i start to have more back pain. i asked for a walker in the hopital and that made it easier to stand up straight while walking. also, my stomach muscles hurt and it feels like my staples are stretching and might burst, but i'm told that's not going to actually happen. i'm still getting used to all this and have mixed feelings about the surgery, but i have to say not having to poop a million times a day is a relief. the bag is much bulkier than i was aware of, especially when it fills up with air (which can happen very quickly). and i didnt really expect the stoma to make so much noise, kind of annoying when i'm eating dinner or sitting in a quiet room, haha. not sure how that's gonna work if i end up taking a class this quarter...

oh, and recovery time depends a lot on whether you have laproscopic surgery or not. mine was so i only have a couple very small cuts. good luck and be thankful for morphine :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 305
   Posted 8/8/2008 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had my Ileostomy for 17 years now. The surgery went well and I was out of the hospital in 5 days. It takes alittle getting used to but the positives are many. All my friends know I have an ostomy but say they keep forgetting unless it comes up in conversation. Once you get used to it it's really no big deal. Just remember to always have a spare and supplies with you when your gone just in case of an accident. You'll find yourself in situations at some point that you think you can't handle but somehow you always do and then your smarter next time. When someone asks me why I have an ostomy I tell them it's just because I'm lazy. Might as well find some humor in it! Good luck and have a speedy recovery!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 8/9/2008 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   

SpongeBabe, I didn't realize you had surgery last week! Wow, you're doing great! Having a lot of gas is normal in the beginning. That will subside, and so will the chattiness of the stoma. It just wants to get to know you!!! he he he :-)  I'm glad you're appreciating not having to go to the bathroom a million times a day. That was my problem before surgery, too.

Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

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