Pain Management - post op Total Colectomy

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/6/2009 4:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm having Total Colectomy this Wednesday, and I'm not ashamed to say - I am a WUSS when it comes to handling pain.  I have absolutely zero pain tolerance.
From ya'lls experience, what type pain management can I expect after surgery, in hospital as well as after discharge home?
I know I've got to get up and walk afterwards.  I had tubal ligation in 2002 and vividly remember the pain from the gas they put in during surgery.
I'm scheduled for surgery at 11:00 a.m., but will be taken back at 9:30 for preparation - IV hook up, etc.  Did anyone receive anything via IV to take the edge off your nerves? 
I am freaking out - and will be totally wired by Wednesday morning.  Not to mention the screaming head ache I'll have from no food/caffeine, etc.
HELP!?!?!  Tell me something good!!!  confused
40 yr old Female
Colonic Inertia
1 son - 15 yrs
1 daughter - 8 yrs

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 662
   Posted 4/6/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
It's normal to be scared!  I just had my colectomy for colon inertia on March 18 (almost 3 weeks!) and honestly, the pain wasn't that terrible.  I had much more gas pain from my tubal ligation than I did the colectomy.  BUT it's no walk in the park....I woke up with NG tube for 5 days, catheter for  6 days because I couldn't pee, and I was just more uncomfortable than in pain.  I was in the hospital 8 days and once I got home, I was much much better.  In the hospital I had a morphine pump, which I used alot!! Not so much because of pain, but because it made me sleep and I just wanted to sleep!!  I came home with darvocet, and in the last 10 days, I've only taken 4 pills....those were the first few nights when I went to bed.
While they were prepping me, I was pretty nervous, but it went fast.  I didn't have much time to get too stressed, I was out before I knew it!
You'll be fine and afterwards, it will be so much better.  Just remember how you feel now, and it will be so worth it!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 381
   Posted 4/6/2009 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I also have no tolerance for pain. I had surgery three weeks ago and am still in pain. But I am healing slowly due to still being on pred. The healing is slower. But everyday it gets better....

In the hospital they will do a good job taking care of pain. I gave up the pain pump too quickly. I only had it for a day and half and then went on pain pills which made me sick because I was barely eating. I was also only in hospital for 4 days after the surgery. So I went home in pain but it was good to be home.
Jackie, 43
Pancolitis, DX October 06

Lexapro, Synthroid, Protonix,
Tapering prednisone from 40 mg

Surgery March 13th- Total Colectomy
Jpouch surgery to be done in 3 steps

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/6/2009 10:22 PM (GMT -7)   

I wouldn't stress too much about anything before the surgery. I had mine at 7:00 in the morning. The first thing the nurses did after putting my IV in was take me over to what they called "cocktail hour." Then they put some heavenly substance in my IV that took all my worries away. I even didn't mind when they poked around in my spine trying to put the epidural in (which normally would TERRIFY me). Post-op, it is good to be vocal about your pain level. Don't try to tough it out. My epidural mixture wasn't ideal in the beginning, and I had them change it until I was basically pain free.

Be careful when it is time to switch over to oral pain meds. After a few days on the epidural, I tried to switch to oxycodone, but I hadn't really eaten anything yet. That stuff is not good on an empty stomach. I was sick to my stomach for an entire day after that which, with recently cut abdominal muscles, is not comfortable at all. So try to not rush the oral stuff.

I also really get headaches when I don't eat or have coffee, but that didn't effect anything post-op. There are bigger fish to fry at that point.

I know it is asking a lot, but try not to get too freaked out about it. Be vocal about your needs and 99% of the time, the nursing staff will do everything they can to make you comfortable. Just think how great it will be when it is done. I really hesitated getting my surgery, and now I have absolutely no regrets about having it done. It was one of the best decisions of my life.

Good luck. Hang in there.
Rich, 28
Diagnosed January 2003
Budesonide (Entocort)- 9mg/day
Mycophenolate Sodium(Myfortic)- 720mg 2x/day
Mesalamine(Lialda)- 2400mg 2x/day
Infliximab(Remicaid)- 100mg every 8 weeks
Prednisone- as needed
Total laproscopic proctocolectomy with S-Pouch and ostomy placement June 2nd 2008
Ostomy takedown August 15th 2008

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