Subtotal Colectomy

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, I am new to this site and I am so glad I found it.  It seems there is a wealth of information here and a lot of caring people.  I have been struggling with Bowel problems for many years.  I am 36 years old and my problems all started when I was 19.  I have had 8 open surgeries due to gyn problems, endo, hysterectomy, ovarian cysts, adhesions, etc...  My last surgery was 3 years ago which was done with the scope by a wonderful docter that I now trust with my life.  He went in to remove adhesions that were all over my intestines as well as my bladder.  Things went well for about a year, but for the past two years I have been unable to have a BM without major enemas.  No laxatives help, none of the prescriptions that my gastro gave me, nothing.  I had the sitz marker study done and of course all of the little rings were still in there after five days and never even moved.  My doc has now recommended a subtotal colectomy as well as removal of adhesions once again.  I was wondering if anyone on this site has ever had this procedure done and if anyone can tell me how their procedure went and how they are doing now?  My surgery is scheduled for 12/16/09.  All advice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 11/20/2009 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Stacey -

My symptoms stated when I was about 12 and now I am 35. I had a sub-total colectomy when I was 24. It improved my bowel habits quite a bit. Like you, no laxatives would work for me prior to the surgery. After the surgery, I could take laxatives to have BMs. However, laxatives are habit forming. I wanted to be laxative free. It has taken years of surgeries and Dr's to get things moving correctly but finally things are working. I am 7 weeks post surgery and enjoying having BMs without laxatives for the first time in over a decade. For many people, a subtotal is a cure. My system is paralyzed and my symptoms are not likely. I hope you find the answers you seek in this forum. The people here have blessed my life greatly. Remember, try not to compare your body to anyone else. Your body's reaction to the surgery will be unique to you. What works for you may not work for me...and visa versa. I look forward to reading about your recovery and following you through your surgery experience.

Best Wishes,
Reversal 9/2009 
Ileostomy 8/2007
Revised Coletomy/ Reset Anastimosis 2006
Revised Colectomy/ Obstructions 2005
Sub-total Colectomy 2001
Prov. 16: 20 Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
Zelnorm, Colace, Motilium, Citrate of Magnesium, Nexium, Amitiza, Potassium, Magnesium, Miralax, Milk of Magnesium, Corgard, Glycerin Suppositories, Sorbitol, Bentyl, Senokot

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 11/20/2009 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you amy for sharing your story with me, I really appreciate your advice and compassion :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 418
   Posted 11/21/2009 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stacey, you'll find a lot of ladies on the
"Total Colectomy Part XX" For various reasons.. mostly severe constipation, also for various reasons.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 11/21/2009 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Stacey,

I too have had MANY abdominal surgeries and adhesion problems as well as chronic constipation.  I had a sub-total colectomy in July of '08.  It was the BEST thing that has ever happened to me health wise!!!  My surgery has been extremely successful without ANY complications.  I had an open surgery due to all of my previous abdominal surgeries but was only in the hospital for 5 days and went back to work full-time 6 weeks later.  No, I wasn't completely healed, that really does take your body up to a year, as this is a MAJOR operation but my body did slowly adjust.  I went from 20+ bms a day to 8-10 a day by 6 weeks and now I have just one a day.  I continue to remain on the low residue diet as per my GI dr; most drs/surgeons let their patients eat whatever they want by 6 weeks but I feel that is one of the key reasons of my surgery's success (no blockages).

If you have any more questions or just want to talk about this whole thing, you may email me, just click on my screen name for my email.

I wish you a very successful surgery as life can be so much better than it is for you right now.


spleen/appendix/gall bladder-removed/endometriosis/complete hysterectomy at 29/sinus surgery/numerous allergies & asthma/chronic kidney stones/ pancreatitis 3x's/2 knee surgeries-now need replacement/bunion & 2 neuroma surgeries/shoulder surgery w/ pins-which also froze following surgery/severe adhesions & scar tissue-stomach to chest-liver to ribs-colon to pelvis/severe IBS w/ constipation/subtotal colectomy 7/08/ c difficile/many kidney surgeries 5/09 through next summer
There's AWAYS HOPE, there's a doctor out there that WILL help you and things WILL get better :):):):):)

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 11/21/2009 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much Judy for your feedback I would like to speak with you more about this, I am going to email you directly...:)
1994 - exploratory laparoscopy
1998 - emergency laparotomy ovarian cyst
1999 - emergency laparotomy removal of left ovary and endometriosis
2000 - total hysterectomy - laparotomy
2001 - laparotomy removal of mass which was adhesions
2001 - laparotomy due to complications of previous surgery
2003 - laparoscopy removal of adhesions
2006 - laparoscopy removal of adhesions
2009 - [12/17/09 scheduled subtotal colectomy and removal of adhesions]

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 11/21/2009 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stacey,

I am on Total Colectomy part 28 too. I did not have colonic inertia but developed some weird outlet issue in 2005. I had a defecogram done in 2006 and the resident radiologist put on the report I had a sigmoidocele (that means part of the sigmoid colon drops in between the rectum and the vagina and partially blocks the side of the rectum.) What I did not know at the time and have since found out in the course of a big review for a medmal suit is that it was only a loop of small intestine that dropped into the rectovaginal septum but did so ONLY AFTER I'd expelled the contrast so was not the cause of the problem. 3 colorectal docs proposed sigmoid colon removal based on the erroneous radiology report. The surgeons I went to also did 6 other procedures (needed right ovary out due to large benign cyst) but then they did 5 other unneeded procedures (many unconsented). WHere my sigmoid colon was attached to my rectum strictured (scarred in) to only a diameter of 4 millimeters (about half the diameter of a pencil). The colorectal doc said "Nothing should be done about it." Left me unable to poop. Just gave me a script for colyte bowel prep and said take a half gallon when you get backed up. NICE GUY!!!! NOT! Then I was unable to eat due to repeated small bowel obstructions as adhesions had wrapped around my small intestine. Had to fly to Mayo Clinic for a CT entercolysis test to get this figured out. Then the pelvic muscle that controls the angling of my rectum was scarred and now holds it at a right angle. This muscle worked fine prior to the surgery. Took 13 months and 11 docs at 7 medical centers to diagnose the extent of the damage. Then it was a real challenge to find someone who was willing to deal with all this. Luckily one doc was willing. Had dense adhesions removed from small intestine and a sheet of SEPRAFILM ADHESION BARRIER put it to lessen the density and number of new adhesions. Then I had to have a permanent ileostomy. But this beat dying which is where I was heading as I couldn't eat, get nutrients or expel waste. Luckily have been good so far; it's been 2 years+ Am praying I stay OK. Have done extensive traveling including a world cruise. Ask your doc if he uses an adhesion barrier in sheet form or spray form. Good luck. Rosemary
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