Colectomy Complications, Fistula developed, ileostomy now needed temporarily

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/24/2010 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
This post is for my mother who I'm very worried about... It's a long story, but any advice on this or anyone who has endured this crazy rollercoaster as well.. your insight would be helpful.

My mother has always had issues with constipation and was diagnosed with diverticulitis a few years ago. Surgery was recommended for her and her problems.

On Dec 15th my mother got a total colectomy laprascopicly (sp?) They released her after a week being in the hospital. She came home for a week and then a vile brown liquid began flowing from her incision(turns out it was feces). The on-call doc said to bring her back into the hospital. A fistula had developed. They kept her for 2 weeks to see if the fistula would close on its own. While in the hospital, she ran a few high fevers. It didnt close up so they did another surgery and they couldnt do Lap anymore... they hooked up a ileostomy bag.

Things were looking pretty good in the hospital... She had a nasal tube that was removed after 4 days. She ran a fever for a few days, but low grade... Then, her blood platelet level got too low so they did a blood transfusion with 3 pints of blood. She looked much better after the transfusion. She began to drink clear liquids for 2 days without any problems. Next, she moved onto thicker liquids and for 2 days, things were looking great. Now, blood is flowing from into the ileostomy bag (which they say is normal). It has flowed for an entire day. Also, she vomited a green vile.  They gave her anti-nausea meds and some pain meds.. After she went to sleep, I left the hospital...
Heard back from my mom the next day and the liquid in her ileostomy bag is now brown again and her nausea is cleared up.. The doctor says this is a good sign that things are working again...  They started her back on clear liquids today..

Any help would be wonderful... The doctor is pretty hard to get a hold of and his explanations are pretty quick.. he came highly recommended so I believe he know what he's doing... Thanks for listening! Please respond if you have had a similar experience.. this doesnt seem normal and I am very worried about my mother.  She has spent 36 days TOTAL in the hospital and I'm worried about her and her recovery.  She is 56 years old. 
Thanks! Moms Fav.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 418
   Posted 1/25/2010 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I just wanted to respond.. because I know you're so worried! She has been through a lot, and it will be a while before she fully recovers.. but it does sound like she may be at least on the road the last couple days. Sorry the doctor is so hard to get a hold of.. or communicate with (been there!) I'd try and call his office and see if you can express your concerns and hopefully - he will return a call to you and let ou know things are progressing.

Best wishes on your mom's recovery!

Chronic Constipation - last 20+ yrs.
Stage lll Pelvic Floor Prolapse ( rectocele, rectal, vaginal, bladder) Rectopexy, Sacral Colpopexy, TVT Sling - 8+ hr surgery - March 2009
Constipation increased, could not move bowels without excessive straining or laxatives - March 2009
TVT Sling Released - April 2009
Redundant, Twisted, Prolapsed colon found - causing mechanical obstruction Oct. 2009
Rectosigmoid Colectomy w/low anterior Anastomosis & Revised Rectopexy - Dec. 2009
Perineorrhaphy & Posterior Colporrhaphy (rectocele repair) - Dec. 2009
Today - using MiraLax daily and things are much improved!

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/25/2010 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Momsfav

I just wanted to let you know that I went through something similiar very recently as your mother has gone through. I went into the hospital 12/16/09 for a subtotal colectomy due to colonic inertia and the fact my colon just didn't work anymore. I had it done with a scope minimally invasive. about 4 days after the surgery I started running an extreme fever and my abdomen started to swell. A CT Scan was done of my abdomen and it was found the anastomosis was leaking into my abdomen. An emergency JP Drain was put in to drain the fluid from the abcess that had formed, which was as you described that was coming out of your mother's incision. The doctor waited at least 10 days to see if this would heal on it's own, it did not and I ended up have an open surgery and came out with an ileostomy. I also came out with an NG tube as well, very nauseated once it was removed about 4 days later. I too had to have the blood tranfusion as my hemoglobin and hemocrat was very low. I was in the hospital nearly a month, but I am home now and recoving slowing but surely. I am to have the ileostomy reversed hopefully in the near future. It seems your mother and I have had very similiar situations and it seems she is coming along fine, it is a very slow recovery and it isn't an easy one. Contact should you have any questions, and I will keep your mother in my prayers.

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  laparospic subtotal colectomy with anastamosis and removal of adhesions
2009 - 12/26/09 - open laparotomy due to leak from subtotal colectomy - ileostomy placed
2009 - 3/2009 [ REVERSAL SCHEDULED]

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