3 weeks post-op laparascopic subtotal colectomy with anastomosis

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Nurse Cyndi
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/28/2010 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I am 3 and 1/2 weeks today post-op laparascopic subtotal colectomy with anastomosis due to severe colonic inertia which stemmed from chronic constipation. I was going to the bathroom about once a week if I was lucky and that was taking all the stool softeners and laxatives that the doctors had put me on. Without them, I was averaging about once a month to 6 weeks. It wasn't fun. This had been going on since I was 14. I am now 39. All of the doctors that I saw would just give me something else to take which usually wouldn't work at all anyway. I woke up sometime towards the end of October having what was termed as rectal spasms that completely took my breath away, very painful and intense. It lasted for about 30 minutes. So, that day I called the Alabama Colon and Rectal Institute and had an immediate appointment with a great doctor. The first thing he did was order a sitz marker test and also a colonoscopy. On the sitz marker test, after day 7, 22 of 24 of the markers were still in place and spread through out my large intestine telling them that I had a VERY slow transit time. During the colonoscopy, the doctor said he tried to stimulate my large intestine to see if he could see it contracting but without results. Due to the fact that I had already been on so many different medications for so long my options came down to a surgical procedure to remove the large intestine. The procedure was completed on Nov. 4th, 2010 immediately followed by flipping me over and repair the muscles along the instetinal wall due to atrophy. My hospital stay was supposed to be 5 - 7 days, I was out in 4. In the recovery room immediately after the procedure was the worst part as I had to stay in recovery for almost 4 hours because of bladder spasms from the catheter. The doctor says that I had really bad spasms and it was hard to get them under control. Needless to say, the catheter was removed sometime that night as they figured they would let me try and go on my own since I was having so much trouble with the spasms. My veins either blew or were infiltrated NINE times before the second day was over. After the ninth, the IV was not restarted so that meant no more Dilaudid delusions. I was hallucinating up a storm.  Diluadid and I apparently do not get along.
 
Since coming home, I am gradually getting my strength back. I am walking about a mile a day, have lost 10 pounds and am now able to eat anything that I want to. I use the bathroom about 2 - 3 hours after I eat and am going about 4 - 5 times a day. I feel better than I have in years. I am actually doing great with it. Also, I go back to work a week from Monday. I AM READY!!!  Sitting here all the time is driving me stir crazy to say the least. I still can't do any of the other exercises for another 3 weeks but then back to the gym I go. It will be a slow healing process but I say it has already been well worth it. Other than the fact that I have sort of stayed a little raw down there due to having so many bowel movements and I wasn't use to all the wiping I have done very well.  I am very thankful that they were able to do the iliorectal anastomosis so that meant no colostomy for me. Please say a prayer that I continue to heal as well as I have been. I am just curious about what to expect now.

Post Edited (Nurse Cyndi) : 11/28/2010 6:56:11 AM (GMT-7)


ENIGMAWRAP
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 11/28/2010 9:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Nurse Cindy,

Sounds like you've certainly had a tough go of it.....I've as yet to have surgery...and, was wondering..you never wore a bag (even temporary), just went from your issue to having the colon removed and small intestines attached to the rectum? If so, that is interesting....

Nurse Cyndi
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/29/2010 7:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Enigma: Yes, it was a little tough for a bit there and I have had what they call rectal spasms while it is healing but all in all it has definitely been worth it. I read a lot of horror stories about people going to the bathroom constantly and things like that. They removed all of my large intestine but the sigmoid colon and that is where they did the anastomosis. After they did that part is when the doctor had to repair the muscle around the back side and the pelvic floor. I have had more problems from that part of the surgery than the other. But, I am really feeling alot better now. I am up to walking again a mile at a time, I go back to work next week but I will still have to wait to lift more than 30 pounds until 6 weeks post op so no gym exercises for a little bit longer. I am alot better than I was by a long shot. The biggest problem has been getting used to using the bathroom several times a day. Baby wipes have become my friend. I was wiping so much that I had become very raw and irritated. It is getting a lot better now though. I was very adamant about not having to have an ostomy if there was any way around it and the doctor felt that he would be able to complete the surgery without the ostomy. So, here I am :) good luck with your surgery.
Have you had your PSA checked lately?
Urological Nurses Rule!!!
Nurse Cyndi W, LPN

Alibee
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 286
   Posted 11/29/2010 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nurse Cyndi,
You sure have been through it! I am 24 but have been having problems with constipation since I was a baby. I just had my first colonoscopy, which took me 3 days of no food and 2 days of drinking different preps to get cleaned out. I'm scheduled for a sitzmark test/manometry/breath test in January. I am always interested in learning about how different people came to having surgery - I did not even know a surgery like this existed until a few months ago when I finally found a good GI specialist. I asked what long-term options were and she said if after testing to see if I have very poor motility (like we suspect), she would test my small bowel/stomach motility as well as checking for outlet issues and if it is mainly the motility that is the issue, and if treatment continues to fail (I rely on stimulant laxatives combined with miralax every few days because everything else has stopped working, and now the stimulant laxatives do not work well either)...that we would discuss whether just removing the colon would be a good option as far as improving the quality of life for me, which in recent years has been nonexistent.

Your story interested me because I have also felt those rectal spasms in the past, where it literally feels like a knife is in your bowel. They could stop me mid-step, in public. Were yours worse during that time of the month?

Also, did you have other symptoms with your constipation? My worst symptom is the bloating and pregnant feeling, particularly after eating a meal.

I am anxious about my tests but I am ready to get some answers. I pray that it is something fixable, and stories like yours give me some hope.
I hope you continue to recover well, I will be sending good thoughts your way.

Nurse Cyndi
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/30/2010 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, prior to having a hysterectomy it was definitely more frequent during that time. To the point that it could put me on the floor before I knew it. I am truly doing great. I truly feel that this was the best thing that I could ever have done. I truly wish you luck and hope that you get yours taken care of soon.
Have you had your PSA checked lately?
Urological Nurses Rule!!!
Nurse Cyndi W, LPN
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