Adhesions and Strictures

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/18/2011 8:22 PM (GMT -6)   
This is my first time posting, so first I want to thank you for listening! 
My husband went in for a routine colonoscopy and the doctor perforated his colon, just above the rectum.  An emergency ileostomy was performed, with the intention of doing a reversal six weeks later.  However, when the surgeon checked my husband's colon prior to the surgery, he found the bowel almost completely blocked with a stricture.  After two different attempts to use a balloon dilation procedure, it became clear that a new anastomosis would be necessary.
That surgery was six hours long, and involved removal of some adhesions, and also another large section of his colon.  He ended up in ICU for six days on a ventilator after that one.  The doctor said that was due to the length of time his belly was open and the loss of blood and fluids.   His ureter was accidentally nicked during the surgery also, and it was necessary to repair it and have two temporary stints inserted.
His next complication was the development of scar tissue in his penis due to the long amount of time that the catheter was in place during his recovery.  This was handled with surgery as well, but with limited success.
Ultimately my husband went in on 1/11 for his take down or reversal.  The surgeon found a small stricture in his bowel, but was able to get through when a flexible scope was used, so he went ahead with the reversal.  My husband is doing well now, experiencing the normal urgency with bowel movements following the reversal, and he is feeling better each day.
My problem is I am SCARED that he will develop a bowel obstruction in the future, and will have to have additional surgery and a possible permanent ostomy.  He obviously is prone to developing scar tissue/adhesions, so I almost feel doomed to this complication in the future.    He is so happy to be without the bag, but I can't get beyond my panic that this is not the end of the nightmare, it's the middle.  We have been through so much since this all took us by surprise on Sept. 13th, and I am admittedly paranoid!
Any words of wisdom or suggestions for us?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 1/19/2011 8:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome,
Sorry for all that you and your husband are going through, but you have come to the right place as we have all experienced similar problems, but each of us have different stories as well. I have a permanent ileostomy that I have had since March 2009 and also had to have surgery for adhesions not that long ago and I must admit I also have had lots of negative thoughts about having to have more surgery since I too have had so many total of 5 in 18months and as much as I think I just can't deal with anymore somehow I get through it and I know if you and your husband have to that you also will get through it because the alternative is not an option. Having the bag is not that bad, it did take me a while to get my head around it but now I am very happy to have it as its given me quality of life, so if you have to head down that road its truely not the end of the world. Try not to think of the what if's because you will cross each bridge when and if you come to it, there is no point in worrying yourself sick over something that may never happen, easier said than done at times I know but anytime you feel low or nervous come here and talk to us about it we are only too happy to help each other out. Hang in there and keep us posted on your husbands progress. Sorry I probably wasn't a great lot of help but I do understand how you feel. Take care

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/19/2011 9:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for replying Doreen. I know that we will handle whatever comes down the road, but I also know I will lose the husband I know if he has to have the bag permanently. He became very depressed having the temporary ileostomy, and if he has to have it permanently it will be devastating to him. He was a very active, vital person when he went in for that routine colonoscopy, and since then he hasn't worked more than a couple of weeks, and our life has been overtaken by this. He has had 7 surgical procedures since Sept. 13th and everything else in our life has been put on hold. He only held it together with the hope that it would be reversed and he would get his life back.

Has anyone experienced repeated scar tissue formation? Does a stricture always lead to surgery? Is there anything he can do with regard to diet or lifestyle to prevent the formation of strictures and adhesions?

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 1/19/2011 11:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Was your husband's colonoscopy routine or is there an underlying disease? Strictures are usually from inflammation or permanent scaring from inflammation.

Glad your husband is doing better...memories are still fresh right now give yourself some time to've both been through a lot!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/20/2011 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
No, no underlying disease. Healthy colon until this happened. His body just seems to form scar tissue easily. Thanks for the reply.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 1/20/2011 11:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Similar thing happened to me though not from a colonoscopy, but from another procedure. I DID end up with a permanent ileostomy bag and I also had a totally healthy body in the beginning was a very healthy 50 year old at the time. Sounds like you have grounds for several law suits. BUT at this time, I fully understand that your goal is to get and see your husband well. If all turns out well and he continues to improve there will be no permanent damages which could be sued for. I hope this is the way things go.

BUT, know that if the worst happens and he needs a permanent bag that it is not the end of the world. I have been traveling ever since I got my life saved by lysis of adhesions and permanent ileostomy bag. ANd I just pray it keeps working. So far so good and I thank the doc that DID save me with this.

If he had no bowel issues in the beginning and just had his colonoscopy as "routine screening" this makes it all the more sad.

I think in time things will go back to how they were in the old days, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." The only safe procedures are no procedures (unless of course for emergency procedures). You know what I mean.

My heart goes out to you and him but most important is that he get what he needs to stay alive and be well as he can after this horrific ordeal. I know first hand how hard this is. It's called Iatrogenic tragedy.

Best wishes, Rosemary
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