Colonoscopy with dilation... will it work?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted 4/18/2011 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok.. so after going round and round in circles and struggling for last 7 months with huge distention, bloating, constipation etc.. I finally get to see Doctor number 3. Had MRI scan last week and is showing a possible area of narrowing at the anastomosis.. surprise surprise! (although have had gastrograffin and nothing showing on there)

So much for the bacterial overgrowth theory of Doctor number 2.. ha.

So... next Wed I'm booked in for a colonoscopy with dilation of the colonic anastomosis. It's being done partly diagnostic and partly therapeutic to stretch the stricture. I'm assuming with a balloon? The Prof has already suggested he wants to go in and do more surgery and I don't know if he's doing this expecting it to work, or as a last ditch attempt before surgery or simply to find out more... probably a combination of it all!

What I'm wondering though, is will this work? or is it just going to buy me some time before another big operation? has anyone had it done? and did it work? wont' it just need repeating again?

Not looking forward to the prep though.... shakehead

Thanks in advance for any advice or experiences..
Sarah - 38 year old mum of 2 boys, competitive runner/triathlete, health and fitness writer

June 2010 - Peritonitis caused by perforated diverticulitis. Emergency surgery.
August 2010 - Partial colectomy and temp ileostomy
October 2010 - Ileostomy reversal - but didn't go well and struggling since.
Currently - Investigating motility and bloating issues ...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 624
   Posted 4/19/2011 4:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Sarah good to know something is actually gonna happen and I have heard of success rates with this - there are some on here who have only needed it done just the once whilst others more than that...
it is a step in right direction so lets see the outcome ... i expect he wants to see how you fare with it before any drastic opening up of the abdomen again...i remember one lady on here who had surgery same time as me, had awful complications plus a stricture that caused terrible problems.... but she got sorted and she has been absolutely fine since - and she is doing fine wihtout her large bowel lucky her.... she doesnt come on  here anymore but she is on Facebook as are a few of us on here.
Yeah the prep is nasty but just do what you can - is it picolax?  argh i used to have that each week nasty stuff. x
Karen: 49 years old
1997: Diagnosed IBS
2003: Pelvic Floor repair
2006: STARR procedure - mucosal prolapse/ODS/diagnosed slow transit constipation
2007: Sigmoid resection (MRI showed twist) - made colonic inertia worse (cleared obstruction though)
March 2009: Total colectomy with ileorectal join and loop ileostomy
23 Sept 2010: Ileostomy reversal - not going well

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 4/19/2011 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   

I had a sigmoid resection. I got a severe stricture at the anastomosis which did show on gastrograffin enema xray as severe. My doc who did the sig resection did not f/u and just left me with it.

So I had to seek help elsewhere. The new place ( a very prominent hospital did 2 dilations a week apart) and the anastomosis DID stay open after these 2 balloon dilations.. They gave me great drugs so I felt nothing and it was quick. Be sure they leave the dilation balloon inflated for about 3 minutes, I think that was how long they did it.

So the stricture did stay open....BUT what nobody realized for about 7 more months was that though open, that part of my colon had lost its musculature due to lack of blood flow to the ends of the colon when the original anasomosis was made. SO though the dilations made the sticture stay open, that area of my colon could no longer peristalse and move poop along. 7 months later things got really bad and a repeat gastrograffin enema was done and it showed that the length of the original anastomosis stricture had actually lengthened from 1 cm long to 4 inches long. Plus even with the dilations it had narrowed somewhat. So that whole area of my colon could not be muscular nor peristalse poop through it.

That combined with scarring of my levator ani in the original surgery held my rectum permanently at 90 degrees which it was not prior to surgery, and scarring in of my small intestine which gave me small bowel obstructions for 13 months, finally lead me to have a lysis of adhesions of the small bowel scarring and a permanent end ileostomy. BUT at least something could be done to save me. So so far so good with this permanent ileo, but I have stuff that could go wrong, but am doing a lot and even traveling. Enjoying one day at a time. Took me 13 months to get fixed the best that could be done. So good luck with this. This is just my story. A couple dilations may just do the trick for you and you may be fine. Rosemary
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