Posted 2/19/2016 2:48 PM (GMT -6)
hi there! I can answer your questions- yup, rectum removal was the toughest part of my entire surgery. I was in the hospital 5 days, & by the time I left, the ileo & colon removal wounds were healing very nicely. The butt, not so much- which is normal! There isn't much blood flow to that area, so wounds are slow to heal. I was closed with staples, about 15-17 total, pretty grotesque. But I preferred that over being sent home with an open wound, packing it, etc. I think it's your surgeons preference. At my 1 week follow-up, I was feeling pretty good, but very sore in the rectum area. I couldn't sit on my butt for any amount of time until a good 3 weeks out. And even then, I had to shift position frequently. I had to use my painkillers for the rectum wound for a good solid 2 weeks, mainly to help me sleep. I took epsom salt sitz baths a couple times a day, after the first week- the doc said it wasn't necessary but I enjoyed them, so... Around week 2-3, I noticed terrible drainage from the wound- I called my surgeon in a panic, & again- normal! It wasn't pus, just lots of fluids. They finally removed all the staples by around week 3- surgeon left them in an extra week. I did go see my WOCN at the wound center 2x, because it just took so long to fully close. Around week 6, I used this packing stuff that looked like cotton candy, tiny pieces to shove in the wound- which by this time was only 2-3 cm's deep. Keeping the edges apart apparently stimulates the bodies healing mechanism. I used that for about 10 days, then it was done. Still tender, still sore, but nothing awful- I took my first bike ride around week 8, which was short & not so comfy, but still! Sex has changed- the angle of my vagina is off, at my first gyn yearly appt, the doctor couldn't even find my cervix! It's like, when I stand up it's ok, but it tilts back when I lay down. Sex isn't painful, but it's different- although now, close to 2 years out, it's pretty close to the way it used to feel. I suggest using lots of lube & trying different positions, going slow. My WOCN actually gave me sex as "homework", to make sure things were ok! It wasn't until like month 3 or so that we even attempted it. I have to put tampons in a little differently too, have to angle them a different way. While it's sort of a hassle, it's absolutely nothing compared to living with UC for years. The rectum wound has healed really well- any doc who's seen it thinks the surgeon did a great job. I know lots of ppl. have awful times with that wound, & am not sure if I did anything to prevent that, or if it's chance. I swear those epsom salt baths helped! Sorry this is so long-winded, but... if I've forgotten anything, ask away! I'm glad I did it all at once, the ileo made, colon out, rectum out... it was a lot for my poor body, but it was over & done. It hurt, no doubt, & seemed to take forever to heal. I'd say total healing time was about 4 months??? Now, I could sit on my butt all day & it doesn't bother it!