Brand new to forum-Questions on upcoming surgery

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/6/2006 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Just found this forum yesterday.  Has already been a tremendous help.  My biggest concern right now is difference between a laparascopic total adbominal colectomy and an open one.  The surgeon I have my colectomy scheduled with on 6/13/06 does not use the laparascopic method.  He says he feels it is not worth the added time in surgery and added risk to patient to save a couple of inches on the scar.  He says the doctor that uses lap. still has to cut through all the stomach muscles and has to cut at least one slit big enough to get his hand through.  I thought it would be a lot easier to recover from but he says you might get out of hospital about a half day sooner.  I talked to a women who had surgery using same dr and her scar is 9" long but every thing went great and she is very pleased.  Have heard great things about this surgeon from several friends on other types of surgery.  Can anyone comment about the pros and cons of either/both ways.  Thanks!!!!

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/6/2006 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   

My husband just underwent laparoscopic 7 weeks ago for resection of his lower colon.  The surgery was performed to resect his rectum due to colon cancer.  He came out of it with 4 small incisions, each about 1 1/2" long and one larger incision about 6" long.  He has healed nicely with  no post-operative complications.  He has a temporary ileostomy which was supposed to be reversed in late July, but will probably be postponed until his post-surgery chemo is completed.  We had a wonderful surgeon, a leader in the laparoscopic procedure and we would recommend this route to others.  However, I think you have to find the best doctor you can and trust in his recommendation.  I did LOTS of research prior to the surgery and there are pros and cons with both methods.  The positive side of the larger open-incision surgery is that the surgeon can see the operative field better and actually get his hands in to feel and manipulate the area.

Good luck.


New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/6/2006 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Pepperdog for your reply.  I hope your husband has a speedy recovery.  His incisions are larger than I expected with laparascopic surgery.  Guess I really don't have a good idea of the size, I thought it would be 4 cuts about 1/2"-1" long with one cut a little longer.
Is there anyone else that can offer any more comments or details about their experience or knowledge of pros and cons and how their incison(s) ended up?  I never had a "c" section from pregancy but I always heard it was so much harder to recover from because of cutting through the stomache muscles.  So I figured the less cutting, the better for recovery.  Maybe I need to get that out of my head.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5696
   Posted 6/7/2006 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   

It was far more important for me to pick the surgeon, not the surgery style.  I wanted a surgeon who was top notch in their field with a good track record of success.  My surgeon does not do lapro and I was okay with that.  I ended up with a 5-6" scar which now, 5 years later is fairly faded.  I had no problems with recovery but everyone's recovery from this surgery is different.


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998
1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics
2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic
2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/7/2006 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for replying Sue.  Guess it made me feel my surgeon might not be up on the latest technology if he didn't use lapro.  He made me feel like he rather be done faster than use the best method.  I'm feeling better about it now, thanks!
Sounds like you've been through the mill - great that you're med-free now! tongue

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 484
   Posted 6/11/2006 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
It depends on why you're having the surgery. If it's for inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's, it's often more helpful for the surgeon to remove the intestine from the abdomen to feel it and see the condition of the serosa (outer membrane) and also to run it through his hands to feel for inflammation. In such a method, it can sometimes turn out that only a subtotal colectomy is needed rather than the whole thing.

I'm 27, from the UK and have Crohn's colitis and an ileostomy

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 6/14/2006 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I know this must be post-surgery for you, with what you said about the date, but maybe this will still help someone else. The surgeon who did my first surgery, the ileostomy, doesn't do laparscopic proctectomies, and told me that about 25% of patients who opt for that end up having to have the full procedure done anyway due to adhesions from the previous surgery, or other complications, once they get inside with the laparasope. I was very attached to him, and decided it wasn't worth the risk to have someone else try it and find out it wasn't doable, so I just did the whole cutting thing all over again.

Please let us know how it's going for you. :-)
UC age 10 - 1 yr
UC age 35 - 42 on and off
UP (Proctitis) age 42-46
sudden onset UC age 46 leading to colectomy 1/13/04 - proctectomy 7/8/04
Life now...  Great!!!
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