Subtotal colectomy questions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 4/28/2007 2:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
I'm new to the forum and have a few questions for you all. Maybe I should give a bit of background information first. I had a partial colectomy done about 2.5 years ago. This was done due to chronic and recurrent diverticulitis with a fistula to the bladder. At that point, they removed about 10 inches of colon and did a rectal amputation. Before this surgery, I had no BM problems at all. Since that time, it has been another story. I can go two weeks with no BMs at all. I have tried everything from A-Z, including prescription and over-the-counter. I end up having to use MOM or one of the preop remedies. I can tell that everything is getting stuck in the transverse colon area. My GI is 99.9% sure that I now have colonic inertia and is recommending a subtotal colectomy; however, I am scheduled to have a SITZ marker study on Monday.\
My questions are: Are the numerous BMs after surgery controlled? I don't want to have to depend on Depends after surgery. I've also seen mention of weight gain after surgery. What causes this and how can it be prevented? How long is the hospital stay and when did you go back to work? I have a sit down job that doesn't involve strenuous labor of any type.
Thank you so much!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 4/28/2007 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Irish_Mom,

I will try to answer your questions from my own personal experience. I had a sub-total colectomy on March 12, 2007. My BM's are controlled. I purchased Depends but did not need them. Waste of money for me. I have a BM from one to eight times a day, but everyone is different.

I did not gain weight after surgery, in fact, I lost 30 pounds the first three weeks after surgery. I am holding this weight loss. My surgeon said some of the weight was from the colon itself, excess body fluid, and stress on the body from the surgery. If some people gain, I do not know why. I am overweight and need to loose 35 more pounds. My surgeon and PCP say I have to work at taking this off myself.

My hospital stay was 4 days post op. Hospital stay will depend on how the surgery is performed - open or lap and if there are any complications. Mine was lap and I had no complications. I will be returning to work on Monday 4/30/07. Six weeks post op. I felt good enough to go back three weeks after surgery, but didn't want to push it. I too have a sit down none strenuous job. I find that if I do too much I still get tried, but feel great.

I had colonic inertia for over 20 years. For me having this surgery was the best decision. Your decision to have this surgery or not has to be made between you and your doctor. It is a major operation.

I hope this helps you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 4/28/2007 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Resa,
Thanks so much for the reply. If you don't mind me asking, how did you live with the colonic inertia for so long? I couldn't imagine being like this for 20 years. I've only been dealing with it for two years and that has been bad enough.
It seems from what I've been reading on the web is that the majority of patients that have had the surgery do have controlled BM's, but I wanted to hear it straight from a patient's mouth. I've also read good things from the people that have posted here as well.
Breast Cancer at 36. Diagnosed in 2000. Bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Status post partial colectomy, possible colonic inertia with subtotal colectomy in the near future.
Son diagnosed with Crohn's at 17 (now 20). Taking Asacol and 6MP with Prednisone and Rowasa added during flareups.

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