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Old 09-08-2007, 05:39 PM   #1
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Question Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

I'm planning on having bowel resection surgery on October 25. Can anyone who has undergone this surgery give me some idea of what I can expect following surgery? How sick will I feel? How much pain? Length of hospital stay? How long before you felt like "your old self"? How much weight did you lose (my surgeon says most patients lose between 10-15% of their body weight)---that wouldn't be all bad! This is an elective surgery so hopefully it will be done arthroscopically. Can you eat nuts, seeds and popcorn after a few months?? I love popcorn and haven't had any for over a year.

 
Old 09-08-2007, 06:44 PM   #2
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

Hi Clover......

I just had my re-section 5 weeks ago and am doing great.

If your surgeon is able to do it laparoscopically, you'll feel pretty "rough" the first couple of days...but the meds really help control the pain. Get up and move, move and move some more as soon as you can. Normally, they get you up the 2nd day. I was walking the halls constantly....mostly out of boredom. One can only watch so much on the tube!

You'll probably have an ng tube (I did for only 24 hours) for nausea. After they removed the tube, I felt a little nauseated, but took some deep breaths and it passed. They don't feed you!! Only liquids for 3...maybe 4...days. If I ever see chicken broth, apple juice or jello again, it won't be too soon. You'll then get some creamed soup, pudding. I stayed on those sort of foods for another 3-4 days after discharge and was then allowed to introduce normal....but soft.....foods. They'll give you a diet to follow.

They will be listening for bowel sounds....and the question of the day will be "did you pass gas.....or have a bm?" I had surgery on a Monday and didn't have a bm until very late Friday night. Not a "normal" bm at all....loose, watery. No solid foods....so no solid bm. My first cup of coffee was heaven!!

I went back to work part-time in 2 weeks....was driving locally after the first week. I've been back to work full-time now for 2 weeks....and feel just fine.

You'll do great. Any other questions, ask away........

Linda

BTW, I was in the hospital 5 full days.

 
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Old 09-09-2007, 05:53 PM   #3
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

Clover-It sounds like you are not worrying too much, and that is a good thing! I had a hysterectomy at the same time as my colon resection, so it might not be exactly what you will experience. I didn't have an ng tube, my bowel sounds were showing up about the same time I was waking up, but I did have nausea!! Once I was back on soft foods, it was pretty much whatever I felt like eating. Popcorn is still the only thing I have a problem with. It can give me diarrhea and cramping. But if you look for hull less varieties, it makes all the difference. Black Jewell is a rare brand, but they have a microwave variety that is tasty. I think the popcorn seems like it has hulls like normal, but they must shatter or something. It's something I find in a local country type store, like an Amish brand, if you like making it the old fashioned way. Best of luck as you get ready for surgery! The waiting is the hardest part!!

 
Old 09-09-2007, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

I also had a resection which was done Laproscopically a little over 3 years ago. It was a great decision on my part avoiding any more episodes of infection and/or hospitalizations.

The information you received is accurate the only thing that I would add is that you will have a tube in your bladder (foley) for a day or two which is actually a godsend since it makes it easier in terms of having to get out of bed to go to the bathroom.

I was walking the first evening about 2 hours after I woke up. The more you move the faster your bowels will wake up. I was on a morphine self administering pump which really knocks you out and on the second day I was able to receive percocet or toridal (sp??)which is an IV form of motrin that works wonderfully without the grogginess and lasts up to 8 hours!! Only thing is you are only allowed about 3 or 4 doses so I saved it for when I wanted to get out of bed and not feel so wiped out by the morphine. I was able to administer the IV morphine around that for any breakthrough pain and did so when I wanted to sleep.

My diet was progressed rather quickly. The second day I started with clears and progressed to full liquids by the same evening. Then I went to a soft diet by day #3 and a regular diet by day #4 when I went home.

You will be able to add all foods around 3 months after the surgery. I avoided the trouble foods (popcorn, nuts, seeds, coconut) as well as raw fruits and vegetables for the first few weeks. Fatty foods, beef, potato skins and other hard to digest foods are a no-no until the bowel is healed somewhat but can be eaten after a few weeks.

Everybody heals at a different rate and also have different levels of pain tolerance. So that is going to vary from person to person. Some here have returned to work after only a few weeks and some needed up to 6 weeks. The important thing is not to overdo things....even though the surgery is done laproscopically the inside receives the same amount of cutting and stitching up.

Good luck with your surgery and let us know how everything goes. Feel free to ask any questions and we will be happy to answer them.

~ Goody

 
Old 09-12-2007, 02:14 PM   #5
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

At least my surgeon said he doesn't use the naisal-gastric tube (which is one less worry for me---I don't think I could stand having that tube in my nose. I've had a catheter before, so that's no big deal. Sometimes I wish I could wear one of those things at night so I wouldn't have to wake up and "go".
I went to the Cardiologist today and he gave me a "Cardiac Clearance" to have the surgery. At least I didn't have to go through the expense of doing a stress test. I certainly hope I'm a "fast healer" because I hate being an invalid and not being able to do things for myself. The worst thing will be not being able to drive for a week or so. I'm also worried about have loose stools afterward like I've heard some folks talk about. I'm such a social butterfly that the thought of having an "accident' out in public scares me.

 
Old 09-12-2007, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

Clover ~ I had that fear of having an "accident" too but it never happened!!! So don't worry....I think that I only saw one person post here that had that problem and she had a total colectomy (removing all of her large intestine).

You'll do fine and there are plenty of us here who will be able to alleviate any fears or concerns you might have.

Keep on posting ~ Goody

 
Old 09-12-2007, 04:57 PM   #7
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

Clover.....

I only had the ng tube overnight. They pulled it the morning after surgery. I know a lot of folks have it a lot longer.

I had the catheter in for 3 days because I had ureter stents placed during the re-section surgery....and they waited until the urine was clear of residual blood. That bothered me....walking around with that thing in is a pain in the tushie!

You'll do fine. By the time you're ready to be a "social butterfly" again, your bm's should be okay.

Good luck,
Linda

 
Old 09-14-2007, 08:07 AM   #8
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

Hi Clover, I am three weeks out of my resection. I didn't have a NG tube. I chewed gum after the surgery because I read that it helps your digestive system wake up. It took three days but I was happy with that.I am still out of work, hoping to go back in two weeks. I still can't eat hard to digest foods . I only lost 5 pounds! Make sure you have some big undies and loose pants or PJ's. I didn't think about it and had to send my sister out to get some granny pants. I'm finally starting to feel back to normal. I go for a walk every day. The anticipation was worse then the surgery.

Good luck, Nanabee

 
Old 09-17-2007, 12:58 PM   #9
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

Hey Clover
Below is a response I posted to another young man about my experience with Diverticulitis and surgery. Hope it helps. I lost 10 lbs while in the Hospital and did not have a NG tube.


UnNaMe

My Story On Colon resection_

Background- I'm a 45 year old male. I had colon resection 5 weeks ago today. To try and make a long tory short. My Diverticulitis started about five years ago. I would have an attack and sometimes went to the doctor and sometimes just toughed it out. On the times I did go to the doctor, He would just call it an intestinal infection and send me home with antibiotics. Last year I had a severe attack and had changed doctors to one who is closer. I went to him and he sent me to the hospital. After a cat scan, I was finally diagnosed with diverticulitis and possible small perforation. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days on IV antibioctics followed by another weeks worth after I got home. Afterwards They scheduled me for a colonoscopy because I guess CTs can only tell them so much. The colonoscopy confirmed the diverticulosis but every thing else was normal. They told to stay on a diet that was high fiber and to avoid all nuts and seeds. I did this as best I could and had another severe attack in May 07. The pain was extremely severe with this one. It would come in cramping form and double me over. I have a high tolerance for pain, but this time I almost couldn't breath. I later found out that my bowels were not blocked but rather just shut down. Not allowing anything to pass not even gas. I had another Cat Scan and it confirmed Diverticulitis. I was refered to a GI and after several blood test, Upper GI, etc. He referred me to a surgeon. When I went to this surgeon, I found out he was just a general surgeon and was not able to perform the latest laproscopic methods. I'm telling you this so you will watch out for the "buddy system" amoung the doctors. I went home and reaserched the local surgeons that specialize in colon sugery and made an appointment with them.
The Surgery-I am prone to high anxiety and about a week before the operation I started getting really nervous. Almost to the point of ckickening out. But the day it arrived I was given something for the anxiety and I was very calm and worry free in preop. My Mom and Daughter were with me and I said goodbye and told them I loved them and off I went. When I woke up I had a little discomfort from the catheder but that was really all. I've read alot of post from people who had the epidural and have praised it. But my doctor does not use them for whatever reason so I was on morphine. I stayed on the morphine for two days and after that I had nothing for the pain. I still had alot of pain when I moved or got up, but refused the morphine because it kept me in a fog that I didn't like. Aslong as I was still the pain was very minimal. I was passing gas on the 3rd day and by the 4th was allowed soft foods. I was released on the morning of the 5th day. I went home and my mother stayed with me for a week and cooked for me and I was very thankful to have her there. I was pretty much able to do for myself after the 1 and 1/2 week mark. They removed 8 inches of colon which Had a sizeable abcess. That explains the slight pain in my lower left side every time I bent over even though I wasn't having an attack. I think my decision to have elective surgery saved me from an immanent rupture and sbsequent colostomy experiance down the road.
I am so very thankful to God that he gave me the courage to go through with it and look forward to the worry free days ahead. I also owe a debt of gratitude to all of the people who have gone before me and shared their expriences here. They also played a major role in my decision and confidence in going through this. Thanks to all and God bless.
I realize your diagnosis is not complete at this time, but as far as your symptoms, They are very similar to the what I experienced. I had not had a normal stool for at least 4 years prior to my surgery. They were either lose or in small fragments all of the time. I always attributed this to the medication I take on a daily basis. But now for the first time in 4 yrs I'm having normal BMs. Like you, it was painful to urinate during an attack of Diverticulitis. I never was nausious during an attack. I would run a fever of around 100-101 and had cramping pain, sometimes more severe than others. Lastly I would feel that I was being inflated in my whole digestive system. Like I was full but with no urge to have a BM. Kinda like constipation but slightly different.
So thats my story. I hope it helps others as much as others have helped me. If you do confirm Diverticulitis or some other cause, Just remember you will make it through it just fine. The key is don't suffer as long as I did, see the appropriate medical professionals. And try not to worry or stress out about it. Looking back on it and knowing how I feel now. Its one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Best of luck and God bless

Dan

 
Old 11-22-2007, 02:56 AM   #10
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Re: Need Information on Bowel Resection Surgery Recovery

Your note describes exactly what I have, its remarkable. Your response was exactly the same as mine and now for the last year it has been one attack after the other until I ended up in hospital this last time with a micro perforation. The specialist physician has now suggested surgery - I guess I need to just get on with it - as soon as I have recovered from this latest bout. I've been on various antibiotics for about 3 weeks.

It is reassuring to hear others have got through this.

 
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