Hi Everyone. Has anyone had a new bout of diverticulitis after their resection? It's been three months since mine and I was finally feeling completely back to normal and surprise! I am really sick with this again. It is disheartening at best. Now I'm afraid I'll have to get more surgery and will end up with a colostomy. Anyone else go through this?
So sorry to hear your concerns have resurfaced! I went through a period of time where I was sure that is where I was heading again. But it passed eventually. I wasn't really sick, just had a lot of pain in the usual place. I tried looking for information about recurrence after the operation, and it is very hard to come by!! I swear that switching back to my former antidepressant helped me for some reason. I have learned in the two years since my operation that my intestines react just as much, if not more, than my conscious brain, when it comes to stress!! They say the intestines are the organ most like the brain as far as nerve receptors, seratonin uptake centers, etc. Have you had any stress especially lately? I hope it passes. My symptoms lasted for months before calming down.
When I was at the surgeon's office for my three week post-op appointment, I ask him what percentage of people have a re-occurance of diverticulitis pockets. He said 6% I guess that isn't too bad of a percentage.
I didn't think I would have this worry again but here we go! I'm actually feeling better . Don't we love the cipro flagyl combo. My Dr told me the same stats, I don't know why I'm so lucky. They told me the same thing with my hematoma/seroma. But all in all I really am feeling better and hoping it's a one time thing. I do think my emotions are involved in my gut. I hope everyone is feeling better and thank goodness for these boards.
I'm new to this board (although active on the Prostate Cancer Board).
My wife's been told she needs to have the laparoscopic colectomy due to recurrant uncomplicated diverticultis. She's had 5-6 mild to moderate uncomplicated attacks which were always managed with Flagyl, Levacquin and Bentyl.
Now her Gastroenterologist advises surgery after her colonoscopy last week showed the affected area of the sigmoid colon which was inflamed as if she had diverticulitis although she recently recovered from the last bout.
We've made appt's with two colo-rectal surgeons one of whom is the chief of colo-rectal surgery in one NY's leading hospitals and is reputedly one of the best in the city.
I'd appreciate some feedback on what she has to look forward to:length of hospital stay, period of recovery, is the recovery difficult or painful.Also should I hire a private nurse for the first day or two since floor nurses are often understaffed and not quickly available for comfort care. Our Dr. minimizes the procedure as do most Dr's not wanting to scare you out of going through with it.
Anything anyone who's been through the procedure can tell me would be appreciated. We'll probably elect to have it done in Jan or Feb depending on the top surgeon's schedule and recommendations.
Thanks for any information you can offer.
If you check other recent topic posts you will see kind of a play-by-play of a few of us who have had the surgery. My case is different because I had the open surgery rather than the laparoscopic surgery, so my recovery has been an extended one. I did have laser gall bladder removal surgery and the recovery was relatively easy and quick.
I have Kaiser insurance and found the hospital nurses for the most part to be responsive and gave good care. I have been in other private hospitals and always received good care. I think they are extra careful after surgery.
The best thing about having the surgery is that I no longer feel sick. I was sick for almost 4 years and it is such a relief to not have that underlying nausea, worry about everything I eat, etc. I have a great appetite & tolerate almost everything well. Right now I am a little over 3 weeks post-surgery and I caught a cold, but other than that I feel well. Just dealing with swelling and some small issues with my incision and side effects of pain medication (I am extra sensitive to some forms of pain meds).
To sum it up, I am glad to be over this and to be feeling well again. I am learning to accept the 5 1/2" scar I have down the middle of my tummy. At my age, it was time to retire the bikini!
Good luck to your wife, I hope all goes well for her.
Thank you so much for your helpful reply. We had our first consultation with a local but well regarded colo-rectal surgeon today whom our gastroenterologist recommended highly. We got the best possible news.
After thoroughly reviewing her records, CT Scans and colonoscopy report as well as a physical examination he concluded that surgery wasn't necessary or approprpiate at this time. He wasn't impressed by her CT scans or the mildness of her "diverticulitis" attacks or symptoms and wasn't even convinced that some of her attacks were really diverticultis but rather IBS which is often mistaken for the former. He felt at this point her situation was too ambibiguos and therefore the risks of the surgery outweighed the potential benefits.
He also told us of a test which can rule out a diverticulitis attack. He said the next time she experiences abdominal discomfort to take the Bentyl with a Librium and hold off the anti-biotics for 24 hours. If the pain disappears without the anti-biotics its definitely not diverticulits. If the symptoms get worse and are localised to the left side go on the levaquin & flagyl immediately. He also reassured us its safe to go ahead with our planned trip to Cabos next week and not to worry as long she takes along her meds.
When we get back we'll see what the NY surgeon has to say and we hope he agrees with our first opinion. Needless to say we're very elated and hopeful
My dad has had 3 resections over the last 25 years due to diverticulitis. The good news is he had a lot of problem free years inbetween surgeries. His last one was about 3 and a half years ago and he has been fine since. I'm looking at my first one probably the beginning of next year. I actually can't wait to schedule it and get it over with. I'm tired of the antibiotics every few months, and the constant interuptions in life that it causes. The antibiotics only seem to calm it down some for me, but it still is there causing me problems almost on a daily basis.
Sorry about your dad. Based on 2 colo-rectal surgical consultations and my own nephew's advice who is a head & neck surgeon but has consulted with colo-rectal colleagues we've learned that colon-resection surgery is not simple and can have many complications. It should only be undertaken as a last resort when the diverticulitis attacks have been acute, unmistakeable and coming closer together. The actual surgery if done laparoscopically is the same and just as extensive as when done by the open procedure. The advantage is smaller incisions, shorter hospital stay (3-5 days) and quicker recovery. However up to 10% have to be converted from lap to open because of unanticipated differences in patient's anatomy and other factors such as adhesions from previous surgeries such as hysterectomies and hernia repairs.
Our conclusion is that the resection is a last option balancing risk against potential benefit when anti-biotic mangement is no longer safe or effective.
Age is also a consideration since surgical risks escalate with age due to other health issues such as high blood pressure, cardiac risk factors,etc.Of course all these reasons for avoiding surgery are overidden if there's a high risk of abcess or perforation which thankfully occurs in barely 1% of patients according to our surgeon and the attacks leading up to such an event are anything but the mild and uncomplicated episodes my wife has experienced.
Our colo-rectal surgeon said that in 25 years of performing 200-300 diverticultis resections a year he's seen maybe 2-3 cases of perforation and a few more abcessing attacks.
I have had probably 6 pretty bad attacks with it in the last year and a half. I go on the flagyl, and bactrium ds (until the last time where I had a reaction to it), and it usually calms down some over the next two weeks. It still never goes away with me. It won't be as bad, but I will have mornings, nights, or day time episodes where I'm racing back and forth to the bathroom for long periods of time with pain. This last attack I was having pain about 15 seconds before I would feel the need to have a bowel movement. I was also getting pain in the bladder if I held it too long. My doc wanted to see me after my antibiotics were done to do a cat scan, but I don't have any more vacation time till next year. I basically have to wait till then, or till it forces me to the ER.
I'm actually planning to college, and then onto medical school. With the way this messes with my life now, I really want it taken care of before I start all that up. I plan to start trying to set up the surgery after new years. With the surgery I can at least have the bad section removed so I can get on with my soon to be very busy life.
I'm sorry you're having such a bad time of it. Six attacks in a year and a half does sound fairly acute. You must be quite young if you're planning on college & med scool.
If I were your dad or grand dad I'd advise you to get the CT Scan right away regardles of whether you have any vacation time left. You don't want to wind up in an ER with divertulitis and havibg emergency surgery by some unknown surgeon.
If what you're experiencing really is diverticulitis you could be at some risk since the younger a person is at first onset the more acute the condition may be. On the other hand if its not really diverticultis its just as important that expert specialists diagnose just what you are suffering from and treat it promptly before it becomes complicated and requires more extensive surgery.
Without a CT Scan and colonoscopy one can't be sure of the condition or how serious it is.
Good Luck but do see a colo-rectal surgeon or gastroenterologist rather than a general physician as soon as you can.
Interesting that they've decided against surgery for your wife and have determined that she probably has IBS.
My situation was the opposite. I knew I had diverticular disease (after having had 2 colonoscopies in the last 10 years...but nothing remarkable.
I lived with horrible cramping pain, loose bm's, bloating....called it my IBS.
Then, this past May, I was as sick as I've ever been....chills, fever, sweating and severe RIGHT side pain. Thought it was appendicitis, headed to the ER and CT showed a 5 cm. abcess (approx. 2 inches), which had perforated the bowel wall, but was contained. Spent a week on IV antibiotics and another 2 weeks on oral Cipro and Flagyl.
Waited 2 1/2 months for the inflammation to subside and had my re-section done in August. Best decision I could have made. Temporarily worry-free of another attack and all the dreadful symptoms I'd had. I had a brilliant surgeon, who did the surgery with a laparoscope...was in the hospital for 5 days, driving in 2 weeks and back to work part-time in 2 weeks.
I realize I probably have more pockets and will deal with it when I have to. What I thought was IBS was, in fact, ongoing flares/infections. I had gotten so used to the pain, it became a way of life and I wasn't sick enough (chills, fever, etc.) to head to the hospital.
Lilbloom... I just read your post about right sided pain. I am having my resection in 24 hours (Dec 5th). I am having my entire right colon removed, up to two feet. Is that what you also had removed? I was concerned that they may not end up doing it with the scope because it is a fairly good amount, and was also wondering about the possibility of having diverticulitis down the line in the much more common left side....?