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Old 01-17-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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nuttyfruitcake HB User
Smile Colon resection for Diverticular disease

I am a 37 year old female and have had bowel problems for about 13 years. I landed in the hospital just after Christmas last year and was diagnosed with Diverticulitis. Since I was released it has been a nonstop battle and in November a CT scan showed chronic diverticular disease. My doctor is stunned because I am so young, but after trying many other things, we have decided that removing the sigmoid colon is the only option left. I am not convinced that diverticular disease is my only problem and am wondering which of my symptoms will be taken care of by this surgery. I haven't had a "normal" bowel movement for 10 years or more. I have constipation for several days and then very painful diahria for a day. That is the pattern. I have no appetite because eating makes me feel sick. About 90% of the time I have some sort of stomach pain (nausea, cramps, heartburn, sharp pain). I would like to know what kind of relief i'm going to get out of this surgery. If anyone has any experience with this, I would love to hear that all these symptoms will disappear and I will feel 21 again! Yah right.

Last edited by nuttyfruitcake; 01-17-2009 at 08:18 PM.

 
Old 01-17-2009, 09:49 PM   #2
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peacefrog HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

Welcome. I also had diverticultis with perforation and peritonitis, resulting in a temp colostomy and a successful reversal 3 years ago. I have apparently IBS and lactose intolerance so its hard to tell what sypmtoms belong to which, Add to that the gallbladder attacks causing the removable of that 8 weeks ago. I had problems with frquent BMs 8-10 day after the reversal. A daily dose of Imodium helped that greatly. The gallbladder removal has brought a worsening of the urgency issues. I continue to take imodium to control the diarrhea if I want to eat. I try to stick with yougurt and froot loops lately. I actually feel the food I eat going thru the system. twinges, sharp pains, bubbling, the works. Its frustrating to not know if it will all go bad again, and if I'll recognize it before it gets too bad. If you have questions, please feel free to ask anything. Talking with others who understand is a great healing tool.

 
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:39 PM   #3
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Redneon82 HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

I feel better after my resection, but I still have symptoms. I also have IBS, Colitis, lactose intolerance, and I have a few food allergies. I too had my gall bladder removed. Incidentally, I too was diagnosed at 37 years of age (I'm 42 now). I had my resection done a little over a year ago, and I'm glad I had it. I was a walking time bomb and had 2 perforations, a ruptured abscess, many attacks...I too didn't want to eat because I knew eating would make me sick, and I am an amateur "gourmet" cook who loves food!

As long as I keep my fiber intake high, drink plenty of water and juice (at least 64 oz. per day) and avoid spicy and hot foods, rice, red meat (unless combined in a meal with a lot of fiber and a whole lot of water) I seem to do ok. I do still struggle with the diarrhea/constipation back & forth, and get gas like you wouldn't believe, but my surgeon told me that the resection would aggravate my IBS. I can deal with that rather than another potential ruptured abscess which came close to killing me.

I recommend the surgery. Believe me, the recovery is nothing compared to what I went through with this disease. Oh, and I didn't have to have a colostomy. Since my surgery was planned my surgeon told me one would not be necessary.

Last edited by Redneon82; 01-18-2009 at 07:40 PM.

 
Old 01-19-2009, 11:32 AM   #4
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auntjudyg HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

In 2000, at 44, I had a resection because of abscessed diverticulitis. At the time everyone was amazed that I was so young, because diverticulosis/itis had been thought of as a disorder effecting only those over 60. Since then I have heard of many that in their 30s and even 20s with diverticulitis; some to the point of considering resections.

Personally, I found Elaine Gottschall's Breaking the Vicious Cycle helpful. She proposes an extremely strict regime that I never followed completely, but her ideas were helpful for me. You can get some information by searching specific carbohydrate diet.

I also find the information put out by the Weston Price Foundation helpful.

Keep us posted!

 
Old 01-20-2009, 08:38 AM   #5
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nuttyfruitcake HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

I thank you all for the info. My surgery is scheduled for February 11 and i'm just crossing my fingers that it takes care of most of my symptoms. According to my doctor I won't need a colostomy and my chances of laproscopic surgery are very good so recovery should be quick and less painful. I'm actually looking forward to a couple weeks off work and my mom is coming to take care of the kids and pamper me. So it won't be all bad.

 
Old 01-20-2009, 10:28 AM   #6
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Redneon82 HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

Some tips:

-Get up and walk as soon after the surgery as possible. I was walking around that afternoon and took laps around the hospital floor the next day, and the next. I had open surgery, which was unbelieveably invasive, but with all the walking I was sent home after only 4 days.

-Get off the pain medication as soon as possible. The first couple of days they had me on 4 different pain medications! Afterward, the nurse warned me that I would have damage to my central nervous system due to all the drugs I was given. Well, thanks!!! I had weird twitches when trying to sleep for weeks! A little over a year later, I still get them. I had cut down to Advil only by the 4th day, but the damage was already done. Also, they sent me home with Tramadol, neglecting to mention it is addictive. I had to go through withdrawals after my prescription ran out. Bad, bad, bad.

-Ask your doctor for specifics on diet. I asked my surgeon what I could eat and he said "anything you want!". Wrong...I still can't tolerate red meat, spicy or hot foods, rice, cheese...I recommend starting off a little bland, then gradually introduce foods to see how you tolerate them. And definitely talk to your doctor and the nurse who specializes in diet & nutrition.

-Drink plenty of water! Not soda or coffee, but water and juice. I'm practically addicted to Vitamin Water, which is great because I drink so much of it. Hydration is important to avoid constipation, which will aggravate your colon.

-Remember that recovery will take months. You will probably start to feel good about 6 weeks after, but will not be up to full energy for about 6 months. Take it easy and allow yourself to rest when you need it. Explain to co-workers what is going on. I had one co-worker give me 4 heavy boxes to carry across campus the day I returned to work, even though I explained I couldn't carry heavy items, because he just didn't get it.

-One of my biggest fears was coughing & sneezing. It hurt like you wouldn't believe, since I had 10 staples in my abdomen. A helpful hint...when you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, stretch your body long. It sounds weird, but believe me, it made a world of difference because it didn't hurt when I did that.

The best thing is, that horrible sick feeling will be gone. And the fear of eating will be gone too. I have never regretted the surgery. I wish you the best of luck with yours!

 
Old 01-24-2009, 05:43 AM   #7
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nuttyfruitcake HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

Hi all - just wondering if there is any relationship between lower back pain and diverticular disease. Is that something that may improve with this surgery?
Also does anyone know a good way to quit smoking? I am a smart girl and I know what it is doing to me, and I do want to quit but wow is it tough. I have tried many things but can't seem to kick it.
Thanks again for all your help.

 
Old 02-07-2009, 11:58 AM   #8
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Mrjlo79 HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

I am a 29 y/o male who had a colon resection at 27. For years I had bowel problems and thought that there was nothing that could be done. The foods that I had loved to eat suddenly just started making me sick. I had researched online and found that I was probably suffering from IBS. The symptoms were a perfect match diarrhea, bloating and pain after right after eating. The sad part was that there was really no cure for IBS. So I just excepted the issues and went on with my life. After about a three years of never having a normal bowel movement I suddenly started to have the most horrible stomach pains. I finally went to the emergency room on day three. The doctors found several diverticula and a large abscess in one of them. I spend 6 days in the hospital and was released. One month later I was told that I needed to have a colon resection ASAP or I would run the risk of perforation and death. On Feb 6th, 2007 I had a laparoscopic colon resection and Morphine became my best friend for 3 days! One month later I was back to normal life and could eat anything with no problems!!! It was great, the IBS was gone...no more cramps, bloating...and I finally after many years I could have a normal bowel movement. It was two years yesterday and I still have had no problems with my bowel movements and continues to live a normal life. I have developed a small ventral hernia at the incision area but this is typically rare. I would just advise you to refrain from any heavy lifting for several months after your surgery. It's sometimes hard and once you start feeling a lil better you forget...until you are carrying that load of laundry and think OMG what am I doing?? My advice is that once you are able to exercise, start doing a few crunches to strengthen your stomach muscles and you should be picture perfect Good luck!!

 
Old 02-12-2009, 11:30 AM   #9
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pattyeinstein1 HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

I had a colon resection of the lower sigmund nov 21 08. Everything was fine and now I started to have pain on the same side. Could I get this back after 3 months?

 
Old 02-13-2009, 08:52 AM   #10
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auntjudyg HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuttyfruitcake View Post
. . . relationship between lower back pain and diverticular disease. . . . a good way to quit smoking?
Many people feel their diverticulitis pain as lower back pain. It that is the case, surgery ought to solve that one.

When I quit, I did it cold turkey. The first 48 hours were absolute hell (if you do it, I would suggest being someplace where you mind will be distracted but you don't need to be at your best mentally). Presumably the physical addiction is gone after 48 hours, so then it is a matter of getting over the habits of smoking (easier said than done).

 
Old 09-13-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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idkwia HB Useridkwia HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

Nuttyfruitcake - did you have the resection operation and if so how did it go?

 
Old 09-25-2009, 03:49 PM   #12
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EPerea0428 HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

I am presently recovering from my third and most recent colon resection. This one was by far the most invasive of the three surgeries I have had. The incision extends from my diaphram to my pelvic bone. I am currently struggling with constipation in additon to the soreness from the incision. The first two surgeries were like a walk in the park compared to how I feel this time. I have experienced all the nightmare stories I was told about but never did the previous two times. The pain is unbearable, the constipation uncomfortable, and my stregnth is down.

 
Old 09-26-2009, 03:12 AM   #13
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idkwia HB Useridkwia HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrjlo79 View Post
I am a 29 y/o male who had a colon resection at 27. For years I had bowel problems and thought that there was nothing that could be done. The foods that I had loved to eat suddenly just started making me sick. I had researched online and found that I was probably suffering from IBS. The symptoms were a perfect match diarrhea, bloating and pain after right after eating. The sad part was that there was really no cure for IBS. So I just excepted the issues and went on with my life. After about a three years of never having a normal bowel movement I suddenly started to have the most horrible stomach pains. I finally went to the emergency room on day three. The doctors found several diverticula and a large abscess in one of them. I spend 6 days in the hospital and was released. One month later I was told that I needed to have a colon resection ASAP or I would run the risk of perforation and death. On Feb 6th, 2007 I had a laparoscopic colon resection and Morphine became my best friend for 3 days! One month later I was back to normal life and could eat anything with no problems!!! It was great, the IBS was gone...no more cramps, bloating...and I finally after many years I could have a normal bowel movement. It was two years yesterday and I still have had no problems with my bowel movements and continues to live a normal life. I have developed a small ventral hernia at the incision area but this is typically rare. I would just advise you to refrain from any heavy lifting for several months after your surgery. It's sometimes hard and once you start feeling a lil better you forget...until you are carrying that load of laundry and think OMG what am I doing?? My advice is that once you are able to exercise, start doing a few crunches to strengthen your stomach muscles and you should be picture perfect Good luck!!
May I ask if you had any nausea before your surgery? And also what tests did they do to confirm diverticular?

 
Old 09-26-2009, 03:15 AM   #14
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idkwia HB Useridkwia HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

Has anyone here who had diverticular disease get nausea before their operation? I am debating whether to have the operation but my main symptom is nausea and I don't want to have the op if it isn't going to srt this out. Any information would be very useful.

 
Old 10-25-2009, 09:53 AM   #15
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XDebbieX HB User
Re: Colon resection for Diverticular disease

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuttyfruitcake View Post
I am a 37 year old female and have had bowel problems for about 13 years. I landed in the hospital just after Christmas last year and was diagnosed with Diverticulitis. Since I was released it has been a nonstop battle and in November a CT scan showed chronic diverticular disease. My doctor is stunned because I am so young, but after trying many other things, we have decided that removing the sigmoid colon is the only option left. I am not convinced that diverticular disease is my only problem and am wondering which of my symptoms will be taken care of by this surgery. I haven't had a "normal" bowel movement for 10 years or more. I have constipation for several days and then very painful diahria for a day. That is the pattern. I have no appetite because eating makes me feel sick. About 90% of the time I have some sort of stomach pain (nausea, cramps, heartburn, sharp pain). I would like to know what kind of relief i'm going to get out of this surgery. If anyone has any experience with this, I would love to hear that all these symptoms will disappear and I will feel 21 again! Yah right.

 
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