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Old 08-11-2004, 07:49 PM   #1
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hmc48 HB User
rectal cancer surgery drainage

Had a rectal resection (with hysterectomy) 6/6/04. For about a month after the surgery, I had a "JP" (I called it my hand grenade)to collect the post-surgical draininge. Even though they removed the JP, it's now over 2 months since the surgery and I'm still having this drainage. Anybody out there have this problem? (I'm going back to the surgeon tomorrow for a one-month check up). Also, did any of you have bladder problems after this surgery? Thanks!

 
Old 08-12-2004, 01:40 AM   #2
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ktee_uk HB User
Re: rectal cancer surgery drainage

Hi. Sounds like you have been in the wars. My husbands experience of drains is a mixed one. Post bowel resection his drains stayed in for 7 days. His tumor had also attached itself to his bladder but they were able to scrape it away and he had to leave a catheter in place for an extra week. No probs encountered since then and his waterworks are flowing nicely thank you.

Post liver resection was a problem. He had 4 drains initially then reduced to 2 after 3 days. He had his final drain taken out at 3 weeks and came home the day after. Eight hours later I had an ambulance out to take him back in as he had a violent infection. We think the infection was a backflush of bacteria when drain came out (this is quite common apparently with any drain). However it may be that the drain was taken out too early and hence an infection took place. Or it might be a combination of the two theories. The result was that he had to have another drain put in. This was an unpleasant procedure which husband likened to being harpooned which was quite apt because it was a navy commander surgeon who stuck it in with the immortal phrase "this might hurt a bit". The drain remained in place for a further 3 weeks along with a I.V. antibiotics. No further problems since then.

The nurses did sympathise a lot with husband but reassured him that it was quite normal to keep draining.

Hope the above helps.
Ktee

 
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:30 AM   #3
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CancerDad HB User
Re: rectal cancer surgery drainage

Hi:
I am 8 months out of rectal resection (male, 32, stage 3C rectal ca) and still can't pee normally. I can go with extreme pressure, but the urologist equates that to a balloon filled with water... all I'm doing when I strain is compressing my bladder a little leaving urine in to increase risk of infection. So, I continue to self-catheterize. My colorectal surgeon says this is perfectly normal because of where they dissected and the nerves they had to disturb; also because of the damage I incurred from radiation therapy. He said I should regain by a year out; urologist says it may take two years from when I finished chemo. I guess because of male anatomy, urinary retention is more common in males, but normal for both genders. They did some serious messing with your nerves. Especially if you had a really low resection like me.

Keep your spirits up, and pray it comes back in time. In the mean time, realize too that some medications can cause urinary retention... narcotics, antidepressants, etc. Try using pepermint spirits just as aroma therapy... hold the vile around your urethra while you try to go. This is supposed to "wake the nerves up." Good Luck!

CancerDad

PS As far as drainage goes... usu. the hole will become water tight within 24hrs so you can shower. Drainage is perfectly normal, though.. but look to see what you're draining. If it's bright blood, or yellow or weird looking, call your surgeon. If it's clear fluid, that is normal. Especially, if you are a smoker, or a little older, it can take longer with the drains. Everyone is different.

Last edited by CancerDad; 08-12-2004 at 10:36 AM.

 
Old 08-15-2004, 08:02 PM   #4
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jaydees HB User
Re: rectal cancer surgery drainage

I am a 47 yr male, 3 years out of surgery and had pee problems back then. They have slowly rectified (sure, its a pun) themselves to the point where I am alomost where I was prior to surgery. I still pee somewhat slower than before but most of the time I feel I have emptied now and have no trouble starting to pee like I did just after surgery.

For a long time I would have trouble starting to pee but occasionally I would have a dire, urgent need to pee that caused the occasional dribble in the underpants. I never get those urgent feelings anymore.

As for the drain, mine came out after 7 days and healed over quickly.


ktee, I always cringe at "might hurt a bit", it is always more painful than "might sting a little" .

 
Old 08-17-2004, 07:12 PM   #5
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CancerDad HB User
Re: rectal cancer surgery drainage

JD:
Did you have to cath post-op, and if so, for how long? Also, what about ED issues-- if you don't mind sharing. As you read, I'm 8 months post-op and not better-- I mean not at all. Not to mention, I still have great (yeah right!!) chronic pain which I am being treated for. Colorectal guy says this is normal too-- lots of scar tissue, nerve damage, etc. Lots of different factors at play.

I know your story is a little different in that you have the bag... I had a temp ileostomy bag, which I have to say was a lot easier than having to retrain the old bowel-- very painful, lots of fun LOL. Did you have an APR-- rectum taken too?

Anyway, anything you can offer in terms of a story would be much appreciated.
Regards,
CancerDad (aka James)

 
Old 08-18-2004, 09:56 PM   #6
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jaydees HB User
Re: rectal cancer surgery drainage

Quote:
Did you have to cath post-op, and if so, for how long? Also, what about ED issues-- if you don't mind sharing. As you read, I'm 8 months post-op and not better-- I mean not at all. Not to mention, I still have great (yeah right!!) chronic pain which I am being treated for. Colorectal guy says this is normal too-- lots of scar tissue, nerve damage, etc. Lots of different factors at play.

I know your story is a little different in that you have the bag... I had a temp ileostomy bag, which I have to say was a lot easier than having to retrain the old bowel-- very painful, lots of fun LOL. Did you have an APR-- rectum taken too?
I don't mind, after all the web is anon.

Yes there were some ED symptoms. I had trouble getting as hard as I could before the surgery and staying that way. Also ejaculation was weaker, I still felt the orgasm as much but instead of an explosion it was more of a dribble. Of these problems the erections are almost as before and the ejaculations are better but not as before. Again the urologist blames nerve damage. I have found one oddity that may help others. If my weight goes over 200 lbs this gets worse but when I keep it at or below 195 I am much better. This , I personally believe, is due to pressure on the nerves that happens when I am heavier.

Yes I had a urinary catheter for several days post-op until they took me off morphine. The cath bothered me alot!!!!! . I would see other patients walking about with their pee bags and without a care about it. I winced at every movement of the cath and walking was very uncomfortable(not exactly painful but uncomfortable to the extreme) It was painful when it was removed, felt like someone had lit a match down there but the pain was short lived. The first post cath pee was difficult. I had to mentally and physically relax and block out all other concerns and concentrate and I could not seem to bear down, just let it drain.

I have a sigmoid colostomy.

I had a total rectal resection which means my entire colon was removed. Along with it went the anal sphincter and a small amount of butt muscle. The tumour was only a few inches inside. The surgeon said that even if they cut with very small margins he did not think that I would have control of the anus afterward. However in order to effect good margins the anus had to be removed anyway. Rectal stumps simply cause problems with pain and bleeding so the entire rectum also came out. The loss of butt muscle means that sitting on a hrad surface is painful after a few minutes or , depending on the position, even a few seconds. Driving for hours, which I do reularly for work, I have to shift my weight often although I recently got a new company vehicle and that isn't as much of a prob anymore.

I am sewed up in back but the local surgeon was deeply impressed with what the city colo-rectal surgeon did and my wife says that it really doesn't look that different unless one really looks at my butt(I am not in the habit of having anyone other than my wife or medical proffessionals look at me butt anyway) The C-R surgeon who did me has a few decades of experience and although it is a teaching hospital he does not let residents close unless they show sufficient skill in suturing to equal his(thus the good job in back of me) He also ensures himself of the skill of residents before letting them perform any other part of the operation.

Removal of the drain was painful but quick. A resident did that but he was good at it.

I was in a lot of pain post-op but it lessened and I went back to work in 3 months. I noticed scar tissue under the stoma but that has now disappeared. The scar in front runs from just above the pubis to about 2 inches below the lowest ribs with a semicircular excursion around to the right of my navel. ( It was two days before I peeked under the sheets and my blood ran cold to see how low the cut went ) This was held together with staples that were removed on day 8 post-op. One small part was not quite solid and I had to tape and bandage this for another week to 10 days. I was released from hospital 10 days post-op.

Frankly I think another 3 days in hospital would have been good but these days they get you out the door asap.

Fun you say probably about the same type of fun relearning potty training with a colostomy I'll wager. There were a few 'accidents'.

I have seen your posts about your continuing pain and although I thank God I don't have it like that I feel great sympathy/empathy for you and truly hope each time that when I see you posting I will read that it is getting better.

cancer sucks
verbose bugger ain't I? Hope I answered your questions somewhere in this ramble.

Last edited by jaydees; 08-22-2004 at 09:53 PM.

 
Old 08-23-2004, 05:52 PM   #7
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CancerDad HB User
Re: rectal cancer surgery drainage

JD:
Let me just double that for you... Cancer Sucks!!...

Thanks for the information. Sounds like you didn't have a catheter for long, and your ED symptoms seem to be relatively mild. (not to take way from your symptoms or what you've been thru!!) Then again, it's been two years for you-- the same time my urologist told me to expect! CANCER SUCKS!!! Nice hearing things should return though.

I too had an excellent colorectal guy... I had seen him operate before, and knew of his skill resecting REALLY LOW. I think this is what you said your issue was--the connection would have been too close to the sphincters... I basically had an APR,(7 1/2 hrs in the OR), but got to keep what was left of my rectum and have a really low connection (so I can deal with leaking, pain, and stricture!) The C-R guy says that since I was 31 when I had it done, he wanted to give me the best chance, knowing that I would have these problems for a while. Like I said, he is confident the problems will resolve in a year or so. Doesn't do me any good now, but...hopefully for a better future!!
He said if they don't resolve, a year out is when I should consider a bag again.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.
Regards,
CancerDad

Last edited by CancerDad; 08-23-2004 at 05:55 PM.

 
Old 08-23-2004, 08:27 PM   #8
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jaydees HB User
Re: rectal cancer surgery drainage

Quote:
He said if they don't resolve, a year out is when I should consider a bag again
One certainly does get used to the pouch. Frankly if they called and said they could do a rectal/anal transplant ( kinda sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch) I would be leery. I am used to the colostomy now, this is natural to me now.

 
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