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Concerned about pain after bowel resection surgery.

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Old 10-20-2007, 12:23 PM   #1
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Location: Columbus, OH, USA
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Clover100 HB User
Concerned about pain after bowel resection surgery.

I know there are many of you out there who have had a bowel resection. Could you please give me an idea about how much pain you felt afterward and for how long? Was it intense sharp pain or dull achy pain? What did they do to alieve your pain in the hospital? Was it successful? If you had the "epidural" thing----did it hurt and could you lay on your back? Did it just continually administer pain med or could you push a button if you needed more. Were you able to get any sleep in the hospital? How long was it before you could venture out in public after returning home? I know I sound like a "question machine" but I really would like to have some answers from you folks who have been through this before. I would like to have some answers before October 25.

Last edited by Clover100; 10-20-2007 at 12:24 PM.

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Old 10-20-2007, 01:12 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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libloom HB User
Re: Concerned about pain after bowel resection surgery.

Hey Clover.....

I'm normally not around to read and post, but today is a lazy day for me at home and I'm in front of my computer.

First of all, are they doing your surgery laparascopically? Mine was and the pain was fairly intense for the first 48 hours. Nothing you can't handle. My biggest problem was getting in and out of the bed and I'd wished they'd have hung a trapeze so I could use my upper body strength to manuever in and out. Soooo....that said, ask for one of those.

Secondly, I didn't have an epidural in place, but rather what they called a nerve block....two small catheters that delivered medicine. I also had the PCA pump of morphine, which is metered. I'd really only push that button when I tried getting out of the bed.

I had my surgery on a Monday and was off the pump and the nerve block catheters (they leaked!) by late Wednesday evening, and put on oral pain meds. By then, I was up and walking as much as possible. I made the mistake of only asking for the Percocet when necessary. The smart thing to do is ask for it every 4-6 hours to stay ahead of the pain. I went home with some Vicodin, but didn't take much. Was off all narcotic pain meds within 2 weeks.

I was out in public the day after I came home from the hospital! I had absolutely no groceries in the house, so had my daughter take me shopping. I hung onto the buggy and did just fine.

Seriously, if you can talk the staff into it, ask for a trapeze. Dummy me didn't and it sure would have made positioning myself to get in and out of the bed sooooooo much easier.

You'll do fine....honestly!!

Best of luck,

Old 10-20-2007, 05:39 PM   #3
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maggiemoo HB User
Re: Concerned about pain after bowel resection surgery.


I did have an epidural and it was great. I really didn't have any pain while it was in place. I felt sore but no real pain. The epidural is placed high enough that it doesn't interfere with walking which you need to do. I had my surgery on a Thursday afternoon and it was taken out Sunday. The dosage is gradually reduced. The needle is very flexible and I didn't feel it at all. I had no problems being on my back.

I also had an On-Q pump that delivers lidicane (sp?) straight to the incision. After the epidural was taken out, I was on oral pain meds. I don't remember what it was.

Any pain was more dull achy, not sharp. I was able to sleep in the hospital. I did take my CD player with relaxation music. That was helpful.

I went out pretty soon also. I was out in public during the first week home. I couldn't drive but went with my husband for very short little trips. I'm not a homebody so I needed to get out some.

I laid in a supply of soup and crackers for lunches. That was very easy for me to fix. I was very lucky because co-workers provided a lot of dinners for us. I also kept a basket by the couch with the phone, hand lotion, water, puzzle books, CD player, books, etc. I had some books on tape that were wonderful when I didn't feel like reading a regular book. My husband brought home several movies for me as daytime TV wasn't what I wanted to watch. I was able to get some craft projects done. I wore loose gym pants. I didn't want anything tight around my waist and I couldn't stay in PJ's all day--a psychological thing for me.

Let us know what other questions that you have.


Old 10-21-2007, 12:45 AM   #4
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anprdp HB User
Re: Concerned about pain after bowel resection surgery.

Hi Clover,

I was 28/29 when I had my bowel resection. I had a pain pump as well with dilaudid. I don't advocate the epidural in everyone because for some (like me) the epidural never worked for any of my children's births. If you know it works for you then that would be a great device although it would hender you from movement to get your bowels moving again. So there is the up and down side of that. I also have had an On-Q pump in a Tubal Reversal incision. Again, about 1 day later I ended up in the ER to have that removed because it aggravated the site of the incision and felt like acid going through the wound. The pain was not that bad comparitively. I actually thought an adult tonsillectomy was much worse. I also had mine lap. wise. I did have complications after, but just to focus on the colectomy itself, I really did not view it as horrible pain. I did however have some nausea. I hope yours goes smoothly and you recover quickly. Good Luck

Old 10-21-2007, 11:44 AM   #5
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Clover100 HB User
Talking Re: Concerned about pain after bowel resection surgery.

What is a On-Q pump? I've never heard of that. At least my surgeon says he doesn't use a GN tube. I think one of those would be terrible. I guess I can deal with the dull ache business---sort of like menstral cramps??? Never had those bad except a few times. I have my iPod loaded with soothing music and two books-on-tape. Got my hair chopped off last week so it won't be hard to take care of. Were you able to wear your own gowns after the first day?? I'm taking a few items of make-up in case I have visitors (did you feel like talking to visitors??) I'm sure hoping that this will be a laproscopic surgery. I'm hoping I won't have to take many pain meds---I just hate taking medicine of any kind. When I had my shattered arm seven years ago, my husband kept yelling at me to remember to take my pain meds. After the ruptured disk surgery I had in 1986, I think my pain theshold has been able to deal with fairly strong pain (that was the worst pain I've had in my life---before the back surgery. Afterward it was like someone turned off the pain switch). I really appreciate all of you being willing to answer my questions. It helps me be less nervous. I think "fear of the unknown" is the worst!!

Old 10-21-2007, 08:14 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 185
maggiemoo HB User
Re: Concerned about pain after bowel resection surgery.

The ON-Q pump is just a little device that pumps lidicane into your incision. I didn't have any problems with it.

I was able to wear my own clothes after the first day. I put on a little make-up just to make me feel better. I did feel like talking and had visitors. The problem was that I felt so good with the epidural that my visitors stayed too long and wore me out.

The epidural is placed high enough so it does not interfere with your walking. You simply take the equipment with you--just like you would take the other pain pump.

One problem that I had was when my bowels started working again. I had diarrhea and couldn't make it to the bathroom in time. I was totally embarrassed but the nurses were celebrating because my bowels were working. Never fear the hospital is prepared with disposable underwear and big maxi pads. They worked great.

Don't be afraid to take your pain meds. You need to be able to get up and walk even when you're home. The pain meds help with that. You just have to balance moving around the house with rest.


Old 10-24-2007, 05:43 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: California
Posts: 2,093
Redneon82 HB User
Re: Concerned about pain after bowel resection surgery.

Clover...good luck with your surgery tomorrow. I will pray for you. I am sure all will go well. Mine's in 11 days...counting down and can't wait!

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