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oscarooney 10-22-2008 05:32 AM

Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experience?
I have severe endometriosis and in May 08 chose to have the worst affected ovary removed (I'm in my early 30's, single, and still wanted to leave the option of perhaps having another child). The surgeon perforated my bowel and, although I was in agony for a week, with chest pain, breathlessness etc. the consultant told me to just keep taking more tramadol. I remember little of this week. A relative forced me to insist on an outpatient appointment and it was from there that everything went into a higher gear; emergency CT scan, ambulanced for emergency laparotomy, colostomy, ICU stay, 5 weeks in hospital with bursting colostomy, DVTs, collapsed lung, wound breakdown, VAC machine attached to my abdomen, blood transfusions, new ovarian cyst on remaining ovary etc. etc. The 6 weeks that was quoted for the colostomy turned into 3 months, but thank God the colostomy was reversed in August and all appears to have been successful. My 2 open wounds are still being dressed but are close to being closed. I'm now at home again (my son lived with my parents all summer as did I between hospital stays), I'm driving and commencing a phased return to work soon. September time, I felt quite euphoric 'coming out the other side' and feel I should be feeling so much better now, but I've experienced a 'dip', feeling tired, lacking in energy again, tearful and a little 'low'. I was eventually persuaded to see a counsellor who said she feels I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and that it would be good to chat with anyone who may have had a similar situation. Everyone tells me that surviving a week with a bowel perforation is a little miracle and that I should feel really lucky. Don't get me wrong, I do, but I feel I have some way to go before I can cope with the emotional cost of everything I've been through. The colostomy side of things perhaps the worst; I feel that as my original issue was a gynae one 'I didn't sign up for this'. I'm beginning to feel some anger and I also feel some guilt at what my family has gone through especially my mother who is in her 60's and has survived cancer twice. To have seen her daughter nearly slip away must have been hell. Excuse the exceptionally long post, but writing this has actually been quite catharctic. Can anyone identify with any of my experiences? Many thanks.

drs 10-22-2008 06:33 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Oscarooney, I can identify with your situation in a way, here's my story.

Over 10yrs ago, at the age of 35, I had a large chocolate tumor removed, one ovary and my appendix. I had a large stomach incision, which was hard on me cause I am short wasted, so I had to wear a belt, plus my back went out from being on that cold hard table, so I had to wait 6weeks to have that put back in.

When I was 36 I went in to the hospital for a second surgery, my remaining female organs grew another chocolate tumor the same size as the first one, (the size of a soccer ball,) with in a year. This time everything was taken out vaginally, I was thrilled I wasn't going to have that large incision again, I was thinking this was going to be smooth sailing.

Before the surgery the doctor asked if I was having any bowel movements, I said yes, little did I know, I had rocks in my colon and I was going number two around the rock. (Now I know to always get cleaned out good before any surgery as pain meds can make rocks after wards too, at least for me they do.)

Right after surgery when they moved me to my room, they couldn't give me any pain meds for 16hrs because I wasn't coming out of the anesthesia, not breathing deep or enough. Finally I started to come around and went home about 3or4 days later, can't remember.

I didn't have that much problem till about a week later, I was home for a couple of days, when I started to have sever pain where they took out the ovary. Went back in to the emergency room, they did a barium enema scan and found a large internal bleed on the site of where the ovary was taken, they admitted to a room for the night.

At this time, we still didn't know about the bowel problem.

I suffered all night with intense pain, had an awful nurse and nothing was touching the pain, couldn't pee and had an IV in giving me liquids, it felt like my bladder would burst, I just held on and breathed through the pain all night. Finally I got that nasty nurse to bring in a commode (I just knew I needed to at least pee) I couldn't walk the few steps to the bathroom.

I strained really hard to just pee, I got about a half a cup out and it was almost black. So Every 20mins. I slid off the bed and managed to get rid a small amount of urine.

I made it to the the next mornings visit from my doctor, he did a vaginal exam and found not only my bladder was full, but my colon was full also, I said, 'can I have an enema?' He said, 'Yes of course.'

With in the next three days I had 4 enemas of rock hard stool, at the end of the 4th one I finally had some soft bowel pass. The doctor figured that this is what cause the internal bleed. It took quite some time to recover from this simple six week recovery time surgery, it took all summer, 3months.

Thank goodness I didn't have a perforation and have to go through all you did!!!! I know what I had was so painful I couldn't have stood much more.

About a month later after this happened, I had bleeding in the bowels and an infection, they did a colonoscopy and just found an irritated spot, they took a biopsy of that area, antibiotics helped clear up the infection.

I was so hard to come back from all that, I don't remember much of that summer, just the fact that it was a nightmare.

Later that fall I had burning back pain so bad I went to the doctor to have it checked out. Here come to find out, my bladder wasn't contracting at all. I had gone pee just before I was seen by the doctor, they cathed me and I still had over 500cc of urine in my bladder, thank goodness I didn't have an infection though.

I saw a urologist specialist that same day, he had me wear a cath for a week, then I came back to see him, I still wasn't getting rid of all my urine, so I had to wear it for another week. Finally after all this time, we both figured it out, my colon was not moving, that's what was stopping up my urine, so ever since then I've had to keep my colon clean so I can pee.

Whew, and this was the short version of what happened.

You had it much worse, can't imagine what you went through, a plain old nightmare is what it sounds like.

I'm glad you are out of the woods so to speak. I can see why you would be upset for sure!

What happened to the doc that screwed up your surgery?

After that first surgery, when I had just the one ovary removed, I was very emotional too, crying for no reason and very sensitive to everything. I found out that when they do a surgery on that area the body goes into repair mode and doesn't make as much estrogen, they finally put me on something to help that emotional turmoil. My guess is that no one told you about that either!

My sympathies are yours for all you went through.
Huggs, Diana

oscarooney 10-23-2008 02:51 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Many thanks Diana, I appreciate you taking the time to write. Not that you want someone else to have suffered over a prolonged period you understand, but it does help to know that you're not the only one to have had so many complications. I've had so many people putting me on a pedestal at being a 'good' sufferer and then telling me how 'lucky' I've been that I don't where my emotions are at at the moment. They have eventually put me on HRT to ward against osteoporosis as I'm taking Zoladex for the recurrent endometrial cysts that just won't go away. I'm hoping it begins to help iron out the emotional side too although I've been told I'm showing classic symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder so I've a bit of work to do there too. I'll be taking the Zoladex implants for as long as my bones remain healthy as the only other cure for my endometriosis is a full hysterectomy and, given that my pelvic cavity is stuck full of endometriosis I'm certainly not letting any surgeon cut me again if I can help it.

The surgeon who perforated the bowel is still as arrogant as ever - my experience was an 'accepted complication of surgery'. I disagree however because I think they chose the wrong method; before the surgery I repeatedly indicated my preference for a full incision if visibility was poor using the laparascopic method that they preferred. I expressly said that, except for death of course, a colostomy would be my very worst outcome. They proceeded with keyhole for 2 and a half hours and the rest is history!

A long post again, sorry, but again it's been good to get it out.

drs 10-23-2008 05:54 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Believe me Oscarooney, your posts are not too long, you should see some of mine!

I think that doctors get away with way too much!

It does feel as you've been though the a lot of trauma when you have everything go wrong in a surgery. Just take one day at a time. I think people think they have to say something so they say your lucky to be alive. They just don't know what else to say.

You've gone through a near death experience that kept going and going. Hard to lucky when it was done by a doctor that didn't take responsibility for what he did.

When your hormones are all messed up it can definitely feel like your whole world is falling apart.

When I was on hormones, which I'm not anymore, I found a pharmacy that made a hormone cream, it had 3 natural plant based hormones in it and a little bit of estridial(spelling?) prescription in it. It kept my emotions and body more even. I had some problems with the pills and patches they use. If you think that your HRT isn't working good for you, make sure you tell your doctor that you want something else.

I had to find my own pharmacy that made this compound of cream then tell my doctor that I wanted to take that and he said that was find and called it in.

Your body is going through a lot of changes and adjustments, it really feels like a roller coaster, time is your only friend, which is sickening to hear, but it is. It's seems to take forever to come back from something like what you went through.

Do what you have to to make it though the rough spots, if posting on here does it for you, go right ahead. I wish I had had this board to post on when I'd gone through my stuff, I think it would of really helped a lot.

Thinking of you, Diana

V_dubgurl 10-30-2008 09:48 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Happened to me too! I had my daughter in June and august I had to have a d and c done because I was still bleeding from after she was born. Well After the d and c she sent me home. I knew something was just not right I was in severe pain. I called 911 and they sent me to the hospital where they found the preforated uterus. The ended up doing lap surgery and found that my bowel was also preforated they had to do emergency surgery and remove 3 inches of my bowel.. It was horrible and sooooooo painful. . It is a very very very emotional roller coaster. I'm still not right from it all. I can not trust doctors now. I get a panic attack when I have to go to the doctors office.

drs 10-31-2008 06:02 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Yes, I agree V_dubgurl, I remember feeling a bit panicked myself when I was very sick and they couldn't figure out the problem. It messes with the mind for sure.

When ever there is a surgery in the area of the woman's female organs, the body goes towards healing the problem and just doesn't put out the correct amount of hormones. Eventually ovary's kick in but it sure takes a while.

zimagirl79 10-31-2008 07:10 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
I can relate to the "I didn't sign on for this" part. My hysterectomy was a vaginal one, and he was supposed to stop and cut me open if the going got too tough. Well, my uterus was 4 times normal size, the going got tough, but he spent 4 hours pulling it out through my vagina anyway! As it turned out, I had diverticulitis going on that we didn't know about, and possibly one of the diverticula was attached to my uterus and erupted with the surgery. At my 3 week followup, I was still complaining of pelvic pain that my gyne had written off as a result of OR table positioning. I insisted it had to be something else, and also told him I had stools in my vagina. A CT scan showed a huge abscess in my pelvis, a result of the diverticular burst, and a fistula that was diverting some of my stools. I also had a compressed ureter tube due to the abscess and had to have a stent inserted. That was in for 6 months. Like you, I ended up with a tempororary colostomy for a few months. I adjusted to it, and although it was inconvenient, the thought that it was only temporary got me through with not many problems. After my reversal and bowel resection, my reconnect site developed a lot of scar tissue that had to be cleaned out later. My original surgery was in January, temp colostomy and stent in February, reversal and resection was in May. I am STILL seeing the urologist and just had yet another CT scan (after multiples while I was in the hospital the first 2 weeks) because the urologist tells me my kidney is now enlarged and full so I may still have some blockage.

I am, for the most part, back to normal. I dealt with it all as it came along, kept my chin up, and only cried when I was alone so my kids wouldn't worry. I will never go back to that same gyne again. I went to him because my former one did not participate with my insurance and I knew I needed care. I'm now prepared to pay cash for my gyne visits as long as I can see my old doctor. At this point, I only need an annual breast exam so I can get my mammogram done. I'm faithful about that as I have lots of cysts, in fact I have to have one aspirated again due to some matter showing up in it on the ultrasound.

Yes, I know just how you feel when you say you didn't sign on for all of this. It sucks, and it isn't fair at all. Good luck to you.


drs 11-01-2008 04:41 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Zimagirl, what a nightmare! Dang insurance companies dictating who you can see, they have power and control don't they. When their getting our money too! You also had a very long road to recovery. Hugs to you.Diana

zimagirl79 11-01-2008 08:46 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Thank you for the reply, Diana. It [I]was[/I] along road, and I didn't even cover half the nightmare of my first two weeks in the hospital! As I said, I am now, for the most part, back to normal. It angers me that I had to go through so much crap but I had to just let it go and move on. I may have more to deal with after I see the urologist next week so I need to put my energies into the next step, whatever that may be. We've discussed the possibility of putting another stent in or maybe even more surgery, and honestly, I don't look forward to either option. But at least I've had time to recover and regroup to prepare for the next round.

I think it's just ridiculous what some of us end up going through when it all started out as something that was supposedly routine and fairly simple.


drs 11-02-2008 03:44 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Zima, no surgery is simple or routine I've found. Best wishes to you on your journey to getting well. :angel:

wazzas 11-17-2009 12:57 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Hi to everyone that has been through a traumatic experience by their gynae...
I went for a laser treatment for endometriosis in July 2008 an was told it was the best choice for me and had a 60% chance of fixing my I went with the surgeon on getting it done..Well the moment I awoke from the procedure I had intense pain..worse than birth.. and a fever but the nurses sent me home with no pain killers and no antibiotics.. 3 days later I admitted myself into emergency at the same hospital and was told by the ER doctor that I can;t be in that intense pain as he has administered drugs that they give people with broken bones.. so once again I was sent home. By the end of the week I was vomitting my own faeces and not able to eat or drink for 5 days. My mother came to see me every day and feeding me by hand as I could not do anything from the pain. My parents took me to my local GP who made my parents take me back to ER at the same hospital to get scans..This was a saturday morning. Well it was found that my gynae perforated my bowel.. It was touch and go whether I would survive the day.I was admitted to another hospital where surgeons operated for 5 hours and then I was in intensive care in a coma for 2 days.. Four and a half weeks later was spent in hospital recovering..away from my husband and 2 boys. Thankfully 3 months later I was back at work and in March 2009 I had the reversal of the colostomy bag and now am living without it and living with the memory and the intense scar which every now and then hurts.. I just wanted to share my experience and to talk to others that have survived..:angel:

drs 11-18-2009 04:24 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Wazzas, Sounds like this surgery nightmare pretty much took months of life from you and your family. Finally feeling like your going to live is a relief isn't it. I had my hysterectomy 13yrs ago, I can still feel the area in my colon that I had trouble when ever there is something in there. My problem was having surgery with a huge compaction in the colon, I had a vaginal hyst. during this, not knowing it was in there. Sure did complicate things. I wasn't waking up from the anesthesia after the surgery either, so I had no pain meds for 16hrs because I wasn't breathing deep enough or often enough. Did they put me on oxygen? No. They said if my breathing decreased by two more breaths per minute they would've had to put me on a respirator. I think some of these doctors think they are God and can't possible of done anything wrong. Or they are covering up their mistakes by acting that way, if they find it's their fault that your surgery went wrong then they are admitting it and could be in trouble. All the while your the one that suffers. Sorry you went though such a terrible time of it.
It's awful, I sure know that much. Diana

wazzas 11-19-2009 03:30 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Thanks Diana...well yes these surgeons do think they are god but when it goes horribly wrong then who suffers? My surgeon whehn he was finally contacted told nurses and I quote his words "what do you want me to do about it..its out of my hands" and the nurses told my sister that was his answer when they told him what he had done to me.. You know all I want from this surgeon is an apology but my husband wants to sue him..I went to solicitors and was told that its difficult to prove a surgeon negligent and they told me that surgeons are trained psychologically not to focus on their one mistake even if that patient dies..hmmm..When I was in ICU the 2 days in a coma it was touch and go whether I would live..and then my lungs collapsed so I was on oxygen for 3 weeks..I try to put it behind me but every now and then the memory of that experience comes back and I grieve for a few days..but as to my health I could not be better..I walk twice a day..I spend time with my family and I smile every day..I hope you are smiling and feeling better every day..thankyou for your kindness.. Sophie

drs 11-23-2009 03:41 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Nice name, same as my only Grand Daughter's!
Just wanted to do a heads up to you, if your hubby does decided to go through with suing the doctor, you have to get a lawyer outside your area. My girlfriend found this out after a lawyer in town took her money and delayed any action for a year, thus it was too late to sue. Then preceded to tell her that they don't go after doctor's in the same town.

Hope you continue to feel better.

miraclemommy 08-03-2010 08:58 AM

Re: Survived bowel perforation (gynae surgery went wrong) Anyone with similar experie
Hi there, Im new to this forum, I wish I would have found you all about 3 months ago!
Here's a brief history of least as brief as I can make it....
I have never had any intestinal problems to speak of and was expecting my first child in April 16th, 2010. As it turns out my son was quite large and so I was scheduled for induction on March 31st. Cervadil was administered to soften my cervix and as a result of misapplication, the medicine sent my son into distress and an emergency c-section was done. We were blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby boy.
I have a very high threshold for pain, but began to feel excruciating pain in my right side. This was attributed to gas and I was encouraged to walk. Each step was stabbing pain, but I pushed through hoping it would lessen the agony. It did not, I was told I had just had major surgery so of course I would be in pain. I was sent home 3 days later...still in pain.
A few days went by and the pain intensified, still I was getting up with the baby and breastfeeding, trying to be a good mother to my precious little man. My stomach began to look like I was carrying twins. About the fourth day home I awoke unable to get out of bed, the pain was unbelievably intense, I called my sister to come and take care of the baby. When she arrived, seeing my condition she took me straight to the ER. I was in the ER for 10 hours, being given every pain med imaginable at the max dosage, and still the pain persisted. I was re-admitted to the hospital where I had had my baby. After looking at the mis-read CT scan results they determined I had and Elias and stuck and NG tube in me while I was awake...let me tell you, that was a hell all it's own.
Anyway, that was a misdiagnosis, they sent me home yet again, still in pain, only this time to call me and let me know I had a bleed that had abbsessed and was now the size of a cantaloupe. I was re-admited again and the OB surgeon was brought in to remove the abscess, major surgery #2. Upon waking up from that one I was informed that they had gotten all of the abscess and also had to take my ovary and fallopian tube.
I was still in pain, this time more than ever, the two drains attached to my incisions began to smell and look like feces. Everyone but the Dr.s and nurses could see that. Turns out the Dr. had nicked my colon, tried to mend it, but had failed to inform anyone about it.
Needless to say I ended up getting septic, severe peritonitis, and in desperate need of a blood transfusion. I was near death, on April 20th I was transferred to another hospital and emergency surgery was done. I woke up and was told that 9 inches of my colon was removed. I looked down and to my horror found a 12 inch opening where my belly button should have been, as well as two of medicines latest fashion in crap bags attached to my stomach. I was in ICU for 2 1/2 weeks. The Dr. said I could have a reversal in 2-4 months.
Im to have my reconnection this week. I've never entertained the idea of not having the reversal. I have two stomas, and they have been nothing but a nightmare. In the beginning I was changing bags sometimes 4 times a day, mainly due to poorly fitted bags, and my skin became so broken down around my stoma, that a bag couldn't seal. Embarrassing leakage, horrific smells, the noise, OMG, my colostomy gave our ******** his own little amen corner...(yeah I quit going to church unless I fasted the day prior) I haven't been able to hold my son close like a mother should due to the pain of the incision and the pain from the stoma sites.
But now that I have read some of the horror stories people have about having done the reversal Im very nervous.
Does anyone out there have any tips on what to eat after a reversal? What is typical recovery time?
Any info is greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much ~Missy

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