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Bowel resection a year ago and still have pain

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Old 02-04-2009, 12:29 PM   #1
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Location: California
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Redneon82 HB User
Bowel resection a year ago and still have pain

I had my open bowel resection November 2007. After the initial recovery time, during which I felt pretty good, I started to have pain again. I seem to feel fine if I happen to get constipated, but as soon as I get "unstopped", within an hour or so I start having pain in the surgery area. It ranges from minor to almost severe.

After the surgery, I asked my surgeon what I could eat and he said "anything you want!". So I took him at his word, which resulted in some very painful episodes. So I eliminated spicy and hot foods, rice (which tends to stop me up) and most cheese. I increased my intake of fiber and I take a psyllium fiber supplement if I become constipated. I have the diarrhea/constipation/diarrhea back and forth almost constantly.

My questions are: Should I try a low fiber, mild diet for a while to try to reduce the pain I've been feeling? Why is it that I feel no pain while constipated but after I clean out I feel pain? Am I being too aggressive with my fiber intake, and it's just too much for my repaired colon to take?

The pain has never been severe enough to go to the ER (which my surgeon advised me to do when I asked for suggestions and ideas about why I'm having pain...if I ran to the ER every time I had pain I'd never leave). I'm getting worried that another surgery may be in the works (which I'd do if necessary, it just wasn't that bad). But if there's a chance I'm just hurting myself by eating too much fiber, I'd like to try reducing and going low fiber if that might help.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-05-2009, 07:03 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2009
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xyzz HB User
Re: Bowel resection a year ago and still have pain

Im not sure but why would he say eat anything?! I would cut out anything that binds...potatoes bread, pasta, cheese...most anything white oh and beef. I would incorporate dark green leafy veggies heavily into the diet on a daily basis (kale, turnip greens, spinach...etc), drink loads and loads of water. I would not add any supplements but would see a physician if this diet did not work. Oh.. also I would have fresh prunes (about 6 depending on how YOUR body reacts to it) also some fiber cereal at night. I dont believe in supplements too much but that's just me. Nature seems to work just fine when you find the right balance. Oh and if I ate beef I would balance it or put more of something in my body to offset the stopping up power of the beef.

Last edited by xyzz; 02-05-2009 at 07:04 AM.

Old 02-05-2009, 08:25 AM   #3
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Redneon82 HB User
Re: Bowel resection a year ago and still have pain

See, I've been doing all that (except for the prunes). My question is whether I've been too aggressive with fiber intake, and if it could be irritating my repaired bowel. And if the high fiber intake could be causing the pain. I am wondering if going low fiber for a while might be a way to ease the pain.

And I have tried to see my doctor, but both the surgeon and my PCP said that I should go to the ER if I have pain. Well, I'd be at the ER every day if I took that advice. They won't schedule a CT scan unless I go through the ER, and I don't really need to go to the ER, plus is costs much more if you are not admitted...which I don't think will happen.

Thanks for your response. Any other ideas out there?

Last edited by Redneon82; 02-05-2009 at 08:28 AM.

Old 02-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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libloom HB User
Re: Bowel resection a year ago and still have pain

Hi Red..... sorry to hear you're having some problems. I know how upset I get now, post colon re-section, if I have any cramping/pain. I get twinges now and then in the lower left quadrant and am paranoid. My bm's haven't been normal since the surgery (2 years ago this coming June). Prior to the surgery, it was constant, loose, pencil shaped stools. They're more formed now, but I do have a problem with off and on constipation. I take Benefiber and eat an apple a day, which seems to help. I eat any old thing I want...altho have been dieting.

I would definitely slow down on the fiber...and maybe bulk up on water.

Didn't you mention that you have IBS? Is this pain you're experiencing "different." Any temp? Nausea?

If this keeps up after cutting back on the fiber, I'd insist that your doc sees you and orders up any tests that are necessary. You know your body better than anybody. We have to be our own advocates......

Good luck,

Old 02-22-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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ezmeralda HB User
Re: Bowel resection a year ago and still have pain

Hi Red,

I haven't checked this board lately and I wish I had. Have been having the same issues since my resection last March. Felt great for a while and then the tell tale pains started again. I wrote about them a while ago.

I honestly thought having the surgery would eliminate the worry, and for the most part it has, but today I am on the old stand by of cipro - flagyl as yep I have diverticulitis again( second case since the surgery) Sigh.. I have watched my diet, ate and took fiber, only drink water and I am a vegan. I am sure I am looking at another surgery.

I did have what they thought was intussusception after the surgery but a different colo-rectal surgeon did a flex sig and said that it was not. I was told by this colon surgeon that it takes up to a year for everything to finally settle down and to expect issues but if you still have diverticulosis then chances of having repeated episodes of course are high. He said it was not abnormal for most anastamoses to be "pouty" and act up. He told me the same thing yours told you, if you have pain go to the ER and that it is more serious after a resection due to not having the diseased part of the bowel. Of course I did not believe him so I got yet another opinion from a top doc in GI medicine at the University of Michigan who told me the exact same things with this addition - when it comes to fiber one size does not fit all, meaning for some people 10 -15 is more than enough and others need 20 -25. Both of these specialists told me that for women the max should be 22 and for men it is the 30-35 range.

All this being said, I am with you I am tired of the lower left pains and what I should and should not eat etc. Since this is a somewhat older post, I hope you are ok.


Old 02-22-2009, 08:09 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: California
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Redneon82 HB User
Re: Bowel resection a year ago and still have pain

Ezmeralda...sorry to hear you are back on the awful antibiotics! I hated those so much...that horrible constant sick feeling, no energy, afraid to eat anything...I am so so sorry.

I actually began feeling better. I went low fiber for a couple of weeks, then switched to lower carb. I also started back with a probiotic supplement. Now I only seem to have pain when I have gas. I do feel much, much better.

I do occasionally still get constipated, but a dose of psyllium (sp.) fiber usually fixes that. I try to drink 70 ounces of water daily as well. All seems to have helped.

I wish you the best...if another surgery is in the works for you, I wish you a successful surgery and a full recovery.

Old 06-23-2010, 10:04 AM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 6
kchap HB User
Re: Bowel resection a year ago and still have pain

I had a sigmoidectomy in mid-Dec. 2009. I still have pain, which is dull, aching, gnawing and sometimes sharp in my lower left side. CT and blood work are normal. Sometimes it drives me crazy! I'm trying to stay on high fiber diet to stay regular. Does anybody know what this might be and what I should do for it? I try to exercise and drink lots of water too. Sometimes Bentyl helps as a muscle relaxant.

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