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Adhesions, anyone?

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Old 01-06-2007, 07:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 377
gocatsgo HB User
Adhesions, anyone?

Hi there,

I'm just wondering, by show of hands, how many of you have had problems w/adhesions post-surgery? The doctors seem to think that this problem will be something that follows me throughout life - as when they go in I am loaded w/them. One doc (fellow) even scared me w/the story of eventually, if they have to keep resecting then I would have to go on TPN for the rest of my life...

Does it seem weird that our plan of action was to send me home and basically wait to block up again (which means getting horrific abdominal pain, and the most violent vomiting ever), then go to the ER, then straight to the OR for laproscopic lysis of adhesions??? My surgeon says I need to be actively blocked in order for him to pinpoint what area is causing trouble and fix only that area. He does not want to cut any adhesions that are not causing problems, as it could make them worse.

Of course I read online and found stories of strangulation, perforation, etc...scary...

Hey CD - was wondering if you had an opinion to this - if not Roberts then _____. I'm trying to make a list in my head of who I want to be on call if/when I go in. Marcello is number one, Roberts is two (she was on call this weekend and I really liked her a lot.)

Thanks in advance for any input,

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Old 01-06-2007, 11:41 PM   #2
larbo's wife
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 93
larbo's wife HB User
Re: Adhesions, anyone?

Hi Cats, I am so sorry that you are having problems. Larry has suffered only 2 blockages so far and both times they resolved themselves without us having to go the the hospital. I had him increase his fluids, especially warm fluids like tea and broth, to get things moving through him. Both times it happened after eating holiday meals. He ate very little and then overindulged at the main event. He would be in great pain and end up vomiting. In both cases he was able to have a normal B.M. the following morning. He has started to eliminate "problem foods" which he thinks may be causing the problems, such as fresh broccoli, cauliflower and raisins.
All in all we feel very fortunate that he is having so few problems after his reversal. His biggest problem remains the pain from nerve damage from the chemo. That and that he was "let go" from his job On Labor Day weekend. He ended up back in the hospital with a bladder infection three days after he returned to work and that may have contributed to the decision to terminate him. I did enjoy having a "house husband" to do all my holiday baking this year.
I hope you can find a way to overcome your problems with adhesion's. I pray that the new year will be better for all of us. hugs, Kathy

Old 01-07-2007, 05:41 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: England
Posts: 705
ktee_uk HB User
Re: Adhesions, anyone?

Hi Cats

Adhesions suck !!!!!

Husband was hospilatised 2 or 3 times due to excrutiating pain and vomiting. In all cases the docs used the wait and see method and also scanned to check for blockages.

Husband always has some degree of pain in his abdomen which he can live with. He had also had 3 or 4 occurrences whereby he stuck it out at home. I do monitor him closely though. He prefers to be in pain at home rather than in a hospital. The following is a list of things I do in these instances of looking after him and deciding whether or not to take him into A&E

1. At first mention of increased pain take temperature and note it. Ask him whether or not he has had any kind of BM.
2. Take pain killers (husband uses paracetamol) and check pain level and temperature again after an hour. If temperature still too high then I would phone the doctor to come and take a look.
3. If temperature is still normal but pain not subsided then I check for bowel sounds and tenderness.
4. At this stage I would give him lactulose which is a gentle stool softener.
5. Encourage him to walk around the house a little as this kind of gentle exercise can help move things around the bowel.
6. Ensure he takes 2nd lot of pain killers and try and get him to rest.
7. After 24hrs if pain has subsided but no BM then I would check with the doctor.
8. After 24 hrs and pain has not subsided then I would check with doctor and possibly take him to A&E.

The one thing I always carry with me and have to hand at home is a sheet of paper with details of his treatments, dates, doctors, hospitals and reference numbers. It does help the professionals in an emergency situation.

His pain tends to flare up if he does anything too heavy so some of the home projects that he would normally get stuck into are now a no-go area. Also twisting and lifting will do damage. He knows that he needs to eat regularly throughout the day and not to eat too much in one sitting. I have also noticed that any foods with high fat content or processed foods will instantly cause him a problem.

From a personal point of view, I had a hysterectomy 18 months ago which followed some laser treatment the previous year. My sugeon said that I had some significant scarring and ahesions yet I barely get a twinge of pain.

By the way, "adhesions suck" is an anagram for "anus is shocked" !!!!!!

Hope the above helps
good luck

Old 01-07-2007, 12:28 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 377
gocatsgo HB User
Re: Adhesions, anyone?

Hi Larbo's Wife and Ktee -

Thank you for the responses. I'm glad Larbo is doing OK. I was wondering how things were going for you both since we had our surgeries at the same time.

Ktee, thank you for such a detailed answer. Adhesions to suck for sure (love the anagram!) I will try your tips and see how it goes.

Has his surgeon considered going in to operate on the adhesions?

I am going to re-read your post and make a note of it. Great advice - although I'm sorry you've had to have so much experience with it!

Thanks again for taking the time to explain that. I appreciate it very much.

Take care,

Old 01-08-2007, 09:28 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 217
hiswife1 HB User
Re: Adhesions, anyone?

Hi Cats,

I don't have any advice to help you, but I am so sorry that you are having to deal with the problems from adhesions. Luckly my dh doesn't have any that are bothering him from his colon, but he has bad adhesions from his adominal and liver surgeries. They cause him quite a bit of pain at times.

I will say extra big prayers that things straighten out really soon. dee

Old 01-08-2007, 08:41 PM   #6
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Northeast USA
Posts: 1,497
CancerDad HB User
Re: Adhesions, anyone?

Hey Cats:
Yeah, when my surgeon went back in for the permenant colostomy, I was FILLED with adhesions and scar tissue, worst then he's seen (great, VERY experienced surgeon, but in Hartford). My pelvis couldn't even be entered as it was COMPLETELY frozen with adhesions... he was worried if he tried to remove some and free me up to help with some of the pain, then he would run the risk of actually severing nerves and/or vessels causing more damage.

It IS true that every time they go in you will develop more adhesions. Your body is more sensitive than the average though and over-reacts by producing adhesions to protect your organs... at least that is the hypothesis that most surgeons believe. Nothing has been conclusively proven.

Sorry--I've only used Roberts as she has been recommended by a few surgeon friends. Sorry I can't help you with other names...

Good Luck,
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