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patient202 06-13-2012 06:54 PM

My ongoing nightmare:update : URETHRA RECONSTRUCTION
.Well it has been five weeks now since I had the surgery. It was a ten hour procedure. Tissue from inside my mouth was harvested for the patches, the skin grafts. A 270 degree incision was made around my rectum and I was opened up like a can of beans. This provided easy access to the rectal cavity and all the problem areas. My prostate floor had to be rebuilt having been badly eroded by the ulceration. A divot, the track the ulcer took, from my rectum, up the colon between the prostate and urethra had to be repaired. Basically a tuck was made and sutured. The perforation through the colon wall where is ate through the urethra had to be patched. And a new section of urethra had to be built. It was not a simple fistula. A section of the urethra was gone - completely.

Two muscles, abductor muscles were removed from each leg, the inner thigh area, and these were used to pack the rectal cavity to hold everything in place.

Everything went pretty much as planned. Now it is wait and see, to see how well the skin grafts take stitched to the irradiated tissue.

The surgeon, Dr. Zinman, of the Leahy Clinic in Burlington Ma. has performed more of these procedures than anyone. This particular procedure he has done 150 times, with 40 of those cases for radiation damage like myself. His success rate is 80%. So, I am saying my prayers, keeping my fingers crossed, lots of protein, doing everything possible to fall into that 80% group.

In three weeks I go back for a follow-up. Hopefully at that time he will be able to remove my Foley catheter. That will still leave me with a supra-pubic.

He mentioned the possibility of having to re-operate sometimes, when a certain patch hasn't held. That would be minor surgery. The big procedure is over.

I am hoping by August we can schedule a reversal of my colostomy.:angel::angel::angel:

Tall Allen 06-13-2012 07:58 PM

Re: My ongoing nightmare:update : URETHRA RECONSTRUCTION
I hope it takes and your ordeal will finally be over in a matter of months. I am appalled by the damage you describe. Did they ever do a genetic profile to determine why you were so extraordinarily susceptible to radiation. There is a mutated form of the ATM gene that completely eliminates the body's ability to repair the DNA double-strand breaks in healthy tissue after radiation. I wonder if you have that mutation. As genetic testing gets cheaper and more widely available, it would certainly be a good thing to screen for before anyone gets radiation. Keep us informed -- we're all rooting for you.

- Allen

patient202 06-13-2012 08:11 PM

Re: My ongoing nightmare:update : URETHRA RECONSTRUCTION
Well, that is very interesting Allen, but no, nothing like that was ever mentioned.

flyfisher37 12-31-2012 11:07 AM

Re: My ongoing nightmare:update : URETHRA RECONSTRUCTION
After reading your post, I can only wish you all the best and have a good recovery. Allen makes a good point about having a genetic susceptability for something like this happening.

I really cringed when I read your post.

All the best....


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