I'm sorry you have to have a partial colectomy. On the bright side, it sounds like you'll be able to have yours laparascopically and only a small portion is involved. That will mean your recovery process will be quicker and easier than mine was/is. I had over 3 feet of mine removed (from the hepatic flexure down to the sigmoid) and the rest re-routed, plus adhesions taken down where I'd had an abscess due to a perforated colon from diverticulitis. I have a foot long vertical scar to show for it now. But my remaining colon is working A-OK and now I can eat whatever I want to!
I was in the castle for five days and four nights - got the deluxe package with mountain views
. I requested - and got - a private room, and I believe it made a huge difference in my comfort level staying at the castle for so long. I could actually shut my door and sleep at night, and when I had to use the bathroom there was no competition for the "facilities" and no embarassment factor!
My surgeon is a *primo* general surgeon and all around great doc, who is also chief of staff at our castle. He also just did my lumpectomy a few weeks ago and I would trust him with just about any surgery I'd need to have (hopefully there won't be any more though!). If you're anticipating a messy time because of adhesions, you might want to use a gyn/oncologist (they do more than just cancer)... they're used to the complicated procedures and having to be extremely precise.
The NG tube was a particular fear of mine, too. Turns out it wasn't really all that bad. It didn't hurt, the worst thing about it was that I wasn't allowed to eat or drink while it was in. It didn't hurt coming out, either, just felt slightly creepy for a second (they did it quickly).
I had a Foley catheter for the first couple of days because my DR did not want me to try to get out of bed for a while with that huge incision. By 2 days the Foley was driving me nuts because it wouldn't drain properly and kept clogging -- don't know why because after my hyst I went home with one and thought it was just fine -- so we removed it and I used the bathroom on my own.
I started having tiny bm's at around 2 or 3 days, pretty much right away. Just to forewarn you (sorry if it's a little graphic), the first bm's consisted mainly of a black sludgy stuff that was mostly old blood from the surgery. I just mention it because it might be scary if you don't expect it - don't worry though. I was surprised that the bm's didn't hurt nearly as much as they did after my hyst (had A&P repairs that time, that's what hurt).
I woke up with two IV's, one in each hand, and a central line in my neck. The central line was a very pleasant surprise. If I had a choice and had to do it again I would insist on one. It doesn't hurt. They could give me my meds during the night without waking me up because it had a port in it for injections. I had a tiny incision where it went in with 2 stitches, but that healed very well and it's pretty hard to find even if I'm looking for it now. The only downside was I couldn't shower with that in. But they left it in until I was ready to go home, and it enabled the IV's (which bother me a lot) to come out after a short time.
Pain meds wise, I used dilaudid in both PCA and IV at first, then switched over to IV toradol. That worked great. Then I went home and only took Vioxx for 10 days, then nothing after that. The pain was very manageable once I went home. I avoided narcotic pain meds because I did not want to deal with constipation after having colon surgery.
Make sure you get specific instructions from your DR about the bowel prep he/she requires and follow them carefully. This is VERY important! If there is any contamination in the field while they're doing the surgery, you can end up with a colostomy. That was my single biggest fear about the surgery, but thankfully it rarely is necessary. I was very careful to do all two days of bowel prep.
For a while after the surgery I had pains after eating. I could feel the bolus of food passing through the colon and stretching the anastamosed spots in there. Thankfully that didn't last too long and I don't notice anything now. In fact I was eating Thai food a few days after the surgery, which you'll see if you search out my posts about it (my DR was shaking his head).
Please feel free to ask ANYTHING... I'm more than happy to answer questions. I made it through the surgery, you can, too!