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Bowel resection stories Bowel resection stories

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Unread 06-15-2005, 11:31 AM
Bowel resection stories

Hello ladies.

I am facing a hyster with a bowel resection.

The hyster I feel well informed about, but the bowel resection is my big scare.

Anyone had a bowel resection? What is it like?

Thank you ladies!
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Unread 06-15-2005, 05:50 PM
Bowel resection stories

Hi Amy:

I found these members who had posted their stories in our Tell Your Hyst Story forum:

I hope you are able to find more info soon. I am sending huge cyberhugs
Unread 06-15-2005, 07:11 PM
Bowel resection stories

Hi Amy I had a bowel resection (colectomy) a year after my hyst because of recurrent diverticulitis. Because I didn't have them at the same time, my experience was probably a bit different from yours, but...

My hyst was done vaginally (TVH/BSO). I had to do just an enema the night before, no other bowel prep. When I woke up from surgery, I had an IV (which was inserted in Pre Op) and a Foley catheter. I went home two days later with the catheter still inserted, but most women get it removed soon after surgery (I had bladder work which caused extra trauma to that area).

The colectomy was done through a 12 inch vertical incision (breastbone to pubic bone) - it was big because it turned out most of my colon had to be removed rather than just a small portion as they originally anticipated. I had to do a two day prep before the surgery, which involved a liquid diet, two doses of Fleet Phospho Soda and lots of antibiotics. When I woke up from the surgery, I had an NG tube, a Foley catheter, massaging 'boots' on my legs, two IV's (one in each hand) and a central line in my neck, which not everyone gets but which I really appreciated and highly recommend. For a while I felt like the bionic woman, but I went home five days later unencumbered by any of that stuff.

The recovery from the hyst was really pretty easy. I had to sit on a donut pillow for six weeks (A&P repairs), and had the catheter the first week, but the pain level was manageable with Vicodin the first week or so and Motrin after that. By six weeks post op I would have been totally back to *normal* were it not for diverticulitis, which started at three and a half weeks post op - so I would think that it's much more common to feel pretty awesome by six weeks post op.

The recovery from the colectomy took a looooooong time. I was up and walking a lot in the hospital, but it was quite a while before I wasn't in any pain. I still (2 years later) feel some discomfort under my incision occasionally, though I would say after the first year I felt relatively good. Being diagnosed with breast cancer about that time didn't help, either. The long period of inactivity caused me to gain a lot of weight, and I've been working hard to get that back off recently.

Some things you might want to talk with your DR about:
  • pain management - I did pretty well with dilaudid and then toradol in the hospital and Vioxx (which is no longer available) at home
  • how long it'll be before you can eat - this was the toughest thing about the hospital stay. The first 2 days I couldn't have anything at all, and I was so hungry and parched!
  • activity during recovery - my DR had me walking quite a lot, and generally using slow, fluid movements no matter what I was doing. I could not drive for a couple of weeks and could not lift anything for many weeks.
  • diet - by the time I went home, I was allowed to eat a normal diet including spicy foods but no nuts or seeds. I'm not sure whether that restriction was due to my history of diverticulitis (I don't think so) or because I had internal incisions in the colon that had to heal.

If you want to read more details about my surgery and recovery, you could do a search for my posts using the word "colectomy".

Good luck with your surgery! You can get through it - it is a lot different from "just" having a hyst, though.

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Unread 06-17-2005, 10:02 PM
Bowel resection stories

Hi, I had a TAH/BSO and a colon resection due to endo on May 20. I did ok. Was on a liquid diet 2 days before my surgery with the one gallon bowel prep and antibiotics. My surgery lasted 4 and a half hours and they took about 6-7 inches out of bowel(large intestine). I went to ICU first night with NG tube, IV, cath, and all the heart monitors. Could not have anything by mough first day then next 4 days was only aloud ice chips. Then liquid diet then soft foods. They want you to fart before you eat!
I am still on a bland soft diet. I go see the Dr on Mond the 20th. If you have any questions at all about this feel free to PM me!!!! Good luck to you! Tiffany
Unread 06-19-2005, 02:32 PM
Bowel resection stories

I had a bowel resection (6" of sigmoid gone) and RSO last November due to masses that ended up being endo. Ovarian cancer was suspected so I had a gyn/onc and a colorectal surgeon. But after an exploratory lapraotomy, it was discovered that it was endo. I told my gyn/onc that if it was NOT cancer that I wanted to keep my uterus and other ovary if possible. It ended up taking a third opinion to find a doctor that would do this.

Anyway, my experience with the bowel resection was not too bad. But I was more nervous about that than I was about the possibility of having cancer, I think just because I didn't know very much about a bowel resection. So that is one reason why I like to share my experience.

I had to do a two day bowel prep which involved a liquid diet the first day and a gallon of GoLytlie (sp?) chased by Ginger Ale the next day (Ginger Ale has something in it that activates the GoLytlie). That was some hard stuff for me to get down and keep down, but I managed. I think it actually took a couple of hours for it to start working. It wasn't painful or anything, just had to keep close to the bathroom. Of course nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Next morning had to shower with a special soap that they gave my at pre-op.

When I awoke in recovery after a six hour surgery, I was very thirsty and very nauseous. They gave me something in the IV for the nausea. I had an NG tube (in thru the nose to the stomach, hooked to a pump on the wall) to keep everything off of my stomach until I passed gas. This was the worst part for me! Nothing to eat or drink until they know your bowels are working. Your bowels become paralyzed when they are handled. I couldn't even have ice chips until the fourth day. By the third day after surgery, I refused any more narcotics because they can slow your bowels down. I walked the halls constantly even to other floors of the hospital. I actually got around real well considering the 8" vertical incision. I was bound and determined to get that d*mn thing out of my nose!! I believe all the walking helped me to heal faster too. Finally by the fifth day they unplugged the NG tube from the pump and let me have some soup broth and I did just fine, didn't get sick or anything. (I had got sick previous days when the filter on the NG tube got plugged up and that is NOT fun throwing up after abdominal surgery!!) Then by the sixth day they pulled the tube out and I was started on a soft diet. That's when the gas finally was passed!! YEAH!! Went home on the seventh day. Normal diet, not taking any pain meds, just took it easy for a while. I only had one bowel movement that was a little uncomfortable, other than that bowel movements were not painful anymore!!

A piece of advice, walk as much as you can handle. That, I think, kept my energy up. On the days that I laid around, I felt more sluggish. It's been almost eight months since my surgery and I feel great! Although an ultrasound and CT scan have shown what they think is endo again. I don't have the pain tho! Will find out the results of the CT scan this week. That's the chance I took keeping my other ovary. My surgeon even came out to the family in the middle of surgery to make sure that I hadn't changed my mind at the last minute. I may regret it later, but as for right now, it was the right decision.

Good luck on your surgery! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email or pm me.


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