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Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

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Unread 06-11-2010, 02:49 PM
Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

Hi, Ladies! I'm posting for get this off my chest and to see if anybody has any experience or advice for me. I had my first ever colonoscopy yesterday... Actually, it wasn't so bad. Even the prep was no big deal. I had to do Gavilyte and I was waterlogged, but I had no cramping or vomiting, so I was fortunate. The test was ordered due to some gastro symptoms I've been experiencing for the last few mos.. I had a TVUltrasound a few weeks back, which I posted about previously. It showed a cyst on both ovaries, and that the left ovary is enlarged. I'm 6yrs post partial hyst.. Anyway....everything seemed to go as scheduled yesterday until I woke up, and the doctor told me he couldn't complete the colonoscopy because of adhesions. Evidently he wasn't able to get very far at all. He only was able to determine that I had the beginning of diverticulosis. That's about all I remember, other than I have a barium enema scheduled for Tuesday morning. I was also put on a low residue/low fiber diet. I'm feeling a little confused. I guess I was so much more out of it than I thought. I made my husband go to work instead of coming with me, so he didn't have to use up vacation time. I had his sister take me, and she didn't know to ask any questions. In hindsight, that was a mistake. My GYN told me he thought I could have ovarian retention syndrome, and that if adhesions had attached to my bowel, surgery was sooner rather than later. ...Can anybody give me any advice? Has any of you experienced this? I would appreciate any feedback! Thank u!
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Unread 06-12-2010, 02:53 PM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

Hi NFLLover I can relate, yes!

I had diverticulitis about a month after my hysterectomy. They can't do a colonoscopy while you have an infection because of the risk of puncturing the colon with the camera (during an infection the inflamed walls get thinner), but a couple of months later, when things had settled down, I had a colonoscopy to survey the extent of the damage.

Well, I started to have a colonoscopy, anyway... it didn't get very far. The gastroenterologist had to stop because he found that I had a redundant colon - that is, an extra corkscrew loop in my colon - that the camera could not get through, and he didn't want to force it because of the past infection. So, since I'd already had the prep, he sent me for a barium enema a couple of hours later. That was definitely NOT my favorite test, but it did work and showed the damage that could not be seen with the colonoscopy.

I was wondering, though, how the person doing your colonoscopy would know you had adhesions specifically? I did have some, but they were not seen until I was opened up to remove the diseased portion of my colon. A colonoscopy only shows the inside wall of the colon; it's not possible to see the outside in that test (or any other). Adhesions do not show up in imaging studies. Perhaps they just guessed that you have adhesions because the colonoscopy couldn't be completed?

Diverticulosis itself is not too serious... something like 50% of Americans over age 50 have it and most do just fine. I had apparently had it for years and not realized it since there were no symptoms, although I was a bit on the young side for it and very young to have recurrent diverticulitis, which cost me most of my colon. I learned that constipation is the major cause of diverticulosis, and realized that I'd been constipated all my life - I honestly didn't know, because for me, things were "normal". Turned out the redundant colon, which I also didn't know I had, had caused a back pressure which required me to push very hard to eliminate (sorry), and all those years of increased pressure had taken their toll. It probably also contributed to my prolapse, which is why I had the hysterectomy.

The low fiber/low residue diet will minimize your risk of any problems or potential diverticulitis until they can get in there and see what's really going on. I was on a diet like that for months. It was a little boring but doable. The most important thing is not to eat nuts or seeds.

You'll need someone with you to have the barium enema, as you will not want to be driving yourself home. I remember eliminating white stuff for days afterwards. A little tip: it helps to drink tons of water after the test, because otherwise the chalky barium stuff will harden in there and be uncomfortable to pass.

I can't really help with ovarian remnant syndrome (ORS) because I haven't experienced it, but I do know it is very possible for ovaries, or any glandular tissue (tonsils, adenoids etc) to grow back after they are removed if every single cell isn't removed the first time, and given how spongy they are it's not surprising that it's hard to know if you've really gotten everything. If you do a search here on "ovarian remnant" you'll find lots of posts from women who have dealt with this.

Good luck with your upcoming test - let us know how it goes, OK?

Unread 06-13-2010, 03:45 PM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

Thanks, Linda! I appreciate the support so much! I don"t really know how he knew it was adhesions. I know we had talked about the possibility that it was adhesions prior to the test, because of my hysterectomy. I assumed he knew because of experience. I guess I'll know more on Tuesday. I wished they had just sent me over for the barium x-ray afterward, but I think it has something to do with insurance, and needing a referral. I don't need to have any type of sedation for the barium, do I? I hope took me almost 2 days to get back to normal. Unfortunately, even with the low residue/ low fiber diet, I'm constipated again! I feel horrible and I have no appetite at all. I'm not complaining about the weight I've lost...7lbs total since Wed., but I'm sure there are healthier ways to do it.

I'm sorry to hear about your battle with Diverticulosis/itis....I have not had any symptoms of that either...At least I don't think so...all the pain I've experienced has been ovary type pain. I was really suprised when he said he saw any evidence of that. But, like you said, it is really common.

Thank you, again! I will let you know what happens Tuesday...I'm sure it will be loads of fun!
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Unread 06-13-2010, 07:37 PM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

I didn't have any sedation for the barium enema because they needed me awake ... they wanted me to roll over in the middle of it so they could get the picture from different angles. I suspect it'll be the same for you.

Good luck!

Unread 06-17-2010, 09:05 PM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

I had my barium enema day before yesterday. I was awake for it, and I did have to change positions, etc.. I will say it was not a lot of fun. It was painful at times, but the worst part for me was the prep. The prep for the colonoscopy was much easier. I did Lo-So for the barium and Gavilyte for the colonoscopy. It was strange to me that I didn't start the Lo-So until the night before. I was up all night and it was harsh. I cramped and I vomited twice. Not fun! But it's over now, and we're just waiting for the results. The radiologist only comment to me was that my colon had a lot of ups and downs and twists and turns, so he thought that might have something to do with my constipation. Which is back, of course. I've been eating since Tuesday, and I have to go, but nothing. Whatever this is, I really just want them to fix it. I'll update when I get any results....Thank u!
Unread 06-17-2010, 11:52 PM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

I agree wholeheartedly, the barium enema is NOT my favorite test at all. I was only about 3 months post TVH with repairs when I had it done and the pressure on all those healing tissues inside was a bit much.

I hope they find some answers for you in the results.

Unread 06-20-2010, 09:22 PM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

I have a personal question for you....You may have already answered this, so I apologize if I'm asking you to repeat. Did you have problems with constipation? I'm sooooo miserable right now. I have not really gone to the bathroom since Wed morning. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm gaining approx a pound per day! I wouldn't believe it myself if I wasn't seeing the scale with my own eyes. I even put my 10lb weights on the scale to make sure it was correct! I am hesitant to call my doctor because I don't want to sound just seems like it's getting worse and worse. I have never used laxitives. I can think of one time in the last 10 yrs that I use a mild one, and now for about the last 3-4 wks, I don't have bowel movements at all without one. I have trouble taking one, because I have 4 kids, and I have to be able to come and go. I can't be stuck at home so I can be close to the toilet. I feel like I'm falling apart, and I don't like it at all. Do you have any advice?
Unread 06-20-2010, 09:48 PM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

Well, I don't have much of a problem with constipation now since most of my colon was removed. In fact, if I'm not careful I get the opposite problem. If I eat a salad at dinner, I'm in the bathroom every 15-30 minutes for hours afterwards, for example. So, I have altered my diet to compensate for the change.

However, I was constipated my entire life prior to the colectomy, I just didn't realize it because it had been lifelong and I thought it was "normal" and that everyone had the same experience I did. In fact, straining because of constipation was probably a major contributor to the prolapse that led to my hysterectomy - though hindsight is 20/20, it isn't helpful to me to know that now.

In the period of time (about a year) between the hyst and the colectomy, though, I did start to try to address the constipation, and found some things that worked well for me. For one thing, it was crucial to balance the calcium my doctor had me taking (1500mg/day) with 1/2 as much magnesium by weight (in my case, 750mg/day). Calcium is constipating (as are dairy products which contain calcium).

Caffeine containing drinks, especially coffee, help get the GI system moving. Strong coffee is a natural laxative for me, but not a harsh one the way salads are now. I take Benefiber daily. I have continued to take a stool softener twice a day all these years. Warm prune juice is also very effective (and tasty - I happen to enjoy it) - I just heat some in a coffee cup in the microwave.

There's always "smooth move" tea if I'm desperate but I almost never resort to that. I don't really believe in laxatives, and Smooth Move contains senna, the same laxative ingredient that's in Senekot.

I sympathize and identify with the need to be able to 'go' on some sort of regular schedule that fits with your daily activities. It's a major problem for me nowadays because, without most of my colon, I don't have the standard one bm per day; I have several smaller ones. It can be very inconvenient at times.

If you are finding that you're not having bms without a laxative, though, I would follow up with your doctor. You're not being whiny - there may be a problem with motility that they need to look into, or sometimes extreme constipation may be due to a narrowing of the colon somewhere, possibly due to adhesions.

You deserve to be able to 'go' normally... please don't feel bad about pushing for answers. I'm sure you feel miserable, and no one wants that.

Unread 06-21-2010, 09:11 AM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

Thank you! I don't like the laxitive route either. Unfortunately, I've been put on the low fiber/residue diet, and prunes are a no no, as are any fiber based softeners. My doctor does seem to think my bouts of constipation are related to adhesions. It just seems to have become so much worse recently. Coffee has always helped me, too! Now, It gives me the urge, but nothing happens. Unfortunately, the only relief I get is in the form of diarrhea. So, I think I will take your advice, and call my doctor today. The results of my test should be in and I would like to get those as well. Thank you's so frustrating to have issues like these. I feel fortunate to be able to ask questions and get info from everyone. It's not something we usually talk about with just anybody! I'm even a little embarrassed to talk about it with my husband. So believe me, you have been a great help!
Unread 01-10-2015, 08:57 AM
Re: Incomplete Colonoscopy Due to Adhesions

I like colace. It is a stool softener pill. I had hyst in 2008. Had constipation issues all my life but got worse after that. I've built up to 2-3 colace capsules a day. Still end up needing more about once a month. Monday will be my first colonoscopy. Dark stool, pains in bowels, and family history are pushing that for me (I'm 41).
I had laparoscopic surgery in 2010 for pains, which found adhesions. I will be interested to see how this colonoscopy goes. I like the stool softener pill rather than drinking yucky liquids.

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