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Adhesions causing extreme abdominal distension Adhesions causing extreme abdominal distension

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  #1  
Unread 01-22-2003, 09:33 PM
Adhesions causing extreme abdominal distension

Hello! I'm new here. OK, OK. I stopped by the Florida group and found out they were having a party, so this is my second post. I'm scheduled in for a TAH/BSO (did I get that right; they're taking out "The Works", and maybe then some) in mid February. I'm not even sure when my problem started, but since the fall of 2001 I started having heartburn. That was just about the time my periods had stopped and I started Prem-Pro, because of the hotflashes. Then on New Year's Eve 2002 I had a lump in my throat that would not go away. Since then, all I've done is go to doctors and have tests done. Everytime I complained to my GI guy about bloating, he brushed me off by saying it was IBS. I decided to go off the HRT, to see if that had anything to do with my GERD.

It's probably fair to say that I also have a bad neck (had a microdiskectomy at C5-C6 in 1989) and may or may not have fibromyalgia. Right now I'm having epidural shots in my neck, and I'll probably have surgery done soon to fuse 5 vertebrae. I wish I'd had another MRI done 5 years ago.

Anyway, in September and October I really started to grow out of my clothes, but I thought it was the ten pounds I gained. But I made an appointment with a new gynecologist in November, and she sent me for pelvic/abdominal MRI's with contrast. They showed an abnormality with the uterus, but I did not have any of the symptoms for the interpretation they gave. We scheduled a hysteroscopy/laparoscopy/D&C for early December.

When I went in for my pre-op I complained again about the bloating; I finally had decided to measure my girth, and I gained 4 inches around in the week or so following Thanksgiving! Right now I'm about 12 inches bigger around than I was last February! The doctor was alarmed and cancelled surgery. She got me appointments with a new GI guy and the gyne-oncologist (who I had seen in April for an ovarian cancer work-up). But we did do an US/TVUS in the ER, so to speak, because she was worried about the pain, the distention, etc. That was normal; no masses. So weeks passed, with me calling several times each day to see if there were cancellations. Finally I did get in to see them before the holidays, and the new date for the tests was 1/2/03.

Surgery only lasted about 15 minutes, and the onc. only took one biopsy (uterine curettages); I'm full of adhesions. I have no history of abdominal surgery, nor do I remember having any type of infection or diverticulitis, etc. But one ovary is right up next to the uterus, and one is plastered against the sidewall. And all the reproductive organs are adhered to various places on the gut. And the gut, because it cannot move around, is full of gas. And that gas is not coming out!!!

I look at least 6 months pregnant; I have only two pairs of pants that fit; I feel like my belly is going to split open; I have constant pain in my abdomen, sides, and back (and sometimes my ribs); and it's very uncomfortable sitting here to type (). And then there's my neck/shoulder/back pain, alternating constipation/diarrhea, and the hot flashes. Anybody have some cheese for this whine?

Anyway, surgery is coming up, but I wish it was already over and done with! I only want the pain to go away! And due to this board and another one I'm on, I'm learning there are things I probably should ask or take care of before surgery: 1) If my cervix looks healthy, can I keep it (I already asked, and I really think he thinks it should all go, because of all the adhesions)?; 2) Should I have a colonoscopy just before the surgery (there is a picture of either a large diverticulum or possibly a perforation in the gut- my colonoscopy last March was ok, but is this something that really should be checked)?; 3) My neurosurgeon says I should ask for a "awake fiber-optic nasal intubation" (ask me why, if you want); it sounds like more of that swallowing tubes down your nose thing, but someone's personal story here mentioned a spinal, and that appeals to me LOTS for a number of reasons; 4) Maybe I should donate blood (at least one unit), even though the oncologist recommended I not do it, because of low risk of bleeding......

Enough for now. I cannot sit up any longer tonight. Hope to talk to some of you in the days and weeks to come.
wr
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  #2  
Unread 01-23-2003, 05:08 AM
Adhesions causing extreme abdominal distension

Hi Winged Phantom

Nice to see another Florida sister in our midst!

Sorry to hear about all the troubles you've been going through but the good news is the end is near. Please take advantage of all this glorious website has to offer in terms of preparing yourself for surgery and even afterwards. Check out the pre-op pull down menu (top right of the screen, where the "go" button is) for helpful hints and also take a look at the pre-op resources forum which is on the main forum page.

Waiting is the hardest part. You'll hear everyone say that and truer words have never been spoken.

Best wishes to you!

  #3  
Unread 01-23-2003, 05:18 AM
Adhesions causing extreme abdominal distension

Hi

Welcome To HysterSisters! Wow, you've got a lot going on haven't you?

I'll take a stab at a couple of your questions:

Cervix - it is not a separate organ, it is the opening of the uterus and after the uterus is gone it no longer has a function. It is about the size of a coat button. My DR told me it has nothing to do with supporting other organs in the abdomen, that their ligaments are attached to other things. Different DR's have different opinions. I have not noticed any difference regarding sex without it.

Colonoscopy - have any of your DR's suggested it before surgery? This is one of those ask your DR type questions.

Self donating blood - my DR doesn't allow her patients to do that before surgery, she said that while there is always a risk of needing a transfusion, she prefers that her patients be as "full" as possible at the time of surgery.

I have no idea what awake fiber-optic nasal intubation is, and I had a general anesthesia, so I'll let someone else take a shot at this one!

Best wishes!
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  #4  
Unread 01-23-2003, 06:35 AM
from a sister who understands adhesions

Hi Winged Phantom

I am not qualified to answer any of your questions but just wanted to let you know that I can relate to the adhesions.

I had excruiating lower pelvic pain for 3 years and went from urologist to urologist thinking that it was a bladder problem...Anyway.....I won't get into the last 3 years.....let's just say that they have been the worst 3 years of my life. Finally in October of 2002......I saw my gynecologist who diagnosed adhesions. On Halloween I had laproscopic surgery which took 4 hours. The Dr. took pictures and I was absolutely astounded. Everything was stuck to everything.....and his comment was.....WHEW....those were some EXTENSIVE adhesions. Anyway....to make a long story short......that was just about 3 months ago and the pain returned again in December. Boy.....I was devestated. Only 1 1/2 months after I had the surgery..... and here I was in the Gyn.'s office in tears. After a visit to the Dr. in mid December....another in early January.......and yet another in mid January.....the Dr. said that the only option left was the hysterectomy. Let me warn you though.........My Dr. says that the hysterectomy may help forever or it may be temporary. Adhesions tend to form at surgery sites......so......if you're having abdominal surgery and you're already prone to adhesions.....the chance is there that they will return. That is a chance that I'm willing to take......I guess I look at it like......there is less in there for adhesions to form on.....oh well....call me crazy.....but that's my opinion. I'm just ready for some kind......any kind......of relief.

I understand well the distention in your abdomen. It is absolutely horrible and I can't wear anything at this point but sweats....so....I truly sympathize with you. I am also extremely fatigued. I have absolutely no energy and also have very heavy periods with clotting lasting 9 or 10 days each month.

As far as your question about the cervix. My Dr. has said that there is absolutely no reason to keep it......and here I go again.....but in my mind I'm thinking.....get rid of it all so that there is nothing for the adhesions to form on.

My trip to the castle is scheduled for one week from today. I'm extremely nervous but at the same time I'm soooooo looking forward to being PAIN free.

Take care and keep us posted.
  #5  
Unread 02-02-2003, 11:23 PM
Adhesions causing extreme abdominal distension

Hi TA, mlweeman, and Allison,
Thanks for your nice letters of information and encouragement. I have been trying to learn a lot about adhesions these past few weeks, and now it's time to really get ready for this thing! In other words, IT'S (almost) SHOW TIME!

TA, sorry I missed your surgery date, but I hope that it went well. I've just spent some time at the complications area, and sheri has a terrific list of adhesion sites. I've also been spending time at the www.adhesions.org board. Apparently there are new products on the horizon, and the FDA is currently doing clinical trials on them. But there are several people who have gone to Germany for adhesiolysis with a couple of doctors near Frankfurt. They are using SprayGel, which seems to be some sort of near miracle for adhesion sufferers, and also a "gassless" laparoscopic technique, which means no CO@ to irritate the tissues and form new adhesions.

ml, I've talked with the surgical nurse, and learned that I must not donate blood for myself (for the same reason you gave) and they will take the cervix. Since this is a gyne/onc, he is all too used to seeing good cervixes go bad, so that's that. I was just informed that he does want me to have another colonoscopy, so at this late date, I don't know if that will cause scheduling problems. I think I will be able to do an epidural, but I will have to talk with the anaesthesiologist at my pre-op appt.

Allison, thanks for reminding me of the lists. I just copied a list of stuff to take, but I need the list of things I really need to take care of before I go. As if I really need another list of stuff to do! I have little papers all over the counter, reminding me of stuff to do! AAAHHHHHHH!

I love this website! Everybody here seems to go the extra mile, don't they? Thanks you for your insights. I have been recommending this board a lot at the other 3 health boards I'm on. But I actually need to spend my next few weeks here and in post-op!

Thanks again,
wr
  #6  
Unread 02-03-2003, 09:54 AM
Adhesions causing extreme abdominal distension

Wish me luck... I have just been scheduled for a colonoscopy on this Thursday, so I have to cancel a mammo and an EDS on Wednesday so I can prep. Arrrggh! All this stuff takes so long, doesn't it? So now I have a least two or three fewer days to prep for the "biggie", the TAH. Ah well....
wr
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