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Bowel obstruction surgery Bowel obstruction surgery

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Unread 07-10-2021, 06:09 PM
Bowel obstruction surgery

Hello: Not sure where to post this but here goes.

I have had a series of bowel obstructions (two hospitalizations to date). Im told i could have adhesions caused by the pelvic radiation I had after my hysterectomy in 2014. They found endometrial cancer during my hysterectomy.

Im tentatively scheduled for surgery on October 6 2021. Lysis adhesion surgery with a possible bowel resection. I say tentatively because im terrified of having this surgery bc of the possibility that i might have to wear a bag. Scared to death actually.

Has anyone gone through this ordeal? Can anyone offer any insight?

Thank you. Joanne
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Unread 07-12-2021, 04:10 PM
Re: Bowel obstruction surgery

I had emergency open abdominal surgery for intestinal blockage 4 months ago to this day. My blockage came on suddenly, and it's a delirium level pain and acute vomiting I wouldn't wish on anybody. Initially the hospital said it looked like partial blockage only and to see if it would clear. The urgent care doctor wasn't wild about that, but prescribed meds for pain and nausea, and released me. Two days later I'd not eaten anything - the main reason I wasn't throwing up as much - pain was still at a 6-7, and I was starting to have bladder retention. The same urgent care doctor was on call, and he pushed for surgery - this time the hospital agreed.

Before going under, I asked the surgeon (who was excellent) about bowel resection. He said he couldn't know until he got in there but it's always a possibility. I knew it was serious (it was 10:30pm at night!) and that if left on its own, my bowel could perforate and there'd definitely be a resection. When I realized that, I decided I was along for the ride no matter what and put myself in my Lord's hands and the surgeon's hands... if I needed a resection, I'd deal with it when I woke up. It was better than the unspoken alternative of perforation, sepsis and perhaps not making it.

As it turned out I had a single band adhesion looped around my small bowel which broke away when the surgeon "lifted things up" (his words). He removed the adhesion via lysis, and noted that all else looked well - things started moving again right away, he didn't see any other adhesions, and the intestinal tissue was healthy, so no bowel resection needed.

A male coworker of mine had a bowel perforation and needed a bag for a while. He was off for 4-6 weeks, and returned to work with a bag, although you would've never known it. He went back later to have it removed and the colostomy sealed up, and he may have been out for another 2-3 weeks.

Will your surgery be laparoscopic or open?

My prayers for you are that your bowel tissue is healthy, no resection needed and that surgery goes smoothly. I've posted my recovery journey on this forum (The Road Less Travelled), and I'll gladly answer any questions about my experience.

Unread 07-14-2021, 10:32 AM
Re: Bowel obstruction surgery

Hi Lenalynne

I had surgery following my first bowel obstruction after it refused to ressolve itself following 6 days with an NG tubes. I freaked out when the surgical team came to get permission to operate and told me it could involve anything from a couple of laproscopic incisions to a bowel resection depending upon what they found once they went in and looked. But I realized in hindsight that of course they had to get permission for everything at once because once they actually operated I'd be unconscious and unable to give permission for anything.

My surgeon managed to clear the blockage by a combination of lysing a few adhesions and 'massaging a small hard piece of stool' (his words). So no bowel resection. He seemed as relieved as I was when he told me about it.

So I hope your surgery follows a similar course and your recovery proceeds smoothly.

Best of luck to you!
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Unread 07-14-2021, 03:16 PM
Bowel obstruction surgery

Hello. 6 days with a tube!! OMG you poor thing! The longest i had a tube was 2 days. Both of my bowel obstructions were cleared with the tube. Im happy you came out of it with no resection. How was your recovery? How long ago was this?

My doctor tells me even with surgery the adhesions can return. And of course im terrified of waking up with a bag. But im pretty sure I dont have much choice other than surgery.

Im happy yours turned out well! Thanks for replying!

Unread 07-27-2021, 12:24 PM
Re: Bowel obstruction surgery

I actually had an NG tube for something like 12 days because even after clearing the blockage, my bowel refused to wake up. I spent my days doing very slow laps around the ward trying to encourage it. Once it did though my recovery was pretty straight-forward. No heavy lifting for about three weeks and a low fiber diet for about the same amount of time. After that it's been pretty much back to normal. I had my surgery approximately 3 months ago.
Unread 07-28-2021, 07:15 AM
Bowel obstruction surgery


What was your blockage due to? Scar tissue? Do you know? Mine most likely is due to radiation i received after my cancer diagnosis. I didnt even think one would have the tube AFTER surgery!! Was your surgery laparoscopic? How did you feel afterwards? I have so much pre-op anxiety particularly because my doctor doesn't have definitive answers. My surgery is classified as exploratory so im naturally scared to death!

But im happy to hear you are doing well. Guess i just have to have faith and trust in my surgeon.

Thank you so much for sharing! Joanne
Unread 07-31-2021, 02:50 PM
Re: Bowel obstruction surgery


My blockage was apparently the result of adhesions from previous abdominal surgeries (including my TAH). The surgery was mostly laproscopic but required one smallish additional incision (~2"). I managed to avoid the pre-surgery anxiety because I just wanted to get rid of the NG tube! For the most part after the first day or so I felt fine. Not a lot of pain and I found after a while that except for being unable to brush my teeth, the NG tube didn't even bother me that much.

Again, best of luck to you.

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