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Perferated Bowel/Infections Post Op Perferated Bowel/Infections Post Op

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Unread 06-29-2003, 07:26 AM
Post Op Complications (Big Time!) Bowel Perferation, Infection, Spotting

I would like to hear from anybody who has had (survived) post op complications. My surgeon attempted to do a laparoscopy in my umbilical area and perferated my bowel and then closed me up and did a bikini line complete hysterectomy (April 14th). I never had time to "appreciate" the hysterectomy due to the drainage problem they had me treating in the umbilical area. 3 weeks after the surgery, I was in the ER with a perferated bowel and large abcess (pocket of infection in my abdomen near the perferation).

The ER surgeon still can't believe I walked around for so long with a bowel perferation, but they (previous surgeons office - RE) told me how to treat the "drainage" and I did it for 3 weeks before it changed color and started to bleed. They provided me with plenty of pain medication in the meantime.

I had to have corrective surgery to my bowel and they attempted to surgically treat the abcess. I was the hospital 6 days (starting May 15).

I was put in the hospital (ER) again May 30 (I think) for infection to the abcess. They put in a drainage tube and fed me intravenous antibiotics. I went home with the drainage tube day 6 and wore it 2 more days til they removed it outpatient.

My primary care doctor then started to treat me for antibiotic invoked colitis and vaginitis with flagyl shortly after this due to painful, loose stool and vaginal discharge.

I was back in the ER Sunday 6/22 for vomiting and abdominal pain. They diagnosed me with a bad kidney infection. I am being treated with Levaquin (which has unpleasant side affects) for the kidney infection and the flagyl still for the colitis and vaginitis.

I'm doing o.k., but I'm still tender where the abcess was treated. I'm still having colitis and have to watch what I eat, so my stomach want get upset.

I learned about the brown spotting (~2 weeks post surgery) and had that, but I'm having pink spotting when I pee on the toilet paper and sometimes on my liner. I thought it was the kidney infection or vaginitis, but can't find any info to support this. I've also read that this is not that uncommon on this sight and that maybe it can be treated with silver oxide (?) stuff??

I also just read on this site that this could be coming from the vaginal cuff area.

Of course, I've been terrified throughout this entire ordeal. I'm taking ativan for panic attacks and every little (or not so little) pain causes me concern. I take hydrocodone for the colitis and phenergan for the nausea from the flagyl and the Levaquin.

I would love to hear from anybody who can relate to anything I am experiencing or can point me in the direction of where I can find information on this on this site (I'm new).

I would love to have sex with my husband (it's been 2 1/2 months), but I'm afraid. And I don't know how long this abcess/surgical/umbilical area is suppose to be tender on and off.

Thanks for any help and take care, Toni in Va.
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Unread 06-29-2003, 12:33 PM
Perferated Bowel/Infections Post Op

Hi Toni and welcome! I'm glad you found us. You're in exactly the right place to find the information and support you need.

I had some of the complications you've experienced, but with a different time line. Last year I had a TVH/BSO/A&P repair and bladder suspension surgery. It went very well, I thought. About three and a half weeks into my recovery, I started having pains in my lower left abdomen. A zillion tests later the DRs discovered I had diverticulitis, and was starting to get peritonitis. I spent a month on Cipro and Flagyl together before the infection cleared. At the time I was told that there was a 25% chance the diverticulitis would come back, and if it did I would need a colon resection.

Exactly to the day on my one year Hysterversary, I got the diverticulitis again. After spending a couple more weeks on Cipro and Flagyl and then giving the area a little more time to heal, I had the colon resection surgery. The surgeon had told me that based on the results of the tests they'd done, I would probably have about a foot or so of my colon removed. It ended up to be a lot more.

When he opened me up, he found a mess. He said that my colon had perforated and abscessed a year earlier! No wonder it took so long to fight off that infection! Apparently I'd been walking around with that abscess in me for a year. Also the blood supply from my left ovary was wrapped around my colon, I had tons of adhesions in that area, and the diverticulae ran 2/3 of the way up my colon. So I ended up having most of my colon removed, and my surgeon just keeps telling me he can't believe how lucky I am to be alive.

I'm 3 months post op this week from the colectomy. I am starting to feel almost OK but I am constantly reminded that I had the surgery. I still have pain under my incision, and the incision is very tender. It's about a foot long, vertical, and my DR says it's a bad keloid and will require treatment at some point. I can't bend forward at the waist very well (it's really hard to release that emergency brake!) because of the layers of stitching underneath the skin around my waistline. I had pains after I ate for a good six weeks post op. I have to take fiber every day, but thank goodness I can eat whatever I like and I go to the bathroom relatively normally... well, smaller amounts more frequently than before, but no diarrhea or anything. However, I am having red streaks in my bm's lately so I'm going in to see the surgeon this week to find out what that's about (keeping fingers crossed it's something minor like internal hemmorhoids).

With all the infections and antibiotics you've had, one thing you might want to consider is doing some of the things suggested in this discussion about
yeast infections , because you will be prone to them, and also because a lack of normal flora in your intestines can cause digestive upsets. I think part of the reason I'm so normal in that department is because I take probiotics every day.

Do you have a DR who is managing your post op care? It's important that you get checked to see if you might have an infection or unhealed tissue at the vaginal cuff area that might be causing the spotting. If so, they can usually treat it with silver nitrate in the office, but it's important not to have sex involving any penetration until you get checked.

If that's not what's causing the pink discharge, it's also possible you may have some vaginal dryness. I think you kept your ovaries, but I'm not sure... in either case, sometimes even if you're getting enough estrogen to keep hot flashes away, you might not have quite enough to keep the vaginal tissues moist and healthy. If they are dry, you can get micro-abrasions that will bleed a tiny bit and cause pink spotting. Here's a link to an article about

vaginal dryness

I'm so sorry you've had to go through so much. You aren't alone though, we understand. There are many ladies here who have had serious complications, although most have been long after the hysterectomy.

And you might want to check out the Hormone Jungle as well, as you heal from the surgeries and start to be more in touch with how your body is feeling overall.

Please don't feel bad if you don't feel fully recovered two months after the major surgery that you had, especially with having to have gone through all the infections. It takes quite a long time to heal from just a hysterectomy (six weeks to be mostly healed, six months to a year to be completely healed), it's obviously quite a bit longer for surgeries as major as the ones we've had. I was feeling that way, too, recently, and went to see my DR the other day... she told me I am doing fabulously well for someone who's had all this work done, it just takes more time than I was prepared to give it.

Many s to you and again, welcome!

Unread 07-01-2003, 02:13 PM
Perferated Bowel/Infections Post Op

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Unread 07-01-2003, 10:14 PM
Perferated Bowel/Infections Post Op

((((HUGS)))) Sweetie...sounds like you have been through so much!!!! I hope the infection is cleared up and you have smooth sailing. Hon-I learned the hard way that when you are taking antibiotics, you are at risk of yeast infections. If you can tolerate yogurt, please eat some everyday. (Strawberry banana was a favorite!) This will help prevent them and I know that they can be extremely uncomfortable. When I was on strong antibiotics, I also developed thrush, so make certain if you have a metallic taste in your mouth that you let your doctor know. Best wishes, dear, and many healing thoughts your way. Liltear


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