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colon resection? colon resection?

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Unread 02-06-2003, 12:02 PM
colon resection?

Hi everyone. I'm hoping my more experienced Sisters can me out here.

I had a nasty episode of diverticulitis at about a month post hyst. It went undiagnosed for a little while because I was so early post hyst that everyone assumed it was related to the hyst. Long story short, there were tiny perforations so I got a little peritonitis too, and it took a month on Cipro and Flagyl to clear it up.

The gastro told me at the time that there was about a 25% chance I'd get it again in the next few years, and if I did, I would need a colon resection to remove the 'bad' area (about 8 to 12 inches) so I wouldn't be risking a rupture.

Well, it's baaaaack... two nights ago I started feeling some pains and having a little fever. Yesterday morning the unmistakable pains and high fever were back. I spent yesterday at the DR's and the castle... they did an x-ray to make sure it hadn't already perforated (it hadn't) and put me on Cipro and Flagyl again for 10 days (it's a lovely combination, I can hardly eat anything decent and had to give up half my supplements).

I have toradol for the pain if I need it to sleep. It comes in waves, usually early morning and late night are the worst for some reason (?). Luckily it hasn't been unbearable yet... maybe we caught it in time this time and it'll clear up quick.

Anyway, my internist already told me I am looking at a colon resection in the near future... they have to clear up the infection first, otherwise I'd end up with a colostomy bag and no way do I want to go there if it's possible to avoid it. I've been doing some research, amassing links on diverticulitis and colon resection. I'm very interested in trying to have it done as a lap procedure. Anyone have this done? Any thoughts about the lap versus the traditional open procedure?

I have to speak with my gastro later today and will ask him about this... from what I've read not many DRs do the lap yet although I am right near Stanford and there are bound to be some there. I'm just thinking maybe less pain, shorter recovery time, less risk of infection? Any idea of the cost differential between the two procedures and whether insurance would cover it as a lap if it's pretty new?

Also, should I be asking about using adhesion barriers during this thing? I know I have a small area of adhesions around where I had the peritonitis because I have felt it tugging there sometimes but so far it hasn't been painful, and I sure don't want to start with that now!

Please, I am interested in everyone's thoughts about the best way to go about this.

The irony of it all is that this attack started right smack on my first Hysterversary, just as I was breathing a huge sigh of relief.

I'm so glad you are all here, somehow it's not so scary when I know I'm not all alone!
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Unread 02-06-2003, 01:06 PM
Dear Sweet ((((((((((Linda))))))))))

I am so sorry to hear of this I wish I had some insight to offer, but I have not been through what you are facing. I do have rather strong shoulders if you ever want to rest your troubles there...they are always available

I know that lap prcedures are relativly new...But I bet if you found a really good surgeon he/she would be up on this technology. I know that healing time would definitely be easier on you. Please let us know what you find out about this...

S and Love,

Unread 02-06-2003, 01:34 PM
colon resection?

I was dx'd with this shortly after my last surgery for Bowel Obstructions. Mine showed up on a small bowel series..luckily, I havent had any major attacks. My Mom was told the same thing during her hospitalization for this, she had 5 feet of very diseased bowel, she was at a risk for rupture as well Her surgery was done w/ a large vertical incision(breast bone to pubic area)

Good Luck Linda Please know your Sisters are here for you
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Unread 02-06-2003, 01:55 PM
colon resection?

Hi there!
I have experience with a colon resection! I had to go back in for surgery last May due to lingering pain in the lower right quadrent. It turned out to be my appendix. It had been invaded with endo, but at the time they thought that it was cancer and part of my accending colon was discolored. Hench the need for the reseciton. They removed about 6-8 inches of my colon and the scar is about waist length. I was not lucky enough to have it done lap. They had already reopened my hyster incision fixed my bladder and then went exploring for the source of the pain. That's when they found the appendix thing and did an additional incision. The worst part was the gastro tube...through the nose into the stomach. I was in the castle for 6 days. Couldn't go home until I had a bm. The pain was no worse than the hyster and I had to avoid gassy foods for a few months. I also tend to have problems with lose stools, but it doesn't disrupt my lifestyle! I can tell when I am going to have problems because I can feel a gurgly sensation under my incision! Oh, It wasn't cancer either! It was the endo thing!
Hope this helps!
Unread 02-06-2003, 07:16 PM

Hi girls, Linda, I just wanted to tell you that I am also facing a colon resection at the end of this month. I had my hysterectomy 1 year ago, and now everything has really prolapsed again, including rectal and perineal descent. I have to have a defocography done on the 18th YUK! but at this point I dont care much anymore. My surgery will be one or two weeks after that. Mine will be done abdominally so they can repair the cystocele AGAIN!!!!!! I've heard about the lap surgery, but my surgeon told me that in my case it would be best to do it abdominally, because they can do other repairs and really get the colon sitting where it needs to be. ROBBY, my question to you is... and this is what makes me nervous... did having this surgery make you constipated after you had it done? I've heard both opinions on this and I dont know what to think. Thanks, Jody
Unread 02-06-2003, 08:14 PM
colon resection?

Hi Jodys!
Actually, I went in the other direction! More loose, and the dr said that was normal. Actually, she said it could stay that way permently, but it has returned more to normal with just occasional constipation....particularly if I don't drink my water!
Unread 02-06-2003, 08:34 PM
Many hugs

I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I was diagnosed with diverticulosis in 2001 when I was required by my urogyn to see a GI doc and have a colonoscopy before he would operate on me for a rectocele and do a lap for adhesions. The GI doc said it was severe. I was in a lot of pain prior - but it had taken me 6 weeks before I could get the colonoscopy - so I was a little better by then. I thought everything was hyst related and it wasn't. I think I had full blown diverticulitis but had to wait so long it had settled downcause I was taking echinacea and other herbs for infections. I had the rectocele repair in Aug. 2001 and a lap for adhesions, which were mainly around the sigmoid colon, where the diverticulosis was the worst. Then, in April 2002, I was having SEVERE cramps, spasms and bloating, to the point where I called my husband, walked out of work and drove myself straight to the ER, barely, and my husband met me there as he was also at work. The ER took me in right away as my pain was so severe and my blood pressure was 190 over 110. After waiting in agony I finally had a CT scan and they said I had a bad case of diverticulitis and admitted me right then. I was in the hospital for 4 days on IVS and liquid and mega antibiotics. The only thing that helped the pain was Duloded through the IV and Bentyl for spasms.My primary doc, who is very good, had a surgeon also seeing me and monitoring my progress cause they were talking about resection but wanting me to get better. Since I did get better, the surgeon said I would not need the surgery right then, but if I continued to have flare ups it was something I may need as they were afraid of the infection leaking into the abdomen, like what happened to you. Yikes! I totally know how you feel. I avoid a lot of foods now for sure. Diverticulitis is absolutely awful!!!! I've also been told I have IBS symptoms. At least the recotcele repair helped me and I did have some relief after the adhesions had been removed. I did have one other bout of diverticulitis in January of this year, I can recognize it now, and I went to my doc right away and started the round of antibiotics - Levaquin seems to help me. I am still not going to have surgery for this and I want to be able to control it somehow. My doctor says so far I can manage without it. Unfortunately, I am also having awful incontinence and am having a bladder sling on Feb. 26. since I am not experiencing the diverticulitis I am not going to have colon surgery right now. I know it may be something that could happen, but I need to take care of my bladder and so far - only 2 infections from the diverticulitis in 10 months. I hope to have no more. I know what you mean about the pain coming in waves. It is awful. Hopefully, you will be able to heal and not have to face this surgery. That is what I am hoping. My doctor and urologist said not to try and deal with the colon at this point since I am not in danger and address my bladder issues for now. I know it's hard. Post to me or email me any time. You are in my prayers.
Love, Light, Blessings
Unread 02-07-2003, 06:22 AM

I work with a guy who had an 8" colon resection 20 years ago for diverticulitis. He's been healthy now for almost 20 years. Recently he had another bout with it, but it turned out to be an infection, not diverticulitis.

Good luck, and godspeed. They've come a long way baby with this particular operation.
Unread 02-07-2003, 06:33 AM
colon resection?

I don't have any experience with this but did want to stop by and give you some s I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but am glad that you have a great group of doctors who I just know will do what is best for you and get you to feeling better.
Unread 02-10-2003, 02:02 PM
colon resection?

Thank you so much sisters, for the s and information. The pain has diminished but I am of course still on the antibiotics... they make me just slightly dizzy and nauseous all the time except while I am eating, but they also make the food taste bad so I don't want to eat. I find that I cook something, take a few bites, can't stand it and throw it out. Ugh!

(((Sheri))) I pored over those links, thanks! I talked with my gastro and also my internist called this morning to check on me (coulda knocked me over with a feather!). Both of them recommend an open procedure for a few reasons. One is that they say there is less risk of infection if the surgeon can see everything more clearly. Another is that I can have it done at the castle I've gone to for almost everything else, which is convenient and the nursing care there is great.

Also, last year in a barium enema they found that I have a corkscrew (360 degree turn) in my colon that makes it impossible for me to have colonoscopies, and it's right below the bad section... their thought is that I might possibly be able to have that corkscrew either straightened out or removed as well during the same procedure if they do it as an open procedure. It sure would be nice to know that a barium enema wasn't an automatic thing for me in the future.

The gastro has sent my stuff to the surgeon he recommends and he also encouraged me to get another opinion for my peace of mind. I have a name of another surgeon that comes highly recommended... though my internist, when I asked her, also agreed with the gastro that this guy he's sending me to would be excellent.

They're telling me I have some flexibility in the timing but it really needs to be done, the risks are too high from leaving it in there. (((Druid))) I hope you are reading this. The gastro told me it's a ticking time bomb and at my age the odds are close to 100% that it will go off at some point if I don't take care of it. The internist told me the same thing, and that the mortality is not good when the colon ruptures so it's not something to wait forever on.

(Sigh) I thought life was finally almost back to normal. This is a hard thing to take. I know I should be relieved that it's not a malignant condition, it's fixable and results are typically excellent, but it really has me down.

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