I had surgery for diverticulitis 5 weeks ago. (They also removed my gallbladder, because of gallstones, and my appendix). I developed an infection and remained in the hospital for 12 days. After release, my intestine has not been functioning properly. First there was no excrement at all. After taking milk of magnesia the first time (after about 4 or 5 days of no movement) I had a day full of numerous almost normal consistency bowel movements, and thought I had turned the corner. After that, I still had problems moving my bowels, as the only thing that would come out was a clear fluid. During that time, I took milk of magnesia every few days. After a few doses, the movements changed from normal to diarrhea, with intermittent pain. My doctor then changed me to mirolax, and at first nothing happened, and then I started with diarrhea again. Two days ago, I developed a low grade fever and went back on the prior infection medicines of metrodonizal and ciprofloxacin. My doctor does not know what is causing my problems, although the CT scans at the hospital and one after release showed inflammation and fluid in my intestines. Yesterday I had small, but non-diarrhea movements, and today it is total diarrhea again. I would be very grateful for any thoughts on what might be causing these problems 5 weeks after surgery, and any suggestions as to what I should be doing to try to 1)find out what is causing the problem, and 2) how to fix it. Thank you.
Surgeon has kindly answered your questions in his comments below and I agree with his assessment.
Followup with your personal physician is essential.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
I assume that by "my doctor" you mean your surgeon; you should certainly still be under his/her care til this resolves. In any case, it's hard to say without knowing more about what conditions were before and during surgery, as well as the nature of the postop infection. But after 5 weeks there's still a lot of inflammation to be expected, and things would not be back to comletely normal even if you'd not had a postop infection. If your surgeon wasn't the one prescribing the laxatives, I'd be sure he/she agrees with that approach. At this point, it's do soon to do anything very drastic. Continuing to check for the possibility of an abscess inside (using a CT scan), and treating if there's sign of infection, are the main things for now. If, with more time, there's not a return toward normal, it will be necessary to investigate the area where your colon was sewed together; either with colonoscopy or an xray using contrast material into your colon.
I would also recommend probiotics since you are on antibiotics. antibiotics can really throw your colon out of whack. most commercial yogurt brands have live cultures. Stoneyfield has 5 or 6 different strains in thier products. or you can buy probiotic supplements.
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