I am having a bowel resection in December because of several bouts of diverticulitis. I have never had any surgery and am apprehensive. I am not having a flare-up at the moment, which is why I'm getting it done now rather than as an emergency. Does anyone have any words of wisdom or encouragement for me? I am 57 years old.
Hi - about five years ago I underwent a total colectomy for torrential diverticular bleeding and, in response to a question from another Medhelp patient, I summarised my own experiences of this surgery on:-
Maybe you would like to print this and show it to your surgeon and ask him/her whether this is representative of what you should expect for yourself.
Both my sons and grandson had total colectomies which is a lot more invasiive, and more involved, and they did very well. I think any surgery is scary, and I can understand your apprehension. Keep in mind this type of surgery is very common, which means it's been perfected, and any side affects controlled. I wish I could offer more help, you'll do well. Take care.....
I viewed the above link, and I do believe a LOT has improved since then. Getting out of bed and walking is imperative to your recovery, it will hurt, but is best for you. The more you do this, the better you feel, and the quicker things start working again. When it comes to "personal" posts, keep in mind that everyone is different, and their experience may be different.
Thank you for the posts. After reading some things last night before posting my question, I was really scared. Mammo, hearing of your sons and grandson doing well made me feel a little better. Thanks for the encouragement.
I had a pretty long segment of my colon removed a few years ago. I can't say resection surgery is an "easy" surgery, but once you recover you'll be glad you had it done.
The best advice I can give you is to really take it easy on the food the first couple of weeks post-op. You probably won't even be hungry for the first couple of days. They'll start you out on liquids, and if you tolerate that, move you up to more solid food.
Intestines kind of go on strike after they've been messed with. Normal peristalsis can sometimes take a while to rev up again. If you throw too much food at it too fast, you'll end up with an unimaginable belly ache. Take it easy on fats in the beginning too since they're the hardest to digest.
Resection is a major surgery even though it may not look that way from the outside. There is a whole lot of healing and repair going on inside and that activity can make you very tired. This is normal. Short periods of activity are great, but listen to your body. Take those short naps when you need to and don't feel guilty about it.
My freind had a resection for diverticulitis and had it done laparascopically (keyhole surgery). He was eating the next day, left hospital after two nights and went back to work after one week. That was 3 years ago and he has been 100% well ever since. Good luck.
Thanks for the encouragement. I had surgery done Thurs., Dec. 10 -- took out 12 inches of my colon. They started it laparoscopically, but I still ended up with a 6 inch incision. Get my staples out tomorrow. By the next day they could hear tummy rumbles, by Saturday I started having BM's. Went home on Monday. Have been able to tolerate the pain -- hardly used any of the Darvocet they prescribed -- but I have some questions. My bowels are moving, but very slowly and just little pieces at a time. Is this normal? I've also developed some panic attacks. I've had anxiety problems in the past, but have been able to keep them under control, so I'm wondering if this is just a side effect of everything that has happened to my body. I am moving around easily with just a little pain, but I am so tired!
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