I am scheduled for surgery to remove two pre-cancerous polyps that could not be removed during colonoscopy as one is too large and flat and one is ulcerated. They are close to each other allowing one resection. HOWEVER, the two surgeons I have consulted with both say the same thing: that they will remove the appendix, cecum, ileum cecal valve, some lymph nodes in that area and, I believe, some blood vessels (a curtain).
They both claim that there will be some loose bowels, but after approximately six weeks, I will be back to normal, whatever normal is for me.
The doctor who did the colonoscopy said that there very well could be chronic diarrhea, which can be controlled by meds.
I understand and agree that the polyps have to go, but since they are pre-cancerous, I am hesitant about the removal of the rest, as my googling indicated other symptoms, also, that happen when the cecal valve, etc., is removed.
If the ileocecal valve is removed it is very possible that you could have diarrhea since the 'compartmentalization' function will be lost between the small bowel and the large bowel. I believe the surgeons may be slightly overstating what 'normal' will be in what they are telling you about the results of the surgery.
However, although you have reservations, it may be impossible to do the surgery any other way depending on exactly where the ulcerations are located. Certain areas of the lower portion of the small intestine and the whole of the large intestine aren't very well vascularized. That would mean that they would have to take out enough of the bowel to be able to have sufficient blood flow to the whole area that is left after resectioning.
It may be something you need to sit down and specifically discuss with a surgeon.
Two years ago, I had a perforated diverticuluum and had surgery to remove part of my intestine and my ileocecal valve. Since the valve was removed, I have had very loose bowel movements and chronic diarrhea. After suffering from a bout of severe diarrhea recently for two weeks and after 4 visits to my family doctor, I finally saw a GI specialist. He was surprised that nobody told me that it was likely I would have issues with haviing diarrhea ongoing. You would think that after having the surgery and having periodic visits to my family doctor for long bouts of diarrhea and even going to the hospital after losing nearly 20 pounds in 2 weeks, somebody would have told me that, but instead my family doctor screened me for ovarian cancer, diagnosed me with IBS, told me to go on a gluten-free diet, etc when seeking treatment for chronic diarrhea. None of that helped. Finally, when I saw the GI specialist, what he told me made sense and is consistent with info I find on the web.
I was told that I would need to start a daily regimen of Immodium AD. I am to take 2 in the morning and 1 after every loose bowel movement during the rest of the day. I just started this 2 days ago, so I will see how this works out. I go back to the GI specialist in a month, but I am already seeing improvement. I never thought that it would have been ok to take that much Immodium AD. Afterall, the warnings on the box indicate a dosage not to exceed and, if warnings persist, consult a doctor. Guess my regular family doctor wasn't the right doctor, and I needed the GI specialist.
Please post a follow-up on your progress. I hope my experience with ileocecal valve removal gives you some perspective. Long story short, I was never normal after removal of the valve, but it appears the diarrhea can be controlled--I hope. Time will tell as I continue with the daily regimen of Immodium AD. Good Luck!
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