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Colostomy?
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Colostomy?

I've had chronic constipation for years due to a sluggish colon.  I've foolishly dealt with it for the last several years with stimulant laxatives, first with Senakot and now with Dulcolax.  Well, the Dulcolax is now beginning to lose its effect.  Due to my naturally sluggish colon, I highly doubt I would be able to get my normal function back if I were to quit the laxatives.  With that said, does anyone here know how I would go about getting a recommendation for a colostomy?  I have an appointment with my PCP on Nov. 23rd.  I know the procedure has been performed on people with chronic constipation, even though it's typically done for more serious conditions.  How easy is it to deal with after the surgery has been performed?

Thank you...

J      
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First of all you need to meet with a Gastroenterologist regarding this.  You can expect to have up to 20 bowel movements a day immediately after surgery for a few months.  This can be controlled to some extent with Immodium Anti-Diarrhea medication.  Then you will have to experiment with your diet to see what increases and decreases your number of BM's. When exercising, and especially in the heat it's imperative that you stay hydrated.  Drink gatorade or orange juice as these two will quickly replenish your electrolytes.  Any stomach virus will hit you harder than a person with a colon.  You may start going at both ends, and need to visit the ER for IV re-hydration.  My son has been without a colon since he was 12, and is now 38.  He is a marathoner, ultrathoner, mountain biker, avid hiker, and competes in jujitsu, so you can have a normal life.  He usually has to go to the ER at least once during flu season for hydration, it only takes a few hours and he goes home.  Both my sons had their colons removed at 12 and 16, and I just lost a grandson who had his removed at 10.  We have FAP in our family. We also lost our oldest son.  Neither was a result of removing the colon. Talk to a specialist about your options before doing something so extreme.  Have you tried Miralax? Really research your options, and see what else you may be able to take.  I would even get 2 or 3 GI opinions before making this decision.  Take care....
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Avatar_n_tn
I had diverticulitus and went undiagnosed for years. I have a perforated diverticulum that put me in the hospital for emergency surgery. I was 23 years old and left with an open wound and a colostomy. It’s not as bad as people thank. I was really scared and thought my life had came to an end. I lived with it for 9 months and had resection surgery. I also have a friend that has a colostomy now due to Crones disease. Before my first surgery I stayed in pain. I had irregular bowel movements and felt horrible all the time. Once I had the colostomy I was actually relieved, I didn’t have to take laxatives to have bowel movements. If you have any more questions feel free to ask me.
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Avatar_f_tn
While this is all correct, they are not telling you the whole story.  The many BM's can be a problem, and having these is inevitable. You can have a normal life, but not without a few concessions.  I gave you the whole picture.  I had 2 sons and a grandson who had to have their colons removed, and I've seen it from every aspect.  There is another post on here from a guy 4 years post surgery who is still having the 18 to 20 BM's a day.  Just do your research before making this decision.
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Whoa!  There is no way any decent surgeon would remove your entire colon for chronic constipation.  That's just far too drastic to even consider right off the bat.

You'll definitely need to have a full workup with a gastroenterologist.  Anyone with long-time severe constipation will result what is called a redundant colon.  That simply means that it's become stretched out and has some extra loops in it.  You would expect to find this in a person is in his 70's, because it's a normal part of aging.  Unfortunately, if it gets severely redundant, that can lead to longer transit time and worse constipation.  

You're correct that stopping the laxatives cold turkey will leave you pretty miserable for a quite a while, but function WILL return.  A GI doc will probably want to try switching you to fiber or miralax for a few months to see how you do before even considering any kind of surgery.

If you do have a severely redundant colon that's causing the trouble, resection surgery is an option down the line.  The surgeon will try to return your colon to a more normal length rather than removing the entire thing.  Be prepared for a lot of testing like colonoscopy and/ or an air contrast barium enema as part of the workup before any surgery is considered.
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Avatar_m_tn

If you are advised (and decide) to undergo a total colectomy as a treatment of last resort, then ,maybe it will help you if I share my own experiences of this operation - although, in my case, I had the operation due to torrential diverticular bleeding.

Log on to:-

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/523166

regards
Morecambe
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