I've seen a few people ask this question but since the results I saw were from several month's ago, I was hoping maybe someone out there might have some other suggestions or maybe there are have been people that have joined since then and may be able to offer other/different suggestions.
I had a partial colectomy on 9/5/08 (although why a 70% removal of your colon is referred to as "partial" seems a bit odd to me but then I guess since it wasn't completely removed it's considered partial?) Well, no matter what it's referred to - I was told that the constant diarrhea I've experienced since about a week after my remaining bowels "woke up" after surgery - would eventually (I was told a month or two) "figure out" their new configuration and would return to normal. It's been 7+ weeks since the surgery and there's no sign of anything returning to normal.
I was prescribed Tincture of Opium by the surgeon to slow down the nearly constant, watery diarrhea I had while in the hospital but this succeeded in only slowing down the number of times a day I went. It did not slow down the urgency or consistency of the bm itself. It is so unpredictable still that I am unable to wear normal underwear and have been forced by necessity to wear "adult disposable briefs" which is a nice way of saying "pullup diapers."
It should also be noted that I also had a total pancreatectomy with islet cell transplant, a splenectomy and as a matter of course, an appendectomy all at the same time as the colectomy. In fact, the tp/iat surgery was the main reason I was having surgery but it was discovered that I had a necrotic (diseased) colon such that it had to be removed.
In any case, does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for further slowing down this diarrhea? And, if anyone has had a colectomy or partial colectomy - does the diarrhea ever end? And, if so, how long after surgery did it take before it ended? I know this is an individualized experience, i.e., everyone is different, but I would just like to get a general timeframe in which I might expect that it will end.
Thank you very much for your suggestions, recommendations and any other comments you may have.
Laura, look up posts by Morecambe and you'll see some very good information in those posts. Morecambe is around quite a bit, so you shouldn't have problems locating that info.
I think the docs were 'fibbing' quite a bit when they said you'd be back to normal. You may be able to bring your bowel habits a long way away from what they are now, but I doubt that you'll ever go back to being very regular. One of the functions of the colon is to reabsorb the fluid/water in the contents that flow into it. It returns that fluid to the body, so lacking a large portion of that organ you're going to experience a large amount of 'fluid output.' Using foods that help to 'soak up' that fluid will go a long way toward helping to reach that goal.
CalGal - Thanks! Am I to assume that you live in CA by your user name? I ask because I grew up (most of my life anyway as we were Navy brats!) in SoCal!
Anyway, I will look up the posts by Morecambe - is there an easy way to do this? I've just joined this site and am not yet familiar w/all the different ways of doing things yet. Or is there a particular forum where I might find the bulk of his/her posts?
Although I trust my surgeon w/my life I did get a sense he was being a bit "overly optimistic" or didn't want to mess with my already "messed up" psyche after all the years I'd suffered physically w/chronic pancreatitis as well as what I now know was a necrotic (very diseased and extremely painful colon.) When he said a couple months in ref. to the chronic diarrhea, he did look a bit "sheepish" I guess would be the word and, in fact, rather than looking directly at me, he sort of looked at the floor when he was saying it. I remember thinking there was some "fibs" afoot but after what I'd been through pain-wise, I would have and still would trade a lifetime of diarrhea over what that pain was like. He didn't have a choice but to remove, dead, diseased tissue anyway, so what was he to do?
I was made aware that one of the functions of the colon is to absorb the water from food so I pretty much figured things out from there. Although a friend of my mother's who had a large amount of her colon removed a number of yrs ago, did want her to ensure I was told that though it took awhile, she eventually had things return to fairly normal. So, at least, if at some point, I could wear normal underwear again, I'd be happy.
Anyway, thanks again, and if you know of a way to find Morecambe's posts please let me know ok? In the meantime, I will try to peruse the site and find them myself.
I had a right hemi colectomy (which is the bit that joins the small and large intestines) when i was 18, and similar to you, when my bowels woke up a week after surgery, i had constant, urgent diarrhea. I am now 21 and i still suffer. For a year or so after my surgery i found it got easier and less frequent, but in the last 8 months for me it has started to get worse again. I've had enough now, it's preventing me from continuing with daily routine, and my gastro nurse recently prescribed me with a fibre gel type drink to take with meals. This yet has had no affect.
If you ever have any success in combating this problem i would love to hear from you.
I had a right hemicoletomy nine months ago. I have had chronic diarrhea ever since. Like you my GI doctor prescribed me a medication to mix and drink, it didn't work for me either. I spoke with my GI surgeon today and he has suggested that I have a HIDA Scan to check my gallbladder function. He believes the diarrhea may be being cause by that. He says I should not be having this much of an issue with my bowel movements. Do you ever have any nausea? Just thought I would share because I understand the frustration. I am only 25 so I know just how hard it can be for women of our age group
I'm just 10 days past my emergency open right hemicolectomy and have not checked this whole site to see if you've already tried psyllium husk powder. Metamucil is one name brand and pharmacies sell their own cheaper versions.
Most every eating event brings on diahrea. But before bed the last 2 nights I've taken just 1 teaspoon of Metamucil with water, and awakened the next morning with almost normal stools. 1 t is less than a normal dose but I am waiting for my first doctor's post-op appointment tomorrow to discuss whether it's safe to take more. Hope this might help you! I will pray for you. Hang in there.
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