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Large Intestine Removal
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by iAmanda, Oct 04, 2007
Has anyone ever had their entire large intestine removed? Doctors are planning to remove mine, and rehook the end of the small intestine to the rectum. I suffer from colonic inertia. Whats life like without a large intestine? Will I lose a lot of weight, will I have to change my diet around? Any details would be helpful. So far I know that I'll be going to the bathroom a lot.

And for curiosity, I'm 18 -- so I'm quite young.
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Member Comments (129)
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by eddiecic, Oct 08, 2007
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by eddiecic, Oct 08, 2007
My wife, who is 53 years old, just have this operation for the same reason, colonic inertia.  You seem quite young, but I guess it can occurr at all ages.  It seems to be more common in women.  Anyway, it has been five weeks since my wife's surgery.  They did this using the laparascopic method, which significanlty reduces the amount of cutting, scarring and recovery time.  She had a little trouble with her remaining bowel waking up, so wound up back in the hospital the week after her surgery.  Now, she is doing pretty well.  It seems like some foods pass through her very quickly, so she is learning what she can tolerate best.  She is active again and played 27 holes of golf this past weekend.  From what I have read, she should be able to return to a normal diet over time.  Good luck with your surgery.  I am sure you will be fine.
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by iAmanda, Oct 09, 2007
Eddiecic
Thanks so much.
It can happen at any age apparently. I'm not sure if its uncommon in younger women though. I hope I can have the laproscopic procedure myself. I had a laproscopic procdure last year for diagnosing the source of my pain (they first thought it was endometriosis) and I recovered quite quickly from it.
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by debbiebear, Jan 05, 2008
I had this surgery 2 years ago.  I did not have laproscopic, but did well otherwise.  I did lose quite a but of weight in the beginning and did not have food pass very quickly.  I find not that food does pass very quickley.    I am having some problems now with mucosis ? in my small intestine.  The small intestine biopsy did     not show any cancer.  The gastro drs have said that meds can help with the mucosis which they told me is swelling of the lining fo the intestine.   My bowels are loose all the time.    Another subject that is not so good to speak of is gas.  It is horrible and it does not mattle what I eat.     I am 50 years old.    I do whatever I want, just have to have a bathroom near :)
Debbie D
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by electronica, Jan 20, 2008
I had my large intestine removed in 1998 and am now 41 - I had ulcerative colitis.  I now have to move my bowels at least six times/day. Eating late at night is not a good idea, because the small intestine will keep you awake.  when I eat by 7:00p, I wake up once per night. Ensuring that you know where a bathroom is essential.  Life is not much different aside from the frequency, which can be difficult when you are at someone's house with a big group and have to "poop" a couple of times while there.  it is weird, but being open about it is a good idea. I stay away from seeds, popcorn, nuts - if I order a sandwich that has seeds, I order two bottom buns.  Your friends will become so accustomed that they will remind you to order this way.  chew your food well also. It is a tolerable situation.
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by JackieRae, Mar 03, 2008
I also had my large intestines removed about 4 years ago. Mine was from a blood clot. The first year was really bad because it seemed stomach acid would pass right throuh and I would burn and bleed. That has all but stopped now. As others have said, it is wise to know where the bathrooms are located cause sometimes there is little to know warning! When it is time to go .... ya gotta go! Even if it was just 5 minutes before! Hope all is well now for you.
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by sockerguy, Mar 03, 2008
I had my large intestines removed 2 years ago because I had ulcerative colitis. The surgery was done laproscopically and everything went well. I am 19 years old, and I'm currently in college. Everything in my life is pretty normal. I go to the bathroom about 6 to 8 times a day, but I am in much better control of it that I was prior to the surgery. Aside from that, everything is pretty much normal. I can eat anything, most foods don't make a difference as to how much I use the restroom. I can also drink alcohol normally (I can keep up with most of my friends) and I find that sometimes it helps me sleep through the night better. A typical night, I will wake up one or two times to use the restroom, and if I don't, I experience a little leakage from time to time. When I drink, i sleep through the night without having to use the bathroom at all. Idk if that has anything to do with anything, but just thought it'd be nice for you to know, if you were worried about drinking at all. I hope everything is going well for you.
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by Tim_O, Apr 03, 2008
Amanda,
  I had my large intestine removed as a child.  I don't remember life with it so it's hard to comment for what to expect.  I do use the restroom more frequent then anyone I know.  in fact, it seems once I eat a meal shortly there after I have to use the restroom.  I eat about 5 meals a day, not because I have to, but because I'm a triathlete and try to maintain a steady source of nutrients flowing through my body.  I guess the one thing I know different about it amongst other, is since your large intestine is responsible for absorbing / maintaining the fluid balance in your body, you may dehydrate a little easier & you'll find that your BM's are no longer solid.  they're very much comparable to diarrhea - but like I said, this is all I've ever known & I don't know anything different.  I'm 24 in case you're curious.
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by farrukh111, Apr 07, 2008
Hi Amanda,

I also had surgery as a child to get my large intestine removed and dont know a lot about life with large intestine. However, i have pretty much learnt to live with it. I cant seem to be able to eat a lot at one time, get a lots of gas easily and get dehydrated a bit easy. However, i dont have to use washroom more than twice a day. I am always low in iron though and have to take iron orally. Amount of fiber you take daily should defintely make things a bit easier for you :)