Need info from those who've had a subtotal colectomy for constipation
I will be seeing a colo-rectal surgeon at Mayo Clinic, Arizona for possible a colectomy (removal of the colon) to treat chronic constipation and bowel inertia. What are the after effects? I'm wondering if it will improve my quality of life significantly. Currently, the only way I can have a bowel movement is to take multiple enemas at least every 12 to 24 hours or I get all blocked up and can't eat or even drink water. One concern is that I have lots of adhesions and scar tissue from a previous resection surgery of the sigmoid colon. It's suspected that I also have permanent nerve damage from that surgery.
Any advise or information would be greatly appreciated.
Going to the best...good for you! My sons had total colectomies at 12 & 16 due to an inherited disease. I lost my oldest son (not from the surgery), but my youngest (almost 38) lives a very full life. It's sounds like your quality of life is not so good with the colon and can only improve without it. Be aware that you are exchanging one problem for another, but at least a mangeable one. I assume they will do your surgery in 2 steps, which means you will have a colostomy for approximately 12 weeks. Then they will go back in and reconnect everything. I know some docs have been doing it all in one procedure, but not with good results. After the colectomy you can have up to 20 loose, watery BM's a day in the beginning. Much of this can be controlled thru medication and diet. Just remember your body is adjusting to a big change and it takes time. You will get dehydrated easier when working out, or doing anything in the heat. Drinking orange juice or gatorade works best at replacing electrolytes, or keeping you hydrated during those times. A stomach virus will hit you harder, and if ever you're going at both ends you may need to visit the ER for some quick IV hydration, only a few hours and then home. My son is a marathoner, ultrathoner,avid hiker, mountain biker and competes in jujitsu, so you see this needn't slow you down. If you have adhesions and nerve damage in your colon, your problem is only going to worsen. I see only improvement in your quality of life without a colon. Some adjustments, but you can handle them, mostly learning what is best for you to eat, and not to eat. Write all your questions down for your doctor and I'm sure he will explain it all thoroughly to you. I hope this helps, it sounds like things have been rough for you. Take care.....
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