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Problems after total colectomy
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Problems after total colectomy

1. At the end of April of this year my wife had a total colectomy done.  She was having severe diarrhea for about 6 weeks.  Then around June 2nd they  had to re-enter the abdominal area to remove a huge (as the medical pros described it.  As a matter of fact, a couple had said they'd never seen one that big before.).  I understand that the second surgery may have inhibited the healing of the first.   My question now is how long will it take for the diarrhea to subside?

2. Since the second surgery she has developed back pain that is so severe she has problems sitting for any great length of time.  Is there anything that can be done to ease the pain?

3. Also since the last surgery she has developed a severe pain in right calf that sometimes feels numb.  Could this have been caused by either of the surgeries?  What can be done to get rid of this Problem?  Will it ever completely go away (one nurse has told me the answer to this would be no.)?
  
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You don't say what the "huge" thing is they had to go back in for.  I have FAP in my family and have watched 5 family members go thru total colectomies.  It would help to know more about "why" they had to go back in.  The diarrhea is very common after this type of surgery, have her take Immodium Anti-diarrhea medication with is over-the-counter.  Make sure she stays well hydrated thru all this as well.  Her BM's will lessen with time, but it's all about figuring out what foods makes it worse.  My son is 39 and has 1-2 a day, and he says it's all about learning what to eat and what not to.  He had his colectomy at age 12.  Your wife's leg needs to be checked out because when my grandson had his colectomy at 10, they (Dayton Children's) didn't put the stockings on him to keep the blood flowing correctly and he was in the hospital for 3 months while they saved his leg, but he lost his calf muscle.  She could also have a clot as a result of the surgery.  NONE of this is normal, and the back pain says something is not right.  I would seek out a second opinion quickly. My eldest son saw 4 Gastroenterolgists before they could find his problem, not even the Cleveland Clinic could help him.  It was a doctor at University Hospital in Cincinnati, they are the best!  You want a teaching hospital where this is concerned.  My son's Dr. was Josef Fischer, he now practices in Boston, but there are many who trained under him still at UC Hosp.  I called the AMA and asked for the best GI in my area (Cincinnati) and this is how I found Dr. Fischer, you can do the same.  I know your frustration, but please keep seeking answers with other GI docs, I learned this the hard way.  Find the best and get your wife to see him.  I wouldn't allow this last one within a mile of her, he has messed up somewhere!  Please keep looking for other GI docs, and if need be, take her to the ER at UC Medical Hosp. here where she can get good quality care.  I think it's best for her.  I lost my son at 31 due to botched surgeries, and doctors withholding information, not asking for help when they didn't know what was wrong, just pure negligence.  Dr. Fischer said my son should never have been in his condition and if I had not trusted his 2 surgeons, he would still be with us.  But Dr. Fischer gave us and his 2 little boys 2 more years with him, after another hospital here sent him home to die within 3 days.  It didn't need to be this way.  Please keep looking for answers for your wife.  Take care and God Bless.
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I have to apologize.  I didn't finish the thought in that sentence.  She had a huge abscess, but our son (who's a cardiologist) didn't think anything was wrong either, because she showed no outward signs (fever, night sweats, etc) of having an infection.  It was only after she complained that she couldn't pee for a couple of days that the doctor decided to do a CT scan and found the problem.  They couldn't suture her closed again so they had to leave the wound open an let it heal from the inside out, which it's doing very nicely.

As for the Cleveland Clinic, I have major issues with them.  They screwed my wife up completely with their incompetence.  I wouldn't trust them to find a flea on a dog.
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I totally agree with you on The Cleveland Clinic.  We took our son there, and they could do nothing for him, it was a doctor at the UC Hospital in Cincinnati that was able to properly diagnose him and help him.  I was very disappointed in The Cleveland Clinic is every aspect.  With your son being a cardiologist he should be able to say what is causing your wife's calf pain, and if it's a clot.  I have never heard of calf pain after a surgery unless it is a clot.  PAD can cause calf pain, this is plaque build up in the arteries, my husband has this. Cardiologists are who handles this.  Wounds left open to heal from the inside out normally do very well.  You still have to address her back pain, which is a symptom of something not being right. I wish her all the best.
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The thinking now is the back pain (which is between the shoulder blades and having anything major ruled out with an MRI) is muscle pain due to her not walking, sitting or standing properly.  This causes the muscles in the neck to stretch and thus the pain in the back.  I'm told therapy (and possibly a cortisone shot) should correct this problem within 6 weeks.

It is felt that the leg pain is caused by a pinched nerve which could be corrected by the same shot and or therapy.

As for the Cleveland Clinic, I've filed a complaint first with them (which is the advisable first step) and they are now investigating.  I won't go into the whole detail with my wife but their arrogance and total disregard for the patient put my wife through almost a year of unnecessary pain.  They even went so far as to order her not to return.  That's why I'm totally against the CC
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I think you thought, I was referring to the Cleveland Clinic in my post, which I never did.  I was referring to the University Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.  But my experience with the CC was not favorable either.  I will not go to any hospital but University in Cinti., they are a teaching hospital and one of the best! They helped my son when the CC and no other hospital could.  I would think therapy would be a better route to go with your wife before jumping to the shot.  Therapy can loosen the muscles and relax a pinched nerve.  Also muscle relaxers are helpful with this.  I do hope she gets some relief.  I doubt you'll get anywhere with the CC, but wish you all the best with this.
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Uncabull, look for posts by Morecambe to learn to cope with the diarrhea. Since one of the large intestine's main functions is to reabsorb fluids back into the body, that ability is lost when the colon is gone. Your wife's diet will need to change. Morecambe lists some very helpful suggestions on how to handle dietary issues which will help your wife's quality of life and in feeling better.
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