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Total Colectomy- Life after surgery?
I am going for a surgical consult for a Total Colectomy soon. I have had colon transit problems since I can remember, but it has become more severe within the past 6 or so years. I am 30 now and have to take laxatives daily, along with almost weekly enemas. I tend to build resistance to the laxatives rather quickly so I end up having to switch them regularly and take way more than recommended.

I have a great doctor who has done thorough tests to ensure that my upper stomach is working properly, and that only my colon is the problem. So it looks as though surgery is a good option for me at this point. But I am very worried about both the short-term and long-term effects of the surgery.

Has anyone had a Total Colectomy? What was the recovery like? How often were you using the bathroom? Could you control it? Was there nausea and vomiting, etc? Did you lose weight?
And how has your life been longer after the surgery? How many times are you going to the bathroom now? Are you in pain?

Thanks so much for ANY advice you could give! It's a big, scary decision!

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I underwent a total colectomy about seven years ago for torrential diverticular bleeding.  In response to another Medhelp patient's question, I posted my experience on:-

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

It may be that your surgeon can perform this operation laparoscopically with less "trauma" - I think it depends on the "geometry" of the intestines etc.

Do come back if you have any questions.

regards
Morecambe
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PS to the above - you might like to print off my posting and show it to your surgeon and ask him/her "is this what you would expect ME to experience"?

Today - seven years on - no pain, #2 perhaps 2x per day and 0-1 x per night.  Put back all the weight that I lost after the surgery (80 kg before, 72kg after now back to 80 kg).

I would also ask your surgeon whether the operation is still possible (and does it carry greater risk of peritonitis?) if the pre-adminiistered purgative is not able to clear your lower intestine of all its impacted faecal matter.

regards
Morecambe
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Thanks so much! That was very helpful!
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1704915 tn?1357604854
Did you end up having the surgery? How did everything turn out? I am seeing my doctor on the 23rd to discuss this surgery and was looking for some feedback from people who had this surgery for constipation/colonic inertia.
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I had a j pouch (with total colectomy) and had damge to my bladder and nerves in my perineal area.....I cannot work, am in constant pain and wish I had not done it...I, like you, had to take laxatives every day...after the initial diarrhea wears off (incontinence at night---total) you will be constipated again, I recommend against it...sorry
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