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post sigmoidectomy anxiety
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post sigmoidectomy anxiety

I am a 54 year old woman who had a laproscopic sigmoidectomy 6 weeks ago due to recurring diverticulitis.  My surgeon removed about 12 inches of my colon.  At my 3 week follow-up, I reported the extremely frequent, urgent-feeling, mucus-filled stools (sometimes 15 plus) I was having that was making my life miserable.  He said this would subside in time and told me to add a fiber supplement (Konsyl or Fibercon) to my diet.  I started taking the Konsyl once a day as instructed and it did help.  At 6 weeks post surgery, however, I am still having the urgent feeling to go, and sometimes only a little mucusy stool comes out, other times there is substantial stool.  My quality of life at this point is definitly worse now than prior to surgery.  I need to know how long it usually takes for bowel function to become more comfortable and normal.  Getting depressed.  Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi - about four years ago I underwent a total colectomy for torrential diverticular bleeding.

After the operation I required about 6-8 toilet visits per day and about 2 in the night. The consistency of the stools was "muddy/sludgy".  I found that after a toliet visit, soreness of the anus could be avoided by making the "last wipe" with toliet paper that had been dampened with soapy water since the composition of the stools seemed quite corrosive ( due to bile juice??).

Thereafter the number of visits slowly declined to 3-4 per day and 0-1 in the night.  I have learned to live with this.  As a "comfort", prior to your operation, how many times per day did you go to the toliet for urination - (6-10 maybe???)  Just look at it another way - now each time you go to do a "number one" you also do a "number two"!!  Also I found that I did some of my most profound thinking while sitting on the toilet - so the extra time spent there was a bit of a bonus!!

I agree with your doctor's advice of maximising the fibre content of your diet.  Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables - and raw bran is an excellent fibre additive.  Add it to home made muesli (oats, grated apple, nuts, lemon zest/juice etc - it looks like wet cement but it tasts good), also to yoghurt and other semi-liquid foods.  Try to eat 200 gm bran per day throughout the day as well as other foods with plenty of roughage.  This should "compact" your stools and lessen the number of toilet visits.   Drink 2 litres of water gradually throughout the day too if you can.

Best of luck
Morecambe
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the advice.  I kind of figured that I'd just have to get used to a new bowel routine, and I guess you confirmed this.  I am using the dampened toilet paper as you suggested.  I have try drinking more water--I never drink water. Thanks again
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Avatar_n_tn
Hope you got my note. I need reasurrance that this will get better. I'm reluctant to even go out to the store. I am a lot older than you and have factored that into the recovery period, but I just wish my bowels would be more predictable. The Dr. said to give it a little more time, but he didn't offer me any reason or comparisons to other patients or possible solutions to try. Hope you are well.    
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Avatar_m_tn
I too had the surgery about 2 1/2 weeks ago.  I am having the same problems as you.  I have started fiber today and hope this will help.  Please let me know of anything you do which helps.

Thanks
bkh25
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Avatar_f_tn
I am in the hospital with my 5th bout of diverticulitis. The surgeon wants me to consider surgery. Is it worh it?

ejem43
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Avatar_f_tn
I absolutely recommend elective surgery.  My sigmoid perforated and I had emergency surgery to remove my sigmoid.  Catch was I had a colostomy bag for 3 months while the infection in my abdomin (abdomen) cleared and the colon healed.  Then got reconnected 3 months later.  While the bag wasn't horrible, mostly because I knew it was temporary, one surgery vs. two is better.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had this surgery on 10/5/10. I am going through the same thing you were. If you are still checking this site, I'd love an update. I go back to work this thursday and am VERY thankful my office is next to the bathroom.

I'm 35 and only had 1 severe flare up of diverticulitis. I was hospitalized for 4 days during that time. I can't imagine going through that again- that pain was waaaaay worse than the surgery.
When I hear of others that had multiple flare ups- it blows my mind.  

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Avatar_f_tn
I am scheduled for a sigmoidectomy on July 25 2011. I am 39 and have had 7 flare ups since 2005 of diverticulitis. My last flare up I was in the hospital for 6 days back in April 2011. I am scared but hope this this surgery is going to help. I am also having my galbladder removed at the same time. I wanted to ask you how you are doing since your surgery and how much has it helped you?

Thank you
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Avatar_f_tn
hi. i had 12 in of my sigmoid removed by lap june 7. im going back to work monday. i'm 50 years old and only spent 2 days in the hosp. surgeon also had to repair a hernia  and that pain was worse. but nothing like a diverticulitis flare. you will do great. you will be able to get on with your life without the fear when the next flare will occur. i had 2 perforations in  the last year. 3 er trips. 5 ct scans. monthly flares. antibiotics for almost a year. a gastroenterologist who did not encourage me to have surgery at all. he was wrong. i will not go back to him. thank God for my wonderful sugeon. rest easy until your surgery. eat foods you know you can digest easily. i ate alot of fish. easy to digest and had good protein. let us know how you do.
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Avatar_m_tn
Anyone with *strange healing results from open sigmoidectomy?
Had one done >4 bouts diverticulitis & they removed 18" redundant sigmoid colon. Luckily no malignancies were found.

* wound needed to be repacked for ~21 days for moderate daily bleed above navel incision.

>+ 1year, I am concerned about strange abs forming on each side above the navel incision. They feel sore & lumpy after gym workouts.
Anyone else have this symptom?

If it's a hernia & requires surgical repair, I'm not gonna pay for it (been unemployed about a year)..they better do it laparoscopically this time... the recurrence rate is 3.2% compared to 25-50% for another open procedure, I would refuse to have done. {i nearly died the day after the original surgery due to a bad reaction to Nubaine, an anti-itch narcotic used to "help" the faulty epidural placement using fentanyl,  i.e. only one side of my abdomen was numb, the other itched like hell}.

Screwed me up spiritually, no nice NDE experience, only black-nothingness, extreme pain (sulfuric acid type burning from the inside out).
Heart nearly stopped, reqd epinephrine inj. & E-pads to get me back...

SUCKED!
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Avatar_m_tn
My husband is having this elective surgery on Tuesday and I'm SO nervous about it.  I just want everything to go ok and I know that I worry too much.  We're told elective is better and will help things i just hope that surgery goes well.
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Avatar_m_tn
Not sure what elective means but I had a sigmoidectomomy  five weeks ago and am now walking about 4 or 5 miles at a time and feel just fine.  My surgery was for cancer.  It does take a while for the discomfort to subside but with TLC your husband should recover well.  Would you like me to pray for him tomorrow?  
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Avatar_f_tn
Just sitting here out of work again. Third bout of diverticultis in 14 months. Surgeon is pushing me to have .sigmoidectomy. I'm scared to death about this surgery. I'm going to try to schedule it electivley if my colon ever calms down. How long is the recovery with no complications done by lap? If they remove my entire sigmoid, will I ever have normal stools again? will I be able to control  my bowel movements?
Thanks,
Sukera
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Avatar_f_tn
I wish I could tell you something good. I have had the surgery 6 years ago. I have not been able to go back to work, due to loose stools. It seems humiliating. My family doesn't understand when I opt out of dinner and a movie. I take Imodium (immodium) everyday. I changed my diet. I take fiber. Nothing seems to help. There is pressure and pain. Not the pain of diverticulitis, more like a cramp that wont go away. After my surgery I was told I may be allergic to dairy. It keep me wondering if I might have been able to avoid the surgery , if I had stopped eating dairy earlier. I know this sounds negative. I know it's not what you are looking for. I do know after reading the above comments it makes me feel a little better knowing I'm not the only one. I hope and pray all goes well for you. Take care.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I, too, had a sigmoidectomy about six years ago.  I have been feeling cramping (lower left side).  I always wondered if that was from the surgery, maybe due to scarring.  I also have pain in my lower left side when I move a certain way, especially when I'm lying down.  Do you have any thing similar?  Thanks for comparing "notes". Personally, I feel a bit relieved  after reading your comments, I'm not the only one.  Drinking lots of water should help.  Dairy is bad for you for many reasons, only good for baby calves.  For one thing it zaps the calcium from your bones, but that's another story.  Thanks,
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