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fluid build up in the stomach after colon cancer surgery

My mom is 75 years old. She just had colon cancer surgery. She is still lying in the hospital after 2 weeks with complain of bloated stomch, vomiting and nausea. Fluid has to be drained out from her stomach from time to time. She cannot eat at all. The digestive tract or the intestine does not seem to be fucntioning normal. Are this serious complication or is it normal? She was a smoker for almost her entire life with COPD condition. Will this affect her recovery?
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Avatar universal
Hi.
What your mother is experiencing can be complications of surgery.  After bowel surgery, the normal intestinal motility is somewhat deranged.  This is coupled by the fact that part of the colon was resected.  But this derangement is only temporary and will resolve eventually.  
The fluid in her stomach is drained to relieve the symptoms she is experiencing as well as to rest the intestinal tract.  Nutrition is best delivered parenterally (through the intravenous route) if the bowel motility is not yet normal.  Advising the patient to sit down on the bed or even ambulate would hasten the normalization of intestinal motility.    
Having COPD poses one to be more prone to develop respiratory tract infection during the post operative period, thus prolonging full recovery.  
Hope this helps.    
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Avatar universal
Hi Dennis MD
Thank you very much for your info. I feel a lot better now than 3 hours ago.
I have been reading articles about ascites (fluid build up in the peritoneal cavity) which
is associated with liver failure or other causes (cancer spread to other organs) and is a more serious situation. Please advise the difference that my mom is experiencing as compare to ascites. According to her medical report, cancer tumor only confined to that affected area and did not spread. Lookiing forward to your reply..Thanks again
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Avatar universal
Hi.
Having fluid in the stomach is different from having fluid in the peritoneal cavity (ascites).  Ascites can be caused by a lot of disease conditions.  Both benign and malignant conditions can cause ascites.  Diseases of the liver like cirrhosis, intraabdominal infections like tuberculosis, even heart failure can cause the development of ascites.
It is good to know that your mother’s cancer is confined only to area that was removed.  Hopefully she recovers the soon.  
Take care.        
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