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Can you develop COLONIC INERTIA from having a surgery gone wrong?

Can you develop Colonic Inertia from having a surgery gone wrong???  Is it possible that the surgeon may have cut or gone to close to the bowel??  Why would all of a sudden your colon features sigmoid that is sharply angulated and your gatro doc has a hard time getting a scope in you for a colonoscopy??

Do you trust colon cleansing and what products if it takes you now almost 1 week to move your bowels????
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Avatar universal
Fuzzz said the exact things that my doctor said to me about my ileus.  We removed my pain pump since i could tolerate liquids and went to another type of meds since this facilitates an ileus.  It just took time for the stomach/intestines to wake up.  Finally last night I had some movement and today i got light solid food and will get out in a couple of days.  If i would have gone too long they can give you liquid reglan or other drugs to help get things moving.  What surgery did you have and when was it?  For it to be a complication from surgery your bowels would never have woken up since surgery.  Colon cleansers are different for each person.  Focus on getting better and try not to blame your doctor.  They did not bend your colon, trust me.
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627145 tn?1230305626
I've worked in hospitals in various capacities.  Ileus is an extremely common side effect of abdominal surgery.  If you read all the forms you signed before having surgery, it would list ileus as a possible result of surgery.  It's an unavoidable possibility, but thankfully it is treatable and temporary.  Don't waste your time on trying to start a lawsuit over this.  I had colonoscopy about a year ago, and the configuration of my bowels was such that the gastroenterologist could not pass the scope through either.  Who would I sue - God?  

From the on-line Merck Manual:  

Ileus (paralytic ileus, adynamic ileus) is temporary absence of the normal contractile movements of the intestinal wall.  

Abdominal surgery and drugs that interfere with the intestine's movements are a common cause.
Bloating, vomiting, constipation, cramps, and loss of appetite occur.
The diagnosis is made by x-ray.
People are given nothing to eat or drink, and a thin suction tube is passed through the nose into the stomach.

Like an obstruction of the intestines, ileus prevents the passage of intestinal contents. Unlike a mechanical obstruction, though, ileus rarely leads to rupture.

Ileus commonly occurs for 24 to 72 hours after abdominal surgery, particularly when the intestines have been manipulated. Drugs, especially opioid analgesics and anticholinergic drugs (see Anticholinergic: What Does It Mean?), are a common cause. Ileus may also be caused by an infection or a blood clot inside the abdomen, atherosclerosis that reduces the blood supply to the intestine, or an injury to an intestinal artery or vein. Disorders outside the intestine may cause ileus, such as kidney failure, an underactive thyroid gland, or abnormal levels of blood electrolytes—low potassium levels or high calcium levels, for example.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms of ileus are abdominal bloating, vomiting, severe constipation, loss of appetite, and cramps.

A doctor hears few bowel sounds or none at all through a stethoscope. An x-ray of the abdomen shows bulging loops of intestine. Occasionally, doctors evaluate the situation using colonoscopy (examination of the large intestine with a flexible viewing tube).


The buildup of gas and liquid caused by ileus must be relieved. Usually, a tube is passed through the nose into the stomach or small intestine, and suction is applied to relieve pressure and expansion (distention). The person is not allowed to eat or drink anything until intestinal function normalizes (or returns). Fluids and electrolytes (such as sodium, chloride, and potassium) are given intravenously. Sometimes, if the problem involves mainly the large intestine, a tube is passed through the anus into the large intestine to relieve the pressure.

Last full review/revision September 2007 by Parswa Ansari, MD
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Avatar universal
Not sure why you think you have colonic inertia because your doctor had a hard time performing a colonoscopy. Colonic inertia is extremely rare and indicates that the muscles of the colon do not function.  It has nothing to do with the shape of the colon.  You also do not develop this as a complication of surgery.  I have colonic inertia and had my colon removed because of this 6 days ago.  I am sitting in my hospital room as we speak.  I suffered from chronic constipation for 10 years and this year we began to attempt to diagnose the exact cause, i.e., colonic inertia.  It took testing this whole year for 3 specialists to collective decide to take it out.  Speak with your gastro.  Has he actually told you that you have colonic inertia?  Sounds unlikely.  As the above poster stated, you could have an ileus, such as I do right now from surgery, or you are simply constipated.
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Avatar universal

If your intestines have been "manhandled" during surgery then it is possible that you might have developed an ileus which, in layman's terms, is a reluctance by the intestines to restart the peristalsis process after such manhandling.

I believe that there are drugs that can alleviate this condition if recovery is delayed.  You might like to check "ileus" on google/yahoo etc and see whether the description matches your experience.

I suggest sgaring these thoughts with your surgeon and ask what can be done.

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