Hi - first of all I would suggest that you/your stepfather might like to gain further background into the causes/symptoms/treatment of rectal bleeding as a basis for further discussion with the doctors. Type in rectal bleeding to google or yahoo and click on to one of the many sites. I think the Medicinenet site is particularly informative.
Over five years ago I underwent a total colectomy for torrential diverticular bleeding and, in response to another Medhelp patient's question, I recorded my experiences on medhelp. The details can be found on:-
I cannot specify for how long your stepfather should continue with the present treatment regime but I would suggest that the following questions are addressed as a basis for future treatment:-
- can your stepfather's condition definitely be cured via the presently pursued regime of "lifestyle (i.e. diet) and pharmaceuticals"??
- is there still a remote risk of a recurrence of the rupture>>>bleeding>>>
- is there any reason why a partial/total colectomy should not be carried out promptly especially if this procedure will eliminate all risks of future infection and bleeding. Remember that if the bleeding is torrential, it can be life threatening especially if you live at some distance from a major hospital and are losing blood at a rate of say ~ one litre at each bleeding episode. Also a partial/total colectomy can sometimes be performed laparoscopically which reduces the severity and trauma of the surgery.
- has your stepfather undergone a colonoscopy which will visualise the diverticular problem-site/abscess etc?? If so can the problem be cured by cauterisation via the colonoscope??
I note that you live in Kambalda which, I believe, is a small mining town in the remote Nullabor Plane area?? Without meaning to cause any offence to the genuine efforts of the staff at a local hospital, this leads me to ask whether your stepfather is receiving "state-of-the-art" medical advice. In my opinion, the investigation, advice and surgery for these types of medical matters are best carried out at a major big-city hospital with its own specialist/G.I. - colo-rectal department where the surgeons are performing colectomies and the other relevant procedures all day/every day. Maybe it would be prudent to try and enable your stepfather to be seen by a specialist unit that must surely exist at the major hospital in Perth??
Hope this helps a little - do come back if you think I can provide any further info.