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sigmoid colon removal

I'm lost. I have diverticulitis that didn't respond to first course of antibiotics. Second round helped. September cat scan showed moderate sigmoid diverticulitis and simple liver cysts and small fluid collection with mild rim enhancement above bladder. On October ct scan there is less inflammatory but persistent thickened loop of sigmoid colon and persistant mild
diverticulitis. I have sigmoid colon removal surgery scheduled soon. Am I making the right choice? Gastroenterologist seemed sure... Surgeon is leaving it up to me.I still have small amount of daily pain and bowel movements are often long snake shaped. Help
17 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm almost where you are.  I have 4 bouts of diverticulitis in the last two years.  My GI guy is suggesting that I have the surgery and I have appointments with two in the coming weeks.

I have spoken to several people that have had the surgery and have had success.  You have to make your own decision but I think if you have continued pain and episodes of diverticulitis, it is important to get it taken care of before more serious complications occur.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice. It's great to know that I'm not the only one out there. Pain has really increased in last 2 days. I will see another surgeon this week just for a second surgical opinion.Surgery is next week.
Avatar universal
see comments for the entry by "kitty's mom" and the post dated 12/18 by me.  i'd apply the same advice to you b4 surgery incase an alternative exists.  it's only an opinion.  but regardless of your surgery, you are going to have to make some major changes in diet and lifestyle anyways.  otherwise the problem will return.
why not see if these changes made today could make the difference entirely.
alternative medical dr.'s need stool and blood to view u'r cell make up.  then perscribe course of treatment with little or no side affects.  probiotices, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal diet.
it's the most seemless treatment as opposed to the drastice alternative.
i blead for almost 3yrs under treatment of gi dr. who told me i had slight case of colitus.  who bleeds for three yr and calls anything slight?
not i, and no longer bitter.  in control and educated now.  happiness is now in the midst.  realize this is all new info.  take care whichever u'r choice is.
Avatar universal
pertaining to the see comments on a previous entry........sorry little vague.  the comments for the post stating ...."very sick colonoscopy not for long time"
sorry for confusion.
Avatar universal
how did the surgery go, or did you have surgery ? Narrowed stool indicated obstruction and that is nothing to mess around with !
Avatar universal
I too have diverticulitis and so does my sister.  We both for years tolerated the pain, even on bedrest.  Been in the hospital where they put me on IV antibiotics which took the inflamation away.  Dr's suggested surgery but my sister and myself were both afraid.  Finally my sisters colon ruptured.  She was rushed to the hospital and they had to do emergency surgery.  They had to put a temporary colostomy on her which she had to go back in hospital for more surgery to have her colon reattached.  She nearly died.  Then a yr later I had a small rupture on vacation.  Wound up in hospital for 4 days and they encouraged me to have elective surgery when I returned home.  Again, they gave me IV antibiotics which took away the inflamation.  Elective surgery was the best thing I could have done.  Was a breeze, they removed a ft of colon, but I sure didn't go through what my sister went through.  DON'T wait until it ruptures, it never heals.  
Avatar universal
i was diagnosed with diverticulitis in jan 2008. i was in the hospital for 3 days the first time. then in feb 2008 i had a ft of my small intestine taken out b/c of a blockage that turned out to be scar tissue. well in the past 6 mths i have had 5 bouts with diverticulitis flair ups. i am always in pain. i am scheduled to have the infected part of my sigmoid colon taken out in april. im still unsure about the surgery, but i am willing to try anything at this point. does anyone have any advise for me?
Avatar universal
i am 1 month post removal of sigmoid colon i wont lie it hurt i had  a laproscopy surgery but the pain from the divroticulitsis was even worse not being able to have bowel movements and being on antiboitics was killer. however it takes time i have normal bowel movements sometimes ..then have whats called dumping the next.. but all and all compared to how i felt and 5 trips to the ER before i feel alot better, its scarey but i had a great doc he was a vascular surgeon that specialized in the colon and i trusted him 100 %.and thats very important i got 2 opinions .. i hope after time i will be normal again my doc says it takes up to 6 months to heal completly..if you ever have a question you can e-mail me at ***@**** ...it will get better i promise

Avatar universal
Not sure if you can help or if anyone can help me.  Back on July 19th while at work, I got a real sharp pain in my left lower abdomen.  I nearly fell over from pain, but it was followed by bleeding vaginally.  I was taken to the ER and told I was having normal period.  However, I am on the Depo Provera birth control shot.  So normal - no.  The pain did not go away.  I went to see my ob/gyn and they sent me to my family doc.  The family doc sent me for a ct scan.  The ct scan showed what looked like an absess on my left falopian tube.  I was given back to my ob/gyn doc.  They treated me for a bacterial infection first.  Still in pain after a week, they gave me another ct scan.  No changes.  They then said I needed Laproscopic surgery to clean out the uterus.  They removed two cyst and scraped out the uterus.  One small adhesion but not attached it was easily removed by wiping it out.  I was told that what was done during the surgery was nothing that was causing my pain. I was then referred to the GI doctor.  My Laproscopic was done Aug. 3rd. I now see the GI doc and he wants to do a colonoscopy.  I have this done on Aug. 19th. My sigmoid is not normal.  There is some inflammation.  I have Diverticula throughout the colon and more Diverticulosis.  However I was told it was not bad.  However, the sigmoid inflammation could be Diverticulitis.  They did not say anything about antibiotics.  My sigmoid is very tight to get through as well as how it is constricted.  I was referred to a general surgeon who let me tell you was a jerk.  Very arrogant.  This is the same surgeon who was supposed to have been in the laproscopic surgery.  In which we found out that he only popped his head in to the ob/gyn doc and asked if he was needed.  ob/gyn doc told him no all was good.  anyway this surgeon had me do an enema.  In order for the barium to get through they had to put so much air through me.  When I asked the question "putting the air in made the sigmoid open up making the barium go through right" the answer was well yes, but we did not see anything wrong.  the surgeon said what I have was normal and can take time to straighten out and heal.  What i have a 70 year old patient can have.  I am 39 years old.  We are now at September 10th for all this.  I am still having pain.  Throughout all this I have been on intestinal spasmatic medicines and laxatives and pain killers.  The surgeon referred me back to the GI doc.  I was so upset that I went back to my family doc who I trust completely.  She is having me see a different surgeon one who specializes in colon's.  She is also having me go back to my urologist.  You see three times I had to have my urethra scraped out due to inflammation that did not take well to antibiotics or any treatment nor did my symptoms show up in blood or urine.  Family doc wants to rule out inflammation on the tube that runs from the kidney's to the bladder.  Its a shot in the dark, but we want to rule that area out since I had so many problems there.  Yesterday I also saw my GI doc again.  He was not happy about the surgeons remarks.  He was glad that I was going to see another surgeon and one who is specialized in this.  My GI doc said again that I really need to have my sigmoid removed. The GI doc is going to personally call the new surgeon I am going to see.   This surgeon is a top surgeon, I looked him up.  I am really scared.  What if the ob/gyn doc did not look everywhere during the laproscopic surgery?  Also since the enema, I now have mild pain on my right side.  They had to use a paddle to move my insides around during the enema.  I am scared I will always have to be near a bathroom if I have my sigmoid removed.  I am so confused.  But I am also in pain.  I am now on a mild pain killer that does not constipate me.  Just makes me very dizzy.  Any suggestions.  This all started July 19th and has not eased up once.  Thanks for any feedback....
Avatar universal
I have had both a hysterectomy and a hemi-colectomy (removal of my sigmoid colon).  Neither one of them were "rush" jobs and I took my time to find the right surgeon(s).  

I am so thankful I did and do not have to worry about the walking time bomb I was carrying around in my colon.  I had an abcess on it that would get inflamed and have micro perfusions, causing leakage of toxins into my system.  I recovered wonderfully and have only a two inch scar on my belly button that is barely even noticeable - even though it took my surgeon 6 hours of surgery.  

My case was complicated (as most of them are) because my left ovary had "encapsulated" into my colon and all of it created an infectious mass which attached to my pelvic wall.

Do NOT let any surgeon treat you badly.  This is not minor surgery and if you don't like the doctor, you should never trust your life to them.  There are wonderful surgeons who will take the time to weigh out everything.  

Having the surgery while still having inflamation/infection could prove to be fatal or at the minimum, life changing (fistulas, colostomy bag, etc).  Timing can make all the difference in the world with regard to outcome and prognosis.  

I personally went to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ and found the absolute best surgeon I could find.  I also consulted with many others (very top knotch) before I made a decision.

I don't know how to check this again if you post anything, as I found it by accident looking for something else.  If you have more questions, you can e-mail me at ***@****.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
I am wondering if I did the right decision. A little bit of history so you guys can understand.

It has been years now that everyday I would go to the bathroom many many times in a day (up to 10x) and would come out normal stool and even after I would go I would not feel relieved I would strain when going and I would feel like something was still in my rectum even after I was done going. Keep in mind I do not get Diarhea or Constipation it always comes out normal but many times in little pieces. My GI doctor has not been able to help me, he literally answered me I don't know why you are like this. That is when I went to see a colo-rectal doctor and she sent me to do a test. She discovered I had an internal-rectal prolapse and my symptoms where caused by this and surgery was suggested in order to remove the sigmoid colon. So I went ahead did this surgery (they removed approx 1 foot of my colon) going on 4 weeks now recovery.

Here is my problem.......I am having A LOT of bowel movements a day and its always a bit at a time which comes out and I still feel fullness in the rectum. Doesn't help that I have internal hemorrhoids either. I was sent to do a CT scan 1 1/2 weeks ago to rule out any internal abscess but they saw that my right side of my colon was FULL. Was given Lactulose 2x a day to try and "reset" my colon and it just gave me major cramps.Now I have a follow-up appointment on Dec 22nd 2010 and my doctor said lets wait and see what happens.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank You all
Avatar universal
After fighting diverticulitis for over 2 yrs, was finally sent to a GI dr to do a colonoscopy. During the procedure was found that my colon was almost closed. Sent to a surgeon & was told that I needed a sigmoid colonoscopy.
I am almost 6 months out of having a ft of my colon removed. Am still having difficulties going to the bathroom, if i do not take stool softners 2-3 xs daily then i get constipated & then i have to take the laxative. They have had me do a "cleansing" to "reset" (what ever that means) the bowel. Nothing is working, am almost back to the point that I was before the suregery due to diverticulits, that i had fought for 2 years with many rounds of antibiotics. Am back on pain pills, muscle relaxers, anti nausea pills & a soft diet just to keep the pain down to a dull roar. Am going back to the GI doctor at the first of the year to see what, if anything, more can be done. There has already been talk of removing the rest of my colon......Does any one have any ideas or have they had to deal with this??? Any suggestions would be appreciated, major frustration has set in & am wondering whether I made the right choice & do I just "deal" with it & just give it time???
Avatar universal
try eating brown rice with every meal for the rest of your life. I had a foot of my colon removed 20 years ago but the diverticulitis came back. My problem was with diarrhea but by controling it with nexium and imodium 1 mg 3 & 4 times a day ,a problem with my bms was created. brown rice was a life saver for me.
Avatar universal
Have had three diverticulitis attacks in the last six months. Colonoscopy showed diverticula in sigmoid colon. Primary care Dr. Said cut it out. GI doctor said up to you. Surgeon said lets try a high fiber diet and you can eat anything you want. Two cat scans in six months , have lost thirteen pounds . Surgery makes real nervous . Going crazy. Just got off Cipro again makes me sick. Live in Northern Ca. Where would be the best hospital to go to if have surgery done . So confused. Help. Dave
Avatar universal
I had my laproscopic robotic sigmoid colectomy on June 10, 2013 (with 5 days in the hospital).  Prior to surgery, I was diagnosed with diverticulitis and was in constant pain/cramping and lost 50 pounds from October 2012 to June 2013.  three weeks after surgery, I experienced a slight setback with an abcess in my gut.  Once that was drained (and 4 more days in the hospital), I feel great.  For the first time in years I have no pain or cramping, my bowel movements are normal, and I am able to eat a healthy diet.

The entire recovery process was 8 weeks.  Looking back, I have no regrets going through with the procedure.  I had a great medical team that was so supportive and there for me before, during and after the surgery.  The only issue I'm dealing with is a slight weight gain.  Since the June 10th suregry, I've gained 10 pounds.  It seems my body is absorbing nutrients that it wasn't doing prior to surgery.  Luckily, I'm working with a nutritionist to get on track.
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with Diverticulosis in November of 2011. Since then I have had 4 big diverticulitis attacks, which have required pain meds and strong antibiotics that ALWAYS make me nauseated and quite a few small attacks. Around November, of 2012 I started to have blood in my stools and this has increased greatly and now with blood clots. I always seem to have a dull pain in my left side and some weeks its more severe. I take some kind of mild pain reliever (Tylenol, Motrin or Aleve) everyday for this. I just met with a new surgeon yesterday and we have scheduled an colonoscopy for next week. He says I have all the signs of constant Diverticulitis flare ups and more than likely I will need to have part of my Sigmoid Colon removed. I am nervous, but the constant pain and 3-4 times a month of bleeding has got to stop. I never have a bowel movement now that my left lower abdomen does not hurt! Just wanted to share and say thanks to you that have posted your comments. It gives me a little more information to help make the right decision for surgery or no surgery!
Avatar universal
thank you for your time. I am having surgery this Tuesday never been so scared in my life. I was told I am at high risk of rupture just didn't know what to do again thanks God bless you and your sister.
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