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Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:25 pm

  Hi everyone, 

How many of us have or still have pain and or cramps after surgery?

It's been over a year since my colorectal surgery. The lower portion across my lower stomach and on the outer side around my stoma (not next to it) I have intermittent pains or cramps. I was wondering is this normal? Do any of you experience anything like that, and does it go away? Usually it happens when lifting or bending. 

This is the way we learn talking with people that understand and who've been through it. 

And again thanks everyone for sharing. 

 

Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:02 pm

Hi Mountain,

  From your description that sounds like adhesions.  Whenever they mess with your bowels surgically it results in the bowel loops not resting in the same place they were, and the outer surface tends to adhere to anything it comes in contact with.  Think of our intestines as being wrapped in duct tape with the sticky side out.  Once they adhere to something they can't stretch as they did originally and you feel that pain.  During most "open" intestinal surgery where they resection bowel they try to pull some of the thin layer of fat off your inner abdominal wall and wrap the intestines with that to prevent adhesions.  During my last bowel operation the surgeons said they spend the first 4 hours dealing with adhesions from my previous surgery, and the final 4 hours actually ripping my guts out and giving me my frontbutt. So adhesions are VERY common and a pain in the ass to deal with.  I'm not sure how well adhesions show up on a CT scan, as the tracer typically doesn't flow thru the adhesions (ie, lack of blood vessels).........but you can ask your Doc how he can determine if that's your issue or not.  If they can image them then I'd think they could go in laproscopically and deal with them.  But that's just a guess.

regards,

bob

Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:20 pm
w30bob wrote:

Hi Mountain,

  From your description that sounds like adhesions.  Whenever they mess with your bowels surgically it results in the bowel loops not resting in the same place they were, and the outer surface tends to adhere to anything it comes in contact with.  Think of our intestines as being wrapped in duct tape with the sticky side out.  Once they adhere to something they can't stretch as they did originally and you feel that pain.  During most "open" intestinal surgery where they resection bowel they try to pull some of the thin layer of fat off your inner abdominal wall and wrap the intestines with that to prevent adhesions.  During my last bowel operation the surgeons said they spend the first 4 hours dealing with adhesions from my previous surgery, and the final 4 hours actually ripping my guts out and giving me my frontbutt. So adhesions are VERY common and a pain in the ass to deal with.  I'm not sure how well adhesions show up on a CT scan, as the tracer typically doesn't flow thru the adhesions (ie, lack of blood vessels).........but you can ask your Doc how he can determine if that's your issue or not.  If they can image them then I'd think they could go in laproscopically and deal with them.  But that's just a guess.

regards,

bob

Hi Bob and thank you for the info. I have a CT scheduled for the 20th and talk to my surgeon April 2nd  I definitely will ask questions. I just thought all this time it was normal. Thanks I appreciate it. So this can be a common issue, can it get worse without surgery? Thanks, Walt. 

Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:24 pm

I had a subtotal colectomy in July,2018 and an ileo for 6 months, then a reversal in February, 2019. I still have soreness, but it's not unbearable and I can easily live with it. Bob's explaination makes perfect sense. I get cramping or gas from certain foods because of this new sewer system of mine, and I'm still somewhat in the trial and error stage. 

Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:29 pm
Mtnman wrote:

Hi Bob and thank you for the info. I have a CT scheduled for the 20th and talk to my surgeon April 2nd  I definitely will ask questions. I just thought all this time it was normal. Thanks I appreciate it. So this can be a common issue, can it get worse without surgery? Thanks, Walt. 

Mountain-I'll be curious to hear how you make out.

Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:56 pm
Bagface wrote:

Mountain-I'll be curious to hear how you make out.

Hi bagface I'll let you know -thanks. (April 2nd)

Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:16 am

Hi Mountain,

  Can it get worse, you ask?  Depends on what's wrong with your intestines.  What I mean is if you have/had fistulizing Crohn's disease then yes, it'll get worse.  What will happen is the area where the two bowel loops adhere to each other will "dissolve" for lack of the technical term, and a whole will form connecting the insides of both bowels.......forming a short circuit loop of bowel.  The bowel can then leak and cause sepsis........which is extremely painful.  Don't ask how I know. If you don't have any underlying issues with your bowels and they were just relocated for another reason, then once the adhesions form they don't usually get worse.  More could form, but the exisiting ones don't grow or increase in size.

  Talk to your Doc and see what he thinks about adhesions.  If he doesn't have a good answer as to why it wouldn't be adhesions then when you get your CT scan talk to the Radiologist (if he's there) or the Technician administering the scan (if the Radiologist isn't there) and explain that one thing your Doc want's to determine is if there are bowel adhesions. With that info the Tech or Radiologist may position you differently in the tunnel at times to image how the bowels move or stretch.  I'd ask both your Doc and the Radiologist/Tech if the CT will reveal adhesions, and if not what imaging technique would.  Also keep in mind the bowels can adhere to anything in your core, to included themselves, the backside of your abdominal wall or any other organs in the area (liver, kidneys, gallbladder, bladder, etc).  I'm interested to hear what you find out.

regards,

bob 

Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:08 am

Hi  Mtnman, Sorry to hear you are having problems. It has been around five years for me and I have not had any bad pain. Glad you are going to get it checked out. Let us know the outcome it may help some other people. Best wishes

Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:01 am
lovely wrote:

Hi  Mtnman, Sorry to hear you are having problems. It has been around five years for me and I have not had any bad pain. Glad you are going to get it checked out. Let us know the outcome it may help some other people. Best wishes


  Hi will do lovely thanks. 

Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:54 am

Yes Mtnman I do continue to have pain four years after surgery.  I have a lot of scar tissue and adhesions and for me its a knotted feeling under my stoma and in the stomach in general.  This is not a surprise as the reason for the ileo is the scar tissue and adhesions had already built up and caused most of my large intestine to become necrotic.  Fortunately my PCP prescribed pain meds to help me through.  Unfortunately, the scar tissue and adhesions continue to grow and in my case cannot be removed.

Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:08 am
newyorktorque wrote:

Yes Mtnman I do continue to have pain four years after surgery.  I have a lot of scar tissue and adhesions and for me its a knotted feeling under my stoma and in the stomach in general.  This is not a surprise as the reason for the ileo is the scar tissue and adhesions had already built up and caused most of my large intestine to become necrotic.  Fortunately my PCP prescribed pain meds to help me through.  Unfortunately, the scar tissue and adhesions continue to grow and in my case cannot be removed.


Add note:  My dr told me she is unaware of an xray that will indicate scar tissue and adhesions, however, by way of ultrasounds, CT scans etc they have determined a growth on my spleen and some abnormality in the liver (? i think).  This may be due to the TPN.  It doesnt really matter to me as I am not eligible for any surgeries.

Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:25 am

Hi Mtman i had my original surgery 35yrs. ago total proctocolectomy and a year and a half later i was back in surgery for strangulated bowel with gangrene caused by adhesions, two years ago i had resection surgery due crohns and adhesions, now my stoma works better but if i eat a big meal i get some pain on my right side but it doesnt last very long and not bad enough to take pain meds or go to the ER. I still remember the surgeon telling me after the adhesion surgery i should be good as new as he gave me a lube job and i said what do you mean and he said he lubed my innards with vaseline, dont know if he was joking or notbut no more surgery until 2yrs. ago. 

Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:46 am

Ron........he was joking.  Or he better have been.  Doctor humor......you gotta love it!!  Yeah, adhesions are a funny thing.  Why doesn't your bowel adhere to itself before an operation?  I haven't checked the research on that one in a long time.......but maybe I better have a chat with my Doc and see if she's learned anything.  

Mountain.......I mentioned adhesions as a cause of your pain because it's the most common and the simplest solution.  But there could be a myriad of other things causing your pain, so keep an open mind when talking to your Doc.  Arm chair doctoring is easy and comes with no liabilities.........actual doctoring is much harder, which much more dire consequences if done wrong.  

regards,

bob

Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:54 pm
newyorktorque wrote:


Add note:  My dr told me she is unaware of an xray that will indicate scar tissue and adhesions, however, by way of ultrasounds, CT scans etc they have determined a growth on my spleen and some abnormality in the liver (? i think).  This may be due to the TPN.  It doesnt really matter to me as I am not eligible for any surgeries.

  Hi nyt, thank you I appreciate what your going through as others because you all know what your talking about. Thanks again. 

Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:59 pm
ron in mich wrote:

Hi Mtman i had my original surgery 35yrs. ago total proctocolectomy and a year and a half later i was back in surgery for strangulated bowel with gangrene caused by adhesions, two years ago i had resection surgery due crohns and adhesions, now my stoma works better but if i eat a big meal i get some pain on my right side but it doesnt last very long and not bad enough to take pain meds or go to the ER. I still remember the surgeon telling me after the adhesion surgery i should be good as new as he gave me a lube job and i said what do you mean and he said he lubed my innards with vaseline, dont know if he was joking or notbut no more surgery until 2yrs. ago. 

Thanks ron, all replies help me understand.

Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:07 pm
w30bob wrote:

Ron........he was joking.  Or he better have been.  Doctor humor......you gotta love it!!  Yeah, adhesions are a funny thing.  Why doesn't your bowel adhere to itself before an operation?  I haven't checked the research on that one in a long time.......but maybe I better have a chat with my Doc and see if she's learned anything.  

Mountain.......I mentioned adhesions as a cause of your pain because it's the most common and the simplest solution.  But there could be a myriad of other things causing your pain, so keep an open mind when talking to your Doc.  Arm chair doctoring is easy and comes with no liabilities.........actual doctoring is much harder, which much more dire consequences if done wrong.  

regards,

bob

 Bob your outlook on life is priceless don't change anything. 😃

Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:48 pm

mtnman,

Hope they find what is causing your pain and can easily repair it. None of this is fun anymore. Keep up posted.

puppy

 

Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:56 pm
Puppyluv56 wrote:

mtnman,

Hope they find what is causing your pain and can easily repair it. None of this is fun anymore. Keep up posted.

puppy

 

  Hi and thanks pup, you know I will...Mtnman. :)

Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:59 pm

Hi   MTNMan

 

My name is Marsha, and I've had my ileostomy surgery ( total collectomy)   for more than 55 years, since I was a " kid" of 15.    My surgery was done in 3 parts due to complications... The first created the stoma,  the second removed the diseased large intestine, but left the rectum intact...   I gave it 3 years for the rectum to heal, but it never did, so the next year,   I had it removed.   That means that the same area ( incision)  had three major operations,   I imagine that there is a lot of scar  tissue underneath.   But the worst of the " pain" I've experienced is just above the pubic bone,  where the drains had been 2 of the three surgeries.   When  I exercised  too hard, or was carryinng heavy packages ( like my kids )  I'd feel a searing pain....   but it always went away, when I stopped doing what I was doing..   I do know  that I have a  very weak abdominal wall, (  from t he gym and physical therapy)    and pain/ discomfort was very common in that area especially when I was pregnant.     I'm over weight now, but years ago, when I was thinner,   I could actuall see my side bulge, and feel the " poop" going through the intestine on my right side ( not far from my stoma).  If I pressed my hand gently from my waist, over the flange to the stoma,   I could  actually press  the stool  through the stoma, into the pouch.   When I ate too much fiber ( back t hen I could)   like corn or peanuts.....I'd be more aware of the pressure/  pain .   I've had a major ( very large)   hernia, on the left side of my belly,, but as I'm not a good candidate for surgery (  I'm 71,   diabetic , and dont' heal well)   w're just leaving it as is..    It's best to check with your doctor, and ask a lot of questions..   I've lived with these random pains for so many years..... that it's my " normal" now.   But in the past I did have ex rays,  scans, or ultr sounds done, just to rule out any unusual issues.   The ileostomy was a life saver for me,  in that it allowed me to live a completely normal, and relatively symptom free ( from disease)  life..    WHen you have questions,  I found other ostomates to be very supportive with suggestions and ideas.  Best of luck to you..   Marsha

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:44 pm

  Hi Marsha,

Thanks for sharing. Where my two drains were, oh it was like nerve pain for quite a while. The scar tissue where they sliced my hind end back open (to heal on it's own), it feels like it's taring sometimes but I think it's nerves growing back?

It's a journey. Thanks, mtnman. 

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