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Surgery Recovery


Hi. I am going to have my anus and rectum removed on 12/8 due to anal cancer. The surgery alone terrifies me and I am wondering how the recovery is going to look like. I know that the pain and recovery varies from person to person. Sometimes I will get anxious about the surgery.

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It'll be tough, Chap, but then it'll be over, you'll get better, and your cancer will be with Jimmy Hoffa somewhere.  I had mine done in 1964 and I'm still here rockin' and rollin' so keep your mind right and you'll get through it.  Also, keep us posted so we know you're doing okay.  Stay well,   HenryM


I had mine done at the end of March. Mine was done with robotics so I have 5 little scars on my stomach and of course 1 big one where they stitch me closed. I was in the hospital for 5 days after surgery. They want you up and walking as soon as you can after surgery. I was in surgery/recovery room for about 10hrs. I was up and walking the hallways a couple hours after getting to my room. Your abdominal area will be very sore for quite awhile as things heal, mine lasted about 2 weeks. Coughing/sneezing is brutal for a few days, try to hug a pillow if you have to do either as it helps steady your core area. Your 3 main goals while recovering....1) get up and walk. 2) keep your butt clean/dry. 3) learn how to change/clean your bag while you have nurses around you. I'm very fortunate that I have 1 of the best ostomy/wound nurses in the country teaching me stuff before I had surgery, my nurses in the hospital would empty or change my bag but they would make me do a little more each time, and my insurance provided a visiting nurse to come to my house for a month after I got home. So, I was pretty up to speed on the bag once I was on my own. 
i was on pretty heavy narcotics for pain along with Tylenol while in the hospital. Take what they give you to keep your pain level down. I brought home the same medications for pain when I came home but I only took the Tylenol. 
I had some complications with my surgery that I won't get into unless you want me to but overall the surgery itself wasn't horrible. Just remember it takes a long  time for your body to heal. Sitting won't happen for awhile and your nurse/doctor should give you a cushion to use and instructions on how to sit when you do have to. So be ready to lay, stand, or'll think not sitting isn't that big of an issue, it is and you'll have to adjust to it for awhile. You can Google Barbiebutt surgery and sites will pop up for you to search through. Any other questions, just ask and I'll try to answer the best I can. 


Hi AlexT, 

Thanks so much for taking the time to shared your surgery experience it was very helpful. 

Reply to HenryM

Thanks so much Henry 


Hi Chapulin find the softest pillow you can to sit on, and like others said try to walk but avoid stairs. when mine was done thirty some years ago i had surgery for UC which i was very sick and run down so my healing time took some time.  good luck

Reply to ron in mich

Thanks so much 


Best wishes for the surgery and a speedy recover.


An inflatible donut, made of thick rubber works well, available at pharmacies. Health  n happiness 

Reply to Xlshrimp

Actually my ostomy/wound nurse and my surgeon both made sure I understand to not use a donut type cushion. It puts too much stress on your stitches. They didn't even want me sitting on the toilet to empty my bag and gave me a little bucket to empty into and then empty that into the toilet. My surgeon didn't want me sitting any longer than it took for me to sit up to get out of bed.

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