Seeking advice for post-op heartburn after emergency colectomy

Past Member
Apr 12, 2022 10:49 pm

Good evening - I am posting on behalf of someone close to me who is 1 week post-op emergency colectomy with colostomy. This is very new and very scary at the time being. As we process through these first weeks/months....

1 - Any advice that you have? Pearls of wisdom, so we can avoid learning things the hard way?

2 - Any advice (at all) for dealing with the "heartburn"? IV Pepcid and oral Maalox aren't helping - neither are any of the clear hot or cold liquids we've tried so far.

Thank you so much in advance!

Apr 12, 2022 11:06 pm

I don't get heartburn much, but when I do, cold chocolate milk pretty much solves it. Also, it helps if you can elevate the upper half of their body so they're not lying flat. It takes a while to heal, go slow.

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Past Member
Apr 12, 2022 11:22 pm

I drink a glass of water for heartburn.

Rose Bud 🌹
Apr 13, 2022 12:57 am

Sodium bicarbonate pills, which I'm on right now per my doctor, work with helping heartburn (same with baking soda) or sounds crazy, pickle juice... just advice. I'm NOT a doctor. Best of luck.

Apr 13, 2022 2:38 am

I never had heartburn before my surgery, but directly after surgery while recovering in the hospital, I had heartburn so bad that it made me lose my voice as I had stomach acid up to my vocal cords. The hospital gave me over-the-counter Mylanta or something similar chalky medication, and it slowly went away. I do not know what or how the surgery may have caused it, but regular over-the-counter heartburn meds got the symptoms down until my body calmed down. Hopefully, you're in the same boat.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Apr 13, 2022 3:00 am

I rarely get it, but as mentioned not laying flat works for me.

Apr 13, 2022 6:15 am

Hello ForAFriend.

Heartburn should be taken seriously, as it can cause complex long-term problems in the oesophagus if the reflux burns the linings. 

As with many other people, I tried with some success, the many antacids on the market. Then I heard about not lying flat and elevating the upper body, so I bought a bed that elevates both the upper and lower body to a sort of hammock position. This has proved to be invaluable for the prevention of reflux and has meant that I have been able to dispense with all the other medication I was taking for this condition (most of the time). It also helps with sleep apnoea and wearing the CPAP mask, but that's a different story.

Best wishes


Past Member
Apr 13, 2022 1:48 pm

Thank you all.

Apr 13, 2022 7:09 pm

I take gripe water, good for babies and big babies too.

Past Member
Apr 14, 2022 3:27 pm

Hi there, I put a half spoon of baking soda (not baking powder) in my water bottle and sip when I get heartburn. Works every time!!

Best of luck