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New Colostomy after emergency surgery

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Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:05 pm
I had emergency surgery a week ago. Had a portion of colon removed due to rupture from diverticulitis. Released from the hosp on Friday with only a small amount of liquid output from stoma. Since I've been home, I have been eating more solid foods but there has been absolutely no output, besides a small amount of gas. No liquids or other output. My appetite is terrible because I feel too full to eat. How long does it take to see output? I still have cramps and some abdominal pain, but my incision is still pretty fresh. Should I be concerned about no output for 3 days while continuing to eat?
Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:41 pm
Florajo, I would not be concerned at this point. Remember, you came home on an empty tank and you still have most or part of your large intestine through which the little food you have eaten must travel. I have an ileostomy and came home after not eating by mouth for 6 weeks and w/o the large intestine. It took me weeks to regain a close-to-normal intake of food. Bag output initially was liquidy and I incurred some severe cramps during the first 2 weeks while my intestinal engine tried to restart itself, having been devoid of solids for a long time.
It'll crank back up in its own time notwithstanding any unknown obstruction. The initial weeks of recovery require rest and patience.
Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:02 pm
Thanks for your reply ironmike. I can't help feeling concerned because I don't know what is normal at this point. I plan to call my ostomy nurse in the morning for more reassurance.
  Past Member
Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:45 pm

I have learned many many things from people here on this site.  I came home from surgery (diverticulitis emergency) with no information and no knowledge.  Perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that there is no 'one' normal.  We each move toward our own understanding of what is our personal normal.   After a year and a half I am just beginning to understand what works for me.  

I have to take a stool softener regularly to keep things moving.  I am sure there are good logical reasons - but the bottom line is that it works for me.  

I did find lists online of foods that produce more firm stool and less firm stool.  Ileostomy is very different and everything is liquid.  

I think it is too soon to know what your normal is but 3 days ??? it might be time to contact someone from your team .... doctor or nurse.  Sometimes it is difficult to get things moving.  Your entire system has been traumatized.  They gave me warm prune juice in the hospital - a few times.  

Good luck and stay in touch - there is always someone to offer support.  

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:17 pm
Thank you Carol. I tried to call someone today, but I didn't have any luck on a holiday. Hopefully I can get through tomorrow. I have so many concerns and so few answers. It's helpful to communicate with someone who has been through a similar experience.
  Past Member
Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:14 pm
Florajo is correct when saying that what is normal for one person may not be for another. I myself would not eat my normal diet for awhile. You are still tender with your new surgery and would not want to get packed up or constipated and put any kind of pressure or stress on it for a good month. I'd rather be overly cautious than not. My first few movements were soft but painful for me and stayed like that the entire time I had mine.  Take it slow and easy and check with your doctor and dietician I say.
Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:51 pm
Thanks. I am definitely tender and keeping a very liquid/soft diet until things start moving better. I've had really bad cramping and no appetite. Will I ever get my appetite back?
Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:10 pm
Absolutely! Be patient. It takes a few months. Stay as active as your energy will allow and that appetite will return albeit slowly.
Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:26 am
You need to walk more.  Walking will stimulate your bowels to go.  Also try Colace.  Good luck.
Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:39 pm
I'm viewing your post and responses that started in Jan - it's now March.  I'm really curious as to what has happened to you.  My experience was so different than the replies you were getting.  What happened to me was that two weeks after the original surgery, the first stoma (from emergency surgery for a rupture due to diverticulous and resulting peritonitis) started leaking - I had no appetite and had no output.  I was still in the hospital because of the peritonitis.  My doc was mad at me because I wasn't eating.  Then they realized that the stoma was leaking and that I was back into peritonitis.  In I went for another emergency surgery - removed all my colon and created a new stoma on the other side of my abdomen.  Once that was done and I was out of ICU, my appetite began to come back and the output was fine.  After two months in the hospital and two in rehab, I finally came home.  It's been almost two years, but I am still recovering.
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:36 am
Are you drinking enough fluids? Walking is also good and moves things around. Otherwise you may end up with an obstruction. Sometimes while I sit on the stool, I will massage my stomach and usually have some liquid stool.  I have never had cramps or abdominal pain however. Just a full, bloated feeling with little output and a lot of gas.
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