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Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:13 pm

My name is Lisa and Im 33 yrs old. I was diagnosed with stage 2 rectal cancer in January of this year. I did 5 1/2 weeks of chemo and radiation. I had my low anterior resection surgery on July 19th 2017, just a few weeks ago. I have a temporary ileostomy which I am working on getting used to. The hardest part of healing so far has been the pain in my backside. Sometimes I have a sharp pain in my anus or rectal area that subsides after like 10-15 excruciating seconds. However the worst part is the overwhelming burning and itching feeling in my anus. Is this normal? I bought a preperation H cream that im hoping will help a little but today after i took a shower I was standing Up and apolying the cream, I went a little info the anus with the cream and felt something that felt like stitches!!!!!!! Are my stitches that low? Please tell me this is normal!!! This has to be what is causing my discomfort!!!

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:40 am

Hello Lisaf.

Thank you for your post as it raises some interesting questions - such as what is 'normal' after surgery. I suppose ther is no such thing as 'normality' because we are all different and the operations are done for dsifferent reasons by different surgeons who have differing ideas as to what is the right thing to do for each patient. If you had rectal cancer, then presumably the surgeon would have wanted to remove all traces of it an that could lead to having stitches low down in the rectum. The way to find out is to ask direct questions of the surgeon who performed the operation (or have a feel as you have done, although this still won't give you a definitive answer). I the wound is that far down, it would certainly account for the discomfort you ar feeling and I would suggest that this is relatively 'normal' post op. as is the sharp pains which subsides in a few seconds. However, there is nothing like going back to the medics to explain what is going on and ask them their opinions. I have found that the best people to talk to are the stoma nurses because they are the ones who see people after surgery and hear all about the after-effects of surgery. They are in a better position to explain what is normal and what should be investigated.

In my own case, I still get the pains you describe - years after my operation but I yput that dfown to the fact that I had a rectal prolapse and they did not remove it - so it stil prolpses from time to time and I have simply learned to live with it.  

I hope this is of some help to you

Best wishes


Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:15 am

Thank you so much for responding Bill ..I plan on calling in today and asking my questions.  Im sorry that you have had to  learn to live with the pain, it is so awful. 


Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:08 pm

Hi Lisa,

You have really gone through a difficult time.   Dealing with cancer treatment, and surgery and getting use to an ileostomy, is all a challenge. 

I'm Marsha, and I've had my ileostomy for more than 50 years, since I was a child of 15.   After being treated for 4 years for Ulcerative colitis, my parents finally agreed to my having the surgery,  In my case, they removed the whole colon / or large intestine., leaving only the rectal stump ( about 5 inches). 

I'm not sure where they did your resection, but if they cut close to the re ctum, it would be painful to sit comfortably until you healed.  As Bill said, the best one to ask is your surgeon.  Even the stoma nurse wouldn't know exactly where they made the incision.  

For me....the rectal stump never healed so after another 4 years of treatment, ( meds, injections, intraveinous, and enemas) at age 19, I decide to have it romoved , making my ileostomy permanent.  My doctors and parents were not happy with my decision, because it ended my chances of ever being "reconnected".  But at 19, I knew I never wanted to live with that disease again.   The  removal of the rectum was painful, and took a long time to heal.  Sitting remained difficult for more than a year....and now, even 50 years later, I get intermittant pain, which must be from scar tissue in the area.   But I never regretted my decision to make the ileostomy permanent.  

You're in a different if you're cancer has been removed, and does not re occur, you will be able to be re connected at a future time.   Hang in there with the discomfort....once you've checked it out with the doctor.   Eventually, it will improve.  Best of luck to you ....let us know how you're doing. 




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