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Cramping, nausea and vomiting 1 week after ileostomy reversal

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:13 pm

I’m desperately looking for some guidance. My husband had a liver transplant from a living donor (his sister) in 09/17. He had quite a few complications following surgery including a bleed into the abdomen, acute rejection and a blood clot in one arm. He recovered from all of those things with time and was doing very well. He then had his full colectomy surgery in 03/18 with an ileostomy and internal J-pouch. He did fairly well with this surgery with just some mild cramping and loss of appetite early on in recovery. Almost two weeks ago (07/10/1Cool he had his reversal surgery done. He did extremely well with this surgery with minimal pain, eating well and was discharged from the hospital the very next day. We came home, and he did really well the first week after surgery. He was eating well and only having mild occasional cramping. He primarily complained of soreness from the incision. Then last Monday, he ate a fairly large meal. I cooked pork chops, mashed potatoes and baked veggies. The next morning, he woke up feeling a lot of cramping, nausea and vomiting. He got sick about 3 times throughout that day and drank minimal. The next day was about the same thing. Got sick a few times and only drank a small amount of water. I called his emergency line at the Mayo Clinic where he’s had is surgeries and asked if I needed to get him to the ER. They told me that this was fairly normal and that as long as he is having at least some output, isn’t vomiting bile and doesn’t have any major bloating or outpouching of his stomach that this is fairly normal and to just watch it and stick to fluids. The next morning we decided to call his local doctor, and they got him in for some testing. Everything looked fairly normal besides slightly elevated bilirubin and some scattered pockets of water along his digestive tract on chest X-ray. His doctor said this could be due to a stomach bug that he’s having a hard time clearing. They gave him some iv fluids for dehydration from the vomiting and some Zofran tablets to help the nausea. These past few days he’s been able to keep everything down by using the zofran, but he’s only been eating easy foods (pudding, eggs, hotdogs, oatmeal..) He’s still been complaining of some occasional cramping and a constant feeling of being full even when he hasn’t eaten anything. He has been passing small amounts during bowel movements and gas. Today he tried drinking a chocolate milk shake and threw up again about an hour after that. I’m to the point where I don’t know how to help him or when to be concerned. I’m not sure if these issues are normal so soon after surgery or if he’s starting to develop a blockage and I need to get him somewhere urgently. He did so well the first week after surgery and now it feels like things are never going to get back to that. I would greatly appreciate any help and advice. I’m a bit of a worry wart and just feel absolutely helpless. TIA! 

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:30 am

Sounds to me like you should get him somewhere.  I'd watch the lactose, since the milkshake did what it did. I think I'd also stick to as close to a liquid diet as I could, and stay away from things that don't digest completely.  Sometimes it takes some time for the digestive system to regulate itself, and get used to regular diets after surgery. The swelling can take some time to go down. After my ileostomy surgery, I was told to be careful about my diet for four to six weeks. Nearly two years later, there are still foods I can't eat, mainly due to the fact they may give me a blockage.  

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:53 pm

Just my 2 cents.  If I were you, I would tell my physician to get him into the hospital asap.  He could have a problem with the internal connection, or where it was stiched/stapled together, or something else.  I had my illiostomy 21/2 years ago, and I had problems as well.  ( Touch wood that as of today, I eat what I want, even popcorn.)  If I am out, and get home around 8:00 PM I won't eat because I know that I will be up most of the night.  Just suttle little things like that, make things easier.  Even though my reversal did not end well, I still don't give up.  LOl.Enough about me, but I would suggest, don't fool around with it.  GET HIM TO THE E.R.

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