• Just Diagnosed

    Asked by lovmi3kidz on Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    Just Diagnosed

    I will be having a Sigmoid Colon Resection very soon and I was wondering what to expect for the recovery.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • Gabba's Avatar

      I do not have your particular type of cancer so I will not offer any advice but I want to welcome you to this site and let you know that there are so many wonderful people here who will help you as you face your surgery and treatment...please look for answers, support and encouragement here...I am sorry you have to face this but please let us know how we can help. Good luck and God bless!

      over 3 years ago
    • KarenN@StF's Avatar

      A number of factors can affect recovery. General health, surgical approach- laparoscopic vs. open and pain management following surgery are probably most important. Most of my patients have laparoscopic surgery and are released to home in 2-5 days. Use the pain meds generously to help you tolerate activity. It is critical that you get walking/moving as soon as possible after surgery and that you build up your activity each day. Alternate your activity with rest periods. Be the tortoise, not the hare. When you begin to feel fatigued that is the time to stop and take a short break, but then get moving again. As soon as your are allowed liquids, sip, sip, sip- (no straws) and keep the liquids going in. When you are able to have food, keep it simple- avoid spicy foods and high fiber for awhile, eat smaller amounts at each sitting, but eat a little something every couple of hours. You will be able to reintroduce fiber gradually in the weeks following surgery. Do your breathing exercises to prevent pneumonia. You will likely be restricted from driving until off the pain meds. Without complications, you may expect to acheive 85-90% of baseline activity tolerance within 6 weeks or so, The last little bit takes a few weeks longer. Depending on how fatigued or depleted a person is prior to surgery, they sometimes feel so much better after surgery, that recovery seems even shorter. Remember to be good to yourself. If you need pain meds, use them, but know that they slow down the bowel motility and you have to walk even more to counteract the meds.
      I know it's hard for moms of young families to be "out of commission" for awhile, but accept help with meals and housework and childrens' activities. Focus on your rest and recovery. It's not selfish, it's what's best In the long run. Good luck! I think you'll do great!

      over 3 years ago
    • glam's Avatar

      I had a laparoscopic surgery with a larger incision just below the "bikini line" because at the same surgery I had a liver and rectum-sigmoid resection.....my surgery was planned to 03 hours but it took 06 because they could not find the lives mets......thanks God my surgeon did not give up and finally could find it by touching and moving my liver with his hands instead of instruments......the anesthetist played a very important role in my case because she suggested me to have a peridural anaesthesia so after surgery I could control (in certain level of course) the amount of morphine I would take depending on my pain tollerance and after surgery recover......That helpes me a lot and I made my first days after surgery much easier to handle then I thought it would be. I started walking the day after surgery with lots of help from hospital team and after 06 days I was back to home......in my case everything went pretty good till the next 15 days. After 15 days I had to be hospitalized again due to a terrible belly pain and it was because I had not chewed very well a slice of meat and it was terrible.......so I suggest you whenever you are allowed to eat solid food, exercise your teeths as much as you can and chew very well your food. Talk with your doctor about anesthesic options, choose the right food and respect your body and time but do not forget to move and walk when you are allowed to..... and be faithful......Trust in God, your medical team and in yourself..... you are much stronger than cancer...God bless you and good luck

      over 3 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      Plan to lay low for about 6+ weeks. I didn't think that I would need that much time since I had bounced back to work only 4 weeks after the birth of my children, but yes, 6 weeks, even for laparoscopic surgery, is accurate. I didn't even attempt to drive for 4 weeks.

      I was in the hospital for 6 days because I couldn't get the bowels moving. I couldn't wait to get home. You will be restricted to only climbing the stairs perhaps once or maybe twice a day. I slept on the recliner in the family room for the first few days home. If you do that, however, make sure you have a way to call others should you need help in the middle of the night (getting up to go to the bathroom). I kept the cell phone with me and would call the house phone if I needed help.

      I found sitting very uncomfortable. My husband must have driven home at about 5 mph from the hospital. We had tickets to see a theater performance in town about 3-4 weeks after surgery, and I found the drive there to be uncomfortable (about 40 minutes) and sitting in the theater seats for that long period was tough.

      One other thing most people don't think about is that lifting or pulling anything heavy takes gut muscles. So, you might need help with simple things like opening a heavier door at the mall (I remember standing outside until someone came and I asked them to hold the door for me!), pushing a shopping cart, lifting bags of groceries.

      Some other bits of advice, have cash on hand at home. If a friend calls and asks if you need anything at the store, you'll have cash to pay them for the purchase. Or if you have a friend/family member who will be doing most of your shopping, give them a gift card from that particular store, write your name on it with a Sharpie and tell them to keep it in their wallet.

      Good luck and let us know how we can help you.

      over 3 years ago
    • lovmi3kidz's Avatar

      Thank you for the information. I'm more nervous about the pain management since normal doses of narcotics can kill me. Luckily my children are at ages where they can help care for me rather me having to worry about doing so much for them.

      over 3 years ago
    • YogaJean's Avatar

      Hi There,
      I am a 10 year survivor - 12 inches of my sigmoid colon was taken and reattached. The surgery can now be done, usually, with laprospapic surgery (less recovery time). I find no real difference for my bowels. I do notice that instead of having an upside "U" shape of intestine, it goes across my abdomen. Not noticeable to most anyone but me. My scar is down the middle - there is a Colon Colander - you can see lots of models there and their scars. You'll do just fine and you'll likely feel a lot better than you've been feeling. There is a private group on Facebook called COLONTOWN - find me, Jeannie Di Carlo-Wagner and I'll add you to the group. Also, ACOR.org has a great listserv moderated by a nurse, more good info. You're not alone and you'll be fine Blessing,Yoga Jean http://yogabeing.net - free yoga for survivors & mediations

      over 3 years ago
    • allier4's Avatar

      I had this surgery on Feb 11. I had laproscopic surgery - I have 3 small incisions and one larger one (just below my bikini line). I had about 12 inches removed and the two ends were reattached. I was in the hospital for 4 days - got out on Valentine's day. The day of surgery, I basically had ice chips. The second day was clear fluids, the third day was clear with some milk added, the fourth low fiber diet. I was on low fiber diet until I saw the surgeon almost two weeks after surgery. I was off work for 4 weeks (which included surgery for my power/medi port). I had my surgery at Paoli - where will you be going? Rest while you can and follow the dr's instructions. Also, I was fortunate not to need many pain drugs - I had discomfort from the staples on my incisions. This is a great site! Lots of great people and information. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      over 3 years ago
    • lovmi3kidz's Avatar

      Allier4, I am going to Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philly. I'm new to the area and I saw their commercial. They have been fabulous with me and will be running the GENO tests on my children. I'm young and no family history of Colon Cancer, but we have had other cancers (all young) so they are wondering if we have a DNA mutation.

      over 3 years ago
    • jenwestphal's Avatar

      Just Diagnosed, breathe and have faith!! I had a ct scan on Feb 1 that found my tumor, I was referred to a surgeon. Had my first colonoscopy on Feb 11, with my surgery scheduled for Feb 13. I had a laproscopic colectomy. My grandmother who had been ill passed away as I was going into surgery. So I had a guardian angel with me in surgery. I was up walking the next day. As hard as it is, you need to walk to get going again. Everyone deals with surgery and their cancer diagnosis different. I am 44, and a mom to 2 teenage boys I need to get back on my feet for them. I am also a first year school teacher and needed to get back to my students to aid in my recovery. I was very naive at first when I was diagnosed, probably a blessing to this day. I don't ask a ton of questions. SOmetimes the more you know the more scared you can become. I wish you luck with your surgery, please contact me with any questions. I have had a followup colonoscopy in May where some polyps were removed. I also just last week went through a hysterectomy. All will be good. You need to have faith and a positive attitude goes a long way!!

      over 3 years ago

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