Chronic small bowel obstruction from adhesions

Posted by ginpene @ginpene05, Apr 6, 2017

This is my 5th SBO with hospitalizan in 18 months, due to adhesions. No surgery yet, but am considering Small Passage treatment. Last 3 times happened in the last 4 months. This is getting old. Any idess?

I admire you, @nancybev. You really have it together~

Liked by nancybev

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@thull

It is stressful and it wouldn't surprise me if the stress made it worse! Luckily, my family and friends are hyper sensitive to the fact that I have major dietary restrictions and plan accordingly. My family also has some food allergies, tree nuts for my husband & son, cranberries for my daughter, and cucumbers for my son in laws mom. So we are all very mindful when planning food for meals and parties. Harder when going out, I always have to look at a menu ahead of time to make sure there is something for me to eat. I love eggnog, but always have to remember my lactaid🙂. If I am going to have anything with alcohol, I generally stick to a glass of wine.

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@thull , wine works! 🙂 I have learned the hard way, however, that alcohol may be nice going down (within reason), but it's seriously unpleasant coming back up!
I think that there are probably some lactose-free eggnogs (made with things like soy milk?) out there, too. I'm very fortunate in that one thing that's never been a problem for me is milk…I'm a bit of an ice cream addict, for one thing!

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@hopeful33250

I admire you, @nancybev. You really have it together~

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@hopeful33250 , it's definitely debatable whether or not I have it together (but thank you!). I'm basically just desperate to find ways to make this at least manageable, as I really don't want to keep going through the pain and hospitalizations, and I haven't gotten much help from doctors. Desperation can be a useful thing sometimes!

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@nancybev

@thull , wine works! 🙂 I have learned the hard way, however, that alcohol may be nice going down (within reason), but it's seriously unpleasant coming back up!
I think that there are probably some lactose-free eggnogs (made with things like soy milk?) out there, too. I'm very fortunate in that one thing that's never been a problem for me is milk…I'm a bit of an ice cream addict, for one thing!

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Lactaid now makes ice cream that is pretty good! I have also found Lactaid cottage cheese that is good also. If I am having regular ice cream, I just swallow the lactaid pill with the first bite and it seems to help. Other than the SBO that I came home from the hospital with, my issues seem to be the diverticulitis inflammation swelling up and blocking and making it hard for anything to get thru, but it always seems to be in that lower sigmoid area where they ended up cutting a large section out, but apparently they still found diverticulosis in the part they reattached🙁Which is what I am dealing with now, so at least there is no nausea or vomiting, just intense lower abdominal pain and no appetite, which does not help with my weight

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@nancybev

@hopeful33250 , it's definitely debatable whether or not I have it together (but thank you!). I'm basically just desperate to find ways to make this at least manageable, as I really don't want to keep going through the pain and hospitalizations, and I haven't gotten much help from doctors. Desperation can be a useful thing sometimes!

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I wish I had the time and energy to plan and make smoothies! Working 2 jobs right now is draining me, but thankfully one ends Friday. On Monday when I was feeling super ill, I left work at 5, got home and was in bed by 5:30. Other than hitting the bathroom, I didn't get out of bed until 7:30 the next morning. Are there any smoothies that are premade out there that are any good?

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@thull

Lactaid now makes ice cream that is pretty good! I have also found Lactaid cottage cheese that is good also. If I am having regular ice cream, I just swallow the lactaid pill with the first bite and it seems to help. Other than the SBO that I came home from the hospital with, my issues seem to be the diverticulitis inflammation swelling up and blocking and making it hard for anything to get thru, but it always seems to be in that lower sigmoid area where they ended up cutting a large section out, but apparently they still found diverticulosis in the part they reattached🙁Which is what I am dealing with now, so at least there is no nausea or vomiting, just intense lower abdominal pain and no appetite, which does not help with my weight

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@thull , again, I'm so sorry about the pain. I've never had diverticulitis, but I've heard it really hurts. I'm glad that it at least doesn't include vomiting, though. I hope you'll feel much better very soon.

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@thull

I wish I had the time and energy to plan and make smoothies! Working 2 jobs right now is draining me, but thankfully one ends Friday. On Monday when I was feeling super ill, I left work at 5, got home and was in bed by 5:30. Other than hitting the bathroom, I didn't get out of bed until 7:30 the next morning. Are there any smoothies that are premade out there that are any good?

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Yes on the pre-made smoothies! I often get ones made by Naked Juices (I especially like their berry/protein ones, which also have a lot of other vitamins and a lot of calories if you're trying to maintain your weight), Bolton Farms, and others–they're easy to get at the grocery store, and there are so many to choose from! My store often has them on sale for 2 for $5 or $6, and sometimes there are two-fers, so I try to stock up then. Just always remember to check the expiration dates.

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@nonnie1

In January I had my first bout with SBO.It was extremely painful and after a week in the hospital I had exploratory laparoscopic surgery.My adhesions were lysed and I went home 48 hours later.The surgery was practically painless and very easy to recover from.I wish I had done the surgery sooner as the symptoms were so much worse .I can not imagine going through the obstruction so many times.

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Nonnie, my husband had several bouts with sbo. Have an appointment with a new doc about laparoscopic surg.to remove bowel adhesions. Would love to hear details about yours. What doc did u use & what hospital?
Heidi

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@heid

Nonnie, my husband had several bouts with sbo. Have an appointment with a new doc about laparoscopic surg.to remove bowel adhesions. Would love to hear details about yours. What doc did u use & what hospital?
Heidi

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@heid , I'm just chiming in here in response to your post about the laparoscopic surgery. I don't know what @nonni1 's longer-term experience was, but about 5 years ago, after MANY sbo's throughout my life due to adhesions, a doctor told me that he thought he could fix the problem with laparoscopic surgery. I went through with it. Yes, the surgery and recovery were easy, but I've probably had at least 5 sbo's since then. I consider it a waste, at least in my case, as I saw no improvement. So I would definitely ask your husband's new doctor a LOT of questions, and really try to pin him or her down on the prognosis post-surgery. Sorry–I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but I was really devastated when I realized that nothing had changed. I wouldn't want your husband and you to be disappointed as I was!

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@nancybev

@heid , I'm just chiming in here in response to your post about the laparoscopic surgery. I don't know what @nonni1 's longer-term experience was, but about 5 years ago, after MANY sbo's throughout my life due to adhesions, a doctor told me that he thought he could fix the problem with laparoscopic surgery. I went through with it. Yes, the surgery and recovery were easy, but I've probably had at least 5 sbo's since then. I consider it a waste, at least in my case, as I saw no improvement. So I would definitely ask your husband's new doctor a LOT of questions, and really try to pin him or her down on the prognosis post-surgery. Sorry–I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but I was really devastated when I realized that nothing had changed. I wouldn't want your husband and you to be disappointed as I was!

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Thanks 4 responding. Were ALL of your adhesions removed? And were your sbo, after the fact, in the same areas that your adhesions were removed?

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@heid

Thanks 4 responding. Were ALL of your adhesions removed? And were your sbo, after the fact, in the same areas that your adhesions were removed?

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@heid , I honestly don't know if he got (or thought he got) all of the adhesions. He showed me before and after pictures of one awful one. He did, however, tell me after surgery that he didn't think I'd get any more sbo's, so I assume he thought he was pretty thorough. And it's hard for me to tell where they are when they happen, to be honest. It always just feels like one gigantic ball of pain. Sorry I can't give you a clearer answer!

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@nonnie1

Yes, they are scar tissue from previous surgery.They were seen and removed during the laparoscopic surgery.

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How did they diagnose you before surgery. Did it show up on a ct or MRI ?

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@sandyabbey

How did they diagnose you before surgery. Did it show up on a ct or MRI ?

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I’ve had 3 major abdominal surgeries when I was young. I’m having lots of stomach issues. I have colon problems but they haven’t said anything about an obstruction or anything. I am fighting Cdiff now from taking antibiotics for a sinus infection. I could be facing a fecal implant if I relapse again. I just wondered if an obstruction could show op on an MRI.

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@sandyabbey

I’ve had 3 major abdominal surgeries when I was young. I’m having lots of stomach issues. I have colon problems but they haven’t said anything about an obstruction or anything. I am fighting Cdiff now from taking antibiotics for a sinus infection. I could be facing a fecal implant if I relapse again. I just wondered if an obstruction could show op on an MRI.

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@sandyabbey , I've had so many different kinds of scans! Some were CT scans, some MRI's, some used contrast dyes or barium…usually at the time I was too sick to ask a lot of questions. Sometimes they find where the adhesion is, and other times they can't locate it (even though I'm having all the pain, vomiting, and bloating to make it obvious there is a blockage).
Have you asked your doctors specifically about the possibility of an obstruction? Mine are generally acute and very obvious, and resolve themselves in a day or so, but I think others can be more chronic. If you've had a lot of abdominal surgeries and you're having pain, etc., you should ask your GI about it.
I hope you're feeling a lot better soon!

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Just to share my own story…I started having horrendous attacks in September of 2013. I went over two years of seeing many GI doctors and no one had an answer (was even told it could be nerves or stress!). Fast forward to November 2015 and I ended up in the hospital because the attack was so severe. They finally caught me "in" an active attack and did a CT scan. The good news was they finally knew it was "small bowel obstruction". The bad news was they told me there wasn't much to be done about it. I had 30+ abdominal radiations back in 2003. After two more years of attacks, hospital stays, NG tubes I was desperate. I was told that if I had a very severe attack that couldn't be fixed with an NG tube I would have to have emergency surgery. The problem was supposedly this could cause more adhesions and hence make me worse. The attacks were coming once a month. I finally decided to see a laparoscopic GI surgeon in NYC. He was affiliated with Mount Sinai. He was amazing**. He asked me "Why hasn't anyone tried to help you?" I broke down. He spent a lot of time talking to me. He felt there was less than 5% chance of developing new adhesions if he could succeed with laparoscopic surgery. He would know more when he actually went in. I agreed to have regular surgery IF when he looked he thought it was the only choice. Bottom line was I really couldn't do worse than I was doing. He successfully did the laparoscopic surgery and removed 4 feet of small intestine and a small amount of large intestine. I had radiation enteritis. This was 7/31/17. I cannot say that recovery was simple, but I have my life back. The trade-off is that have diarrhea most of the time, but that was happening anyway. I now am working with a GI doctor to help me with this. I avoid certain foods and he is trying some different meds to regulate me. I think I just have "short bowel' syndrome. I eat lower fat, higher carb diet. I know alcohol can be a trigger. Each person is different. I'm also a vegetarian /vegan. My diet is probably 60/40. Anyway, I hope this helps anyone who is suffering. **I have to say this particular doctor didn't take insurance. We paid up front and I ended up getting about 60% back from my insurance company as I had a PPO. Worth every cent.

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