Bowel obstructions caused by adhesions following abdominal surgery
I just joined this site and am looking to see if anyone talks about bowel obstructions caused by adhesions following abdominal surgery. I had successful sugery for colon cancer in 2008. About 6-months later I was hospitalized for 5 days with a bowel obstruction (that did resolve without further surgery). It took several months for my system to get back to "proper working order," but it did and for the past 5-years everything worked normally. Then, out of the blue, I had another bowel obstruction 2-months ago. I was hospitalized for 6-days, but again, no surgery. At this point I can only have bowel movements by taking Miralax and then I have diarrhea. I'm trying to eat a normal diet, just smaller amounts at a time and more frequently. I'm paranoid about another bowel obstruction, and also that my guy will not get back to normal. Has anyone had experience with this?
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Digestive Health Support Group.
We’re not able to make specific treatment recommendations online, but we do have a few resources that might be helpful for you to review and discuss with your doctor. You can find some information about intestinal obstructions here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/intestinal-obstruction/basics/definition/con-20027567
You can also find details about the importance of dietary fiber here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983
Does anyone else have personal experience that they could share with Sandi?
I had 3 bowel obstructions all within 4 days due to adhesions. Ended up septic with ards and pneumonia and lung failure. God Bless the surgical team at Mayo in Rochester for saving my life. It is going on 3 years and I still have uncontrollable diarrhea, shortness of breath, sweat profusely, and unexplained neuropathy. I wish someone could help me with these ongoing systems.
Welcome to Connect @kag13. It’s rough dealing with such ongoing symptoms and must seriously affect your quality of life. Check out this informative discussion about neuropathy https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anyone-here-dealing-with-peripheral-neuropathy/
I’m tagging fellow members @pamv @giza @bananaz4516 @johnwburns @rabbit10 to see if they may have some thoughts or experiences to add.with respect to your symptoms of uncontrollable diarrhea, shortness of breath, sweat profusely, and unexplained neuropathy. I also hope @idnas will rejoin the discussion.
@kag13, what do you currently do to help control your symptoms?
Beginning in Sept. 2013 I started having horrendous abdominal attacks. Finally one landed me in the hospital with a small bowel obstruction.They inserted an NG tube and watched me for 3 1/2 days. Avoided surgery, but I have an attack almost every month now.
I went for over 2 years undiagnosed (saw 5 GI doctors). Finally in Oct. 2015 I went to the ER by ambulance, they finally found I have small bowel adhesions. This is what caused the obstruction.
I had 30+ pelvic radiations back in 2003.
They say surgery can cause even more adhesions. I’m at my wits end. Living in fear of an episode every day.
I even went to Florida (I live in NJ) for a week to try Clear Passage. It’s a non invasive therapy for this problem. Sadly, I had an attack within 5 weeks of coming home. I will continue trying the exercises etc I learned, but I’m terribly disheartened.
Has anyone had any luck with anything?
By the way I’ve had 21 attacks in 32 months.
Welcome @loriel59. I moved your message to this thread so that you can meet @kag13 and @idnas who are dealing with similar issues. I can’t imagine living in fear of the next episode.
What type of exercises are you doing?
I hold different positions for 2 minutes each (eventually to build up to 10 mins each). Harder than it sounds! I’m supposed to do 1/2 hour 5-7 days a week. This is to build strength/balance and make you more limber.
Basically what the Clear Passage therapy does is to apply hands on, sustained pressure to specific restricted or adhered areas. It’s called the Wurn technique. Once you are home, you use massage tools , including a ball, to continue trying to decrease adhesions.
I was supposed to start this a week to 10 days after finishing the therapy on 4/16/16. I was in Europe for 10 days shortly after leaving CP. I started to do them, and then I had the attack on 5/20. I’m just about recovering now on 5/26. Sadly I seem to be one of the only people that obstructed so soon after.
I am also doing elimination diet. Starting with wheat. I am almost 4 weeks into the 6 week test. Next is dairy, then I try eliminating sugar.
I am 5’7 1/2″ tall. My “normal weight is around 129-132. I am now 114 lbs. I am not happy.
So, that’s my story!
I have great sympathy for your situation. Even though I’ve been lucky – since I was hospitalized 16 months ago – and not had an episode since, I get scared every time I feel the slightest discomfort in my belly. The thing I find so frustrating is that I have gotten such a wide variety of advice: eat more fiber; avoid greens and fiber; eat 6 small meals a day. Then, I’ve have 2 doctors tell me that what I eat, or don’t eat, if I’m going to have an obstruction, I’m going to have one – it’s just bad luck. I hope you will find what works for you!
I take colyestramin for the diarrhea which was prescribed by my GI. I was getting B12 injections monthly until 2 months ago. I have tried gabepentine, lyrica, neuronton, and other meds for the neuropathy but could not handle the side effects. I am at my wits end with no diagnosis. My doctor looks at me like its all in my head. It is not. I have been tested for autonomic dysfunction and it was elevated on one of the tests, but the neurologist blew it off as being thrown off by the flexeril I take at bedtime. Now, that dr. refuses to see me or too refer me to another neurologist. I do not leaving my apartment, I feel so sick. What to do? I am certain this is caused from the 3 emergency surgeries I had when the first surgeon made mistakes inside me causing ARDS, SEPSIS and left me clinging to life. Its a very long and frustrating road trying to prove it. I did not have any of these symptoms prior to going through all of that trauma. Any suggestions?
Welcome back @idnas. I really appreciate your coming back to comment on Connect. We’ve updated it a lot since you were here last and the discussions in all the groups are very active. Hope you’ll have a poke around and join in again.
I hadn’t noticed this discussion until today. I had an emergency mega toxic colon surgery, removed a good amount of large colon. A couple of years before that I had a section of my small intestine stop working, and I had 42″ removed. Doctors couldn’t get that section to restart. I’ve had some bowel obstructions, and 8 years ago I had bleeding ulcers. Every time my stomach hurts, I think I’m going to have to go to the ER – again.
A year or two after the ulcers, I had to have surgery to deal with adhesions from prior surgeries. I’ve been in the hospital a couple of times for bowel obstructions, but the ng tube and bowel rest treated them without surgery. I hate ng tubes. I had one in a year ago when I was in the hospital for a bad reaction to Lyrica, but I had to have it pulled because it put me into a severe panic attack. I don’t know what will happen if I need one inserted in the future. I think they’ll have to sedate me. Panic attacks are really awful.
Because of some of my meds, I take generlac at bedtime. Right now, 1tbsp keeps things moving. I have idiopathic peripheral neuropathy, both small fiber and autonomic, which can affect lots of body parts and functions. I have a spinal cord stimulator that has reduced the pain in my feet, but the neuropathy is beginning to affect vision, sense of smell, urinary problems and bowel problems and I’m concerned about my arms and hands becoming involved. I’m a pianist, so my hands are really important to me. I take meds for depression, anxiety, SVT, allergies, arthritis, pain and reflux. One thing seems to lead to another.
@idnas and @loriel59 @kag13 Have you seen any changes or improvements in how you’re feeling?