Sigmoid colon resection: What to expect for recovery?

Posted by virgo1952 @virgo1952, Sun, Dec 1 9:24am

It’s been 4+weeks since my resection. Found a cancerous polyp during a routine screening. Some frustration over the lack of information given by the surgeon as to what to expect afterwards. Late 60’s so I know the healing will take time. Mostly, struggling with bowel urgency/frequency and experiencing stomach pain from gas (pretty sure) is three months s realistic time frame for returning to “normal”? I’ve seen some posts that talk about two years? No further treatment so I was lucky. If anyone has had this surgery and went through or is going through the healing process, I would love to hear from you. Just kind of out there

Welcome to Connect, @virgo1952. I'd like to bring fellow members @mosito @shiwalika @wibly @lisag03 @adrianspa @readingteacher and others into this discussion as they have experiences with the recovery after sigmoid colon resection or that of a loved one. You may also be interested in reading this past discussion that talks about some of the issues you're having with bowel urgency/frequency and experiencing stomach pain from gas.

– Problems 3 months after colon resection surgery: Help Three months after colon surgery https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/three-months-after-colon-surgery/

It's hard to be patient, but 4 weeks isn't very long after such a major surgery and your body adjusting to reduced plumbing. After his surgery, my dad became a pro at entering any building and scoping out where the restrooms were. As he was retired, he had the luxury of making his own schedule. Days out of the house were careful mapped to be near facilities. An inconvenience for sure, but manageable. I think it was about 4 or 6 months after surgery before he felt confident to be less precise in his restroom mapping. Virgo, how are you managing the frequency and gas pain?

Liked by sundance6

REPLY

I know it’s early for me. Until now, I’ve been blessed with good health and lead an active life style. I, too, have decided that venturing out (which I haven’t done) is going to be a coordinated trip with restrooms and perhaps the use of protection for added confidence. I’m up and down with pain/nausea/gas. Eating is a puzzle. My previous diet incorporated mostly fresh produce/lean protein. Not happening. I tried Citracel a couple days that helped slow my bowel process. Will continue to do that. I am taking gas relief medication (dr ok’d) when I become uncomfortable. As much as I want to go out and be engaged and active, I just don’t have the energy. It’s kind of one day at a time, huh? It’s good that I hear a timeline for this, because information like that is comforting for me. Any structure in the storm!! Thank for responding and I welcome feedback/sharing from others

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect, @virgo1952. I'd like to bring fellow members @mosito @shiwalika @wibly @lisag03 @adrianspa @readingteacher and others into this discussion as they have experiences with the recovery after sigmoid colon resection or that of a loved one. You may also be interested in reading this past discussion that talks about some of the issues you're having with bowel urgency/frequency and experiencing stomach pain from gas.

– Problems 3 months after colon resection surgery: Help Three months after colon surgery https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/three-months-after-colon-surgery/

It's hard to be patient, but 4 weeks isn't very long after such a major surgery and your body adjusting to reduced plumbing. After his surgery, my dad became a pro at entering any building and scoping out where the restrooms were. As he was retired, he had the luxury of making his own schedule. Days out of the house were careful mapped to be near facilities. An inconvenience for sure, but manageable. I think it was about 4 or 6 months after surgery before he felt confident to be less precise in his restroom mapping. Virgo, how are you managing the frequency and gas pain?

Jump to this post

As Colleen says a couple months is a small amount of time if I understand her post. I went through Stage IV Colon cancer 20 years ago this year. They took 12" from my sigmoid colon. I just found as she said about her dad you become aware of restrooms and other issues as you recover. Mine lasted for a while, but I can't honetly say how long. All of a sunden those urges were gone and I live a normal live from it these days.
I was fortunate that my business was being on the road for all or part of 30 weeks a year. I say fortunate because I was traveling and working out of a motor home.
As with any surgery it just takes time. Surgery interupts your bodies natural flow.
Then after it is back to normal, something else comes along with age! LOL!!
Good Luck and Hang in there.
Sundance (RB) 🙂

REPLY

virgo1952, I found through trail and error and advice from friends that Hot Baths really help the gas. I went through Stage IV colon cancer 20 years ago. Staying busy helps!
I have just found that excersise programs really help! Our YMCA has a whole Silver Sneakers Progam that has been a Life Saver for me, along with Mayo Connect!
I take Silver Sneakers Yoga one hour a day twice a week and a Silver Sneakers Flexibility and Balance class two othe days a week for an hour a piece. I am not a "Gym Rat", did that 40 years ago, so having a class makes it easy to get excersie with a group.
I know others on hear have heard my "Prech" about the classes. But they are so easy. It takes my mind off of what alies me.
Being very introverted it was hard for me to walk into a new class and introduce myself to the instructor. But I put my BIG BOY PANTS on and walked in and got started. I explained to her why I was there and what I hoped to accompolish! (PS, but I was also very Lucky to find a Saint for an instructor!)
My one comment is both of my classes are 99% ladies! Men my age need it as much or more than the ladies. You have to let your Ego go and walk in and help yourself!
Sundance(RB)

REPLY
@sundance6

As Colleen says a couple months is a small amount of time if I understand her post. I went through Stage IV Colon cancer 20 years ago this year. They took 12" from my sigmoid colon. I just found as she said about her dad you become aware of restrooms and other issues as you recover. Mine lasted for a while, but I can't honetly say how long. All of a sunden those urges were gone and I live a normal live from it these days.
I was fortunate that my business was being on the road for all or part of 30 weeks a year. I say fortunate because I was traveling and working out of a motor home.
As with any surgery it just takes time. Surgery interupts your bodies natural flow.
Then after it is back to normal, something else comes along with age! LOL!!
Good Luck and Hang in there.
Sundance (RB) 🙂

Jump to this post

Hi Sundance6! Thank you for your words of wisdom. Pretty much know this could have been a much more difficult surgery and outcome. So, I just want to say that I was fortunate. It’s mostly the lack of information in the main stream and that “gap” I find in our medical system of service/information that lead me to reaching out to people like you for advice and to remind me that this journey is out of my control. I got scared a week ago because I suddenly felt trapped and could not envision losing a freedom I have always taken for granted. I think what you said is very true. I just need to continue to do what I can to heal my body. It’s a great lesson on patience and, historically, I am not a patient girl….

REPLY
@sundance6

virgo1952, I found through trail and error and advice from friends that Hot Baths really help the gas. I went through Stage IV colon cancer 20 years ago. Staying busy helps!
I have just found that excersise programs really help! Our YMCA has a whole Silver Sneakers Progam that has been a Life Saver for me, along with Mayo Connect!
I take Silver Sneakers Yoga one hour a day twice a week and a Silver Sneakers Flexibility and Balance class two othe days a week for an hour a piece. I am not a "Gym Rat", did that 40 years ago, so having a class makes it easy to get excersie with a group.
I know others on hear have heard my "Prech" about the classes. But they are so easy. It takes my mind off of what alies me.
Being very introverted it was hard for me to walk into a new class and introduce myself to the instructor. But I put my BIG BOY PANTS on and walked in and got started. I explained to her why I was there and what I hoped to accompolish! (PS, but I was also very Lucky to find a Saint for an instructor!)
My one comment is both of my classes are 99% ladies! Men my age need it as much or more than the ladies. You have to let your Ego go and walk in and help yourself!
Sundance(RB)

Jump to this post

Ps. I am somewhat of a gym rat. An older one! I previously exercised everyday and plan on getting back to it. Good for the mind AND good for the body! Slay those classes. Thank u again. Virgo

REPLY
@virgo1952

Hi Sundance6! Thank you for your words of wisdom. Pretty much know this could have been a much more difficult surgery and outcome. So, I just want to say that I was fortunate. It’s mostly the lack of information in the main stream and that “gap” I find in our medical system of service/information that lead me to reaching out to people like you for advice and to remind me that this journey is out of my control. I got scared a week ago because I suddenly felt trapped and could not envision losing a freedom I have always taken for granted. I think what you said is very true. I just need to continue to do what I can to heal my body. It’s a great lesson on patience and, historically, I am not a patient girl….

Jump to this post

Virgo, So true about the lack of info from the medical industry. Mayo Connect is such a great place. No one ever judges you or condems you. It's so Wonderful to know you are not the only one out there going through whatever it may be.
MY info about Silver Sneakers is what has worked for me. It dosen't mean it will work for someone else. But what I have found is all the help and info you recieved on Connect maybe one thread will help you or that other person.
One last thing that has helped me in the last six months is I have a small glass of the Tropicana, I believe, Probiotics in the morning. I got that info from a trainer at the Y. Has really helped with some of the issues you talk about.
Good Luck and Keep Us Posted.
Sundance(RB)

REPLY

Hi Sundance(RB). Thanks for the reply. Keifer is my best friend. I start the day w/a small glass, trying to get those “good” gut bacteria on board. Cranberry (unsweetened) is my go to. Started after I got home. Thought I had UT infection, but I think it was irritation from the catheter. Anyway, it helped so I just kept drinking it! I’ve read a lot about the sigmoid colon and it’s function. I read that the sigmoid is the holding place for your poop. At some point your bowel muscle will start to contract moving your poop ( excuse the slang) and (hopefully) exit you’re body. I guess my body is figuring out a new holding tank, huh? So, I think I’m starting to understand the “why’s” and with the use of Citracil, liquids and timed meals, I hope to be able to do my day not worrying about these urges. I bought a small box of “winged” pads to wear during my gym time. Did you use any protection during your day? If so, what did you use? Or has anyone in the group commented on what he/she found helpful? Thanks for listening and any advise/experiences you went through and are willing to share are greatly appreciated. Virgo

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.