Update for Surgery: Round 2

by on Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:34
This entry is filed under: updates

It’s time for my surgery Pre-second surgery pictureupdate! To recap, I had emergency surgery last May, and things did not go well. I had had a temporary ileostomy since then and it took me a long time to feel well enough to go back into surgery. On February 6th, I had my second surgery. The plan was to aim for a j-pouch, but I was told that if things did not go perfectly, a third surgery would be required, and the final surgery could be done about 4 months after the second. I had to stop eating at 6pm on Wednesday and surgery was scheduled for Friday. I also had to drink pico-salax twice, and had to stop drink even clear fluids on Thursday night. I received a call on Thursday night to tell me when I should come into the hospital for surgery. The surgeries for the day are prioritized the night before, based on a number of factors, including whether bowel prep was involved, the length of the surgery, and whether a patient is insulin dependent. Since I had both bowel prep and a scheduled 5 hour surgery, I ended up going in bright and early on Friday morning.

Since my last surgery wasn’t done laproscopically, this one wasn’t done either. After the first surgery, my incision got infected, and it had to be re-opened. It then healed over several months with a packed dressing, resulting in an indentation and a lot of scar tissue. As the surgeon was opening the same incision again this time, I asked him to excise the scar tissue, which he did. He also said that if it got infected this time and had to be re-opened, he would refer me to a plastic surgeon, which made me happy.Post-surgery picture

I had high hopes to get everything done during the 2nd surgery, but it was not to be. My surgeon later told me that after opening the incision, he almost just closed it back up and left things as they were. He couldn’t even find what was left of my large intestine. His best guess is that the remaining portion was not completely sealed and it created some sort of suction that moved my uterus and ovaries over and entangled them with the intestine. He was not willing to relocate the reproductive organs himself, as it’s not his area of specialty and was concerned about future pregnancies. My partner and I are 95% sure we don’t want children, so this was really not a bit concern for us, but he didn’t know that, and it’s nice to keep the option open. We’re still relatively young (27) and I guess you never know what will happen later. Thankfully, a gynecologic surgeon was nearby, and got pulled in to do that part of the surgery. There was also a hernia and muscle deterioration. The surgery ended up taking 8 hours and the surgeon was concerned that it was too much of a trauma on my body to complete the process. So, my j-pouch has been created and is ready to go, but I have a loop ileostomy. I also have about 40 staples down my mid-line and a small hole where the drain was after surgery. HavinCloser picture of scarg the drain removed was definitely the worst part – I will definitely ask for more pain meds before removal if they do that next time. It took maybe 5-10 seconds, but it was surprisingly uncomfortable.

The staples and the rod that is in the loop ileostomy come out tomorrow. I’m told that the removal of the staples isn’t that bad, just like a little prick for each one. I’m looking forward to having the rod removed, as I’m uncomfortable changing the flange with that present. The ileostomy will then go back to being basically as it was before, although it’s a bit bigger than the old one, of course. All in all, I’m not feeling too bad. I’ve been off the pain meds since Saturday and feel pretty good, other than fatigue, which is expected. The surgeon estimated 2 months off, but that seems like too long to me. I think the recovery is easier since I’m not also getting used to using the j-pouch (there’s the upside!).

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13 Responses to “Update for Surgery: Round 2”

  1. avatar

    Brevin says:

    February 19th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    You are one tough cookie. The folk on this site are hardcore! Good luck on the recovery!


  2. avatar

    Eric says:

    February 19th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Hey Jenelle, Looks like we’re somewhat in the same boat, so to speak. I had emergency surgery, and had it done in 3 steps (well, 4 since I had to be re-opened, too). Just wanted to let you know that the Jpouch is fantastic! I felt as if I was going to die during the process. I’m so glad I stuck with it. Hope you’re recovering well, and keep us updated!


  3. avatar

    Jenelle says:

    February 20th, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Thanks, Brevin! Hopefully your journey will be a little smoother.

    And thanks, Eric! Great to hear from someone who happily came out the other side.


  4. avatar

    Marianne says:

    February 22nd, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Great to see that your second step in the end has turned out better than your experience with step 1 even though there was a little scare admist the surgery. I as well will be going in step 2 shortly. Could you please tell me how long your hospital stay was, the pain factor compared to step 1, overall recovery (when did you start feeling good again?), how is management of loop ileostomy (I hear it’s very tricky and more prone to skin irritations compared to end ileostomy) and finally when are you scheduled for step 3? Thanks for any feedback you have. Marianne


  5. avatar

    Megan says:

    February 22nd, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Jenelle, So good to hear you are on your feet and doing alright. It sounds like your surgeries and process just won’t let you take the easy route, but you do somehow manage to stay so positive. Mark was saying that your staples coming out shouldn’t be too bad, his staples were few compared to yours but he felt a little something but not pain.


  6. avatar

    Jenelle says:

    February 23rd, 2009 at 7:25 am

    The staples are out and it wasn’t too bad at all (I think Mark’s description is apt). I had 36 in all. They really should have been taken out a few days earlier, though, and that made it a little more painful, as my skin was starting to grow onto some of my staples. Next time, I will push to have them removed in the 7-10 day range, which is more typical (this time, it was 14 days and the nurse who removed them agreed it was too long).

    Marianne, I’ve been meaning to email you. I’ll give you a more detailed report!


  7. avatar

    Abby says:

    February 24th, 2009 at 8:53 am

    The first time I had staples removed it hurt. The second time I was all nervous and told my surgeon I was dreading it. He was joking around with me and told me it shouldn’t hurt and asked if I was afraid of pain or something. I told him that, yes, I was afraid of pain and that the staples being removed the last time did hurt. He laughed and said it was probably the student’s first time removing them and that’s why it hurt! The second time a more experienced surgeon removed them and I swear I didn’t feel a THING! Of course, I didn’t have as many staples as you had either though. It never hurts to ask how many times someone has performed something as simple as a staple removal though! Also: You had talked about having your drain removed – I had a drain after one of my surgeries and I think the removal of it was one of the most painful experiences I’ve had (not to freak anyone out). The doctor started pulling it out slowly and I actually yelled at her to just do it quickly for crying out loud! It did only take a few seconds, but yowzah – I wish I had asked for more pain meds for that one too!!


  8. avatar

    Jenelle says:

    February 25th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Hi Abby, sounds like we’re on the same page. The staple removal was a little uncomfortable but nothing compared to that drain!!



    Ashwini Reply:

    could you tell me when the j pouch is formed and we still have iliostomy bag on till the third surgery, will we b able to eat normally and avoid dyhrea? how to avoid loose stool?
    and what fo expect after closure in d final surgery?????


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