Adhesions after colectomy. (Please help)!

From: IAS Admin (
Sat Sep 4 20:06:24 2010

From: [] On Behalf Of katelyn opalenik Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 8:29 PM To: Subject: Re: Adhesions after colectomy. (Please help)!

I have also had a colectomy, and yes, i also had 2 small bowel obstructions occur, due to adhesions. A ct scan, and or barium enema is the normal thing they due to rule out obstructions. I always had a few months of pain before anything showed up, and i was in the hospital. Good thing is, u are pursuing this, and get the scan just to be sure. Vomiting it a sure sign of one, or in my case, u end of laying on the floor screaming. Obstuctions are scary, im always told to check for fever, and if pain wakes u up, or any vomiting at all, those are the warning signs. I am a ten year veteran at this!  Hope this helps, and good luck. Michele

On Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 2:01 AM, IAS Admin (Tracy) <> wrote: From: (Tiggy) Subject: Adhesions after colectomy. (Please help)!

To make a long story short, yesterday my husband was sent home from his work because he was having a dull, niggling pain that was focused in his lower back on one side, just above the hip bone.  The discomfort was also in the front of his body, to a lesser degree.  We were worried it might be kidney related (he has a history of kidney stones), so he ended up in the ER because our primary physician wasn't available.  After many blood tests, urine samples, and abdominal x-rays, it was determined that there was "nothing wrong with him." The ER doctor seemed competant, and she assured us that all emergency conditions had been ruled out.  We enquired about possible obstructions, kidney stones, hernias, etc, and she said that there was no indication that any of those issues were apparent.

The doctor did mention that my husband might have some abdominal adhesions as a result of the colectomy he underwent a little over a year ago.  When I got home, I did some reading online about adhesions, and learned that these are a very common effect of open abdominal surgery.

This isn't what scared me.

What frightened me and sent me into a serious panic attack, is when I also learned that one major complication of internal adhesions is the chance of a small bowel obstruction occuring.  I read that small bowel obstructions are a medical emergency, and can result in death.  What worries me to no end is the fact that in some cases, small bowel obstructions can have seemingly minor symptoms to begin with; nothing more major that what might appear to be an acute case of gas.

Since my husbands operation, I have gone out of my way to ensure that he is well hydrated, and chews his food carefully in order to avoid obstructions.  Now I learn that he may develop an obstruction regardless of any precautions we take, just because he may have internal adhesions. This is terrible.  Not only that, but now I'm terrified that he might experience ongoing discomfort and pain of a chronic nature if it is in fact adhesions that caused the issues he experienced last night.  What am I to do? I know I have a tendency to overreact to these things, and last night I couldn't stop bawling my eyes out even though I wanted nothing more than to appear strong and confident for his benefit.  He ended up comforting me, and telling me that all this worrying was needless.  According to him, his output has been normal and is still normal this morning, and he feels just fine.

But still, I am obsessing over what adhesions could mean for his quality of life.

Does anyone here know anything about post surgical adhesions? How worried should I be about this possibility? How common are small bowel obstructions due to adhesions? Am I planning his funeral and my life without him for nothing?

We are making an appointment to see his primary physician ASAP, just to put our minds to rest and have some questions answered, if nothing else.

I don't know how I'll get through work today.  My heart is depleted and I could cry again at any moment.

Please help!

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