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Symtoms after surgery

hyler1
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2001

Last February my mother was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She had a complete hysterectomy and a portion of her colon was removed. She decided after trying one round of Xeloda that the side effects were more than she wanted to deal with and refused any additional treatment. Since then all of her CT scans have shown no change but she still has extreme pain in her abdomen and bouts with nausea. Is this common after colon surgery? She has been hospitalized 2 times for dehydration in the past six months and is extremely weak again. I'm really at my wits end and don't know what to do to help her. The doctors so far have not given a reason for the pain except to say that it could be from scar tissue. Have any of you had these same types of problems and do you have any advice?

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Morning, Kathy -

Has your mom had a follow-up CT Scan to see if they can visualize anything that might be causing pain? If your mom had a hemicolectomy where the surgeon removed a portion of the pipe and sewed the two clean edges together, there is sometimes a significant size difference. This often leads to gas which can be quite painful. Scar tissue can also cause pain as can adhesions which result from improper healing after surgery.

In short, there are tons of possible causes for the pain. Pain is a sign that there is something not right and your mom's doctor should be aggressively looking for the cause. If s/he isn't, I suggest finding another doc who will.

As for dehydration - it's very very normal. The main culprit is diareha, but - again - if your mom has had a hemicolectomy and they removed some/all of her ascending (right) colon, then that can cause problems, too. The ascending colon's main function is to remove and purify water from the waste stream and send it back into the body. If the ascending colon is removed, in whole or in part, that job function shifts to the remaining colon which is not as well equipped to perform the task. The result is that your mom will need to drink lots and lots of water. A good rule of thimb to know that she's getting sufficient water is to drink enough water so that her urine appears almost colorless. The darker her urine, the more water she needs to drink. Stay away from diuretics like caffine and sodium. Tough to do in today's society, I know, but it sure beats a hospital stay and IV fluids!

Hoping you and your mom enjoy a healthy new year,

- SpongeBob

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

http://www.genzyme.co.uk/thera/abdom/uk_p_tp_thera-abdom.asp

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