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Diet After Colon Surgery

JDilloway
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2004

I was recently diagnosed with colon cancer in the transverse colon and underwent an extended right hemicolectomy (removal of ascending and transverse colon) on 2/10. My surgeon has indicated that I can resume eating normally with the exception of eating smaller and more frequent meals (don't overeat). Before surgery, I also suffered from acid reflux which was treated with Prevacid. After surgery, I was released in four days, but ended back in the hospital after being home for three days because I was suffering from nausea and vomiting. Two more days in the hospital got that under control and I'm currently being treated with Protonix for the acid reflux and Zelnorm for irritable bowel syndrome. I'm experiencing some very loose stool and diarrhea, and it's hard for me to tell if it is from the medication or the surgery. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Does the stool eventually get firmer? Thanks for the help.

Sheepy's picture
Sheepy
Posts: 48
Joined: Nov 2003

We all have different stories here - but this is how it went with me:

I had a right hemicolectomy on August 26 last year, and was in hospital for ten days (four seems a very short time) - suffered nausea for a few days, and no appetite until my doctor prescribed tablets for acid reflux.

Within two weeks I was eating normally, and could manage full meals - and my stools were back to normal in less than a month - but chemotherapy has since made them loose again.

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi JoAnn,

Welcome! I had my surgery a year ago and finished 6 months of chemo on July 9, 2003. So during the chemo I had lots of diarrhea. In the 6 months since my chemo, my stools have fluctuated from semi solid to soft to loose and back and forth. My doctors do not seem too concerned as long as it is not liquid for too long. I had the same resectioning surgery as you, followed by 6 months of chemo. My cancer was in the ascending colon and then had several clusters of polyps in the transverse colon. No acid reflux. Take care and stay in touch with you doctor - ask lots of questions and don't leave any stone unturned until you are satisfied.

Kerry

vcavanagh
Posts: 86
Joined: Dec 2002

Hello JoAnn D,
Four days is a really short time in hospital. I was 8 days. When the gut starts moving again it can produce a little, many many times. My first day was about 35 times. A sore business. It took a while to settle down. Eating just a little seemed the best method of control. Surgery (for stage 3 or Duke's C ) was 30 months ago. I still remember, after about 9 months, when I got my first un-disturbed nights sleep. The chemo had kept me going frequently for about 9 months. Now, 30 months later, things are a lot better. Not perfect, but I can manage pretty well for the last 2 years or so. Hope this info helps.Welcome to the club.
Blessings,
Vincent.

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi JoAnn,

Have you looked into the causes of your acid reflux and made adjustments in your diet? Have you introduced probiotics into your gut flora to help? If your bowel is being irritable then what is irritating it? Is your pH balance off and messing your intestinal tract? Are you eating things that exacerbate acid?

You may want to consult a nutritionist (not your doctor) about how to alleviate your acid and help your irritable bowel. There are diets that can help.

The over use of antacids can actually cause IBS which disturb the bacterial microflora of the bowel.

I have a wonderful book called Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balch and Balch that has good advice for IBS. If you are interested I can outline the diet they recommend.

peace, emily

ABETHM
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

Emily
Could you outline the diet in the book you mentioned. My mom is having the same problem in terms of little appetite, nausea and diarrhea, and acid reflux. She is using a variety of o.t.c. stuff - Immodium, Pepcid, depending on what is presenting at the time.

Tks
Beth

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Joann,
I posted a similar question on 02/02/04 as judiths and "help managing my gut". You may want to scroll back to that (I think it's now around page 7! lots of activity on this board). Also try reading or doing a search for diarrhea. My is now well controlled with diet and metamucil, but each person is different and it takes some trial and error. Talking with a nutrionist is a great idea, this is their specialty, unlike the docs who may be speaking in generalities. Good luck to you; hang in there; it does get better. Judy

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Welcome JoAnn--pretty much the same op as you--gee--I was in and out in 6 days--then had chemo for 6 months--as the guys heve said--it will settle down eventually--really depends on your diet.Also the chemo makes things a bit up and down as well-I just finished chemo 2 weeks ago and have been told the bowel may take a couple of months to settle--try your dr for any meds you can be helped with--be patient--but don't put up with extreme dairrhea.
our best, kanga and Jen.

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