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Post-Surgery Questions

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2011

Dear All,

My father (age 70) was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in April. He did radiation and chemo, then surgery. His surgery was September 14th. Everything went well. He got an ileostomy that can be reversed in a few months. He was home from the hospital in 5 days.

Since then, he's had some problems that I am concerned about:

1) He has lost 19 lbs since he came home. Initially, his stool in the bag was very runny, which is why the dr thinks he lost weight, so he has changed his diet and med (imodium, fiber) to get a better consistency. He is very weak.

2) He is having issues with his bag constantly leaking. He has a home health nurse that comes in to change it, but they haven't been able to fix the issue. It's causing skin irritation and it's just a pain.

Just hoping someone has been through this that can offer some advice.

Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all.


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3132
Joined: Jan 2010

First of all, with an ileostomy, the stool will not be the same consistancy as before because it no longer passes thru enough intestine to absorb as much water into the body.

Second, the fit of the flanges that attach the bag must be right up to the stoma to prevent the output from going anywhere except into the bag. This output is very caustic and will cause burning of the skin.

Has he or you discussed this with his doctor? Is there a stoma/wound nurse at the local hospital you can contact? The home health nurse while good will not have nearly the experience with the situation as either of the others. This should get fixed soonest so that the skin can heal and does not cause further problems.

After surgery I drank Boost with Protein to help with healing and also to get help regaining weight.

If you look at the blog for John23 on this board, he has a lot of info about dealing with an ileo. http://csn.cancer.org/user/75969/view/blog

Hope that your dad has success with the ileo soon and begins a more rapid recovery.

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