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Adhesions

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

Wondering if anyone has been treated for adhesions from surgery?  My husband had about 1/3 of his colon removed 13 months ago.  Did well after the successful resection, finished 12 rounds of chemo in July.  In October started feeling lots of cramping and even shooting pains in his left lower and central abdomen.  He had a ct scan and colonoscopy in December - both were clear - no signs of anything unusual.  He has had severe constipation for about a month now.  He's tried Miralax, Senna, Magnesium citrate, Lactulose and now is using Linzess, a lower dose last week and now on a higher dose.  He's had some diarrhea, still some cramping and just feeling pretty lousy.  Onc said the gastro dr. needs to be the lead on this one.  He's been in twice to see a NP in the office and spoken to her daily on the phone.  Today he's going to insist on further tests, not sure if a PET scan or ultrasound might show more - anyone have any advice?  They need to see his guts with food digesting, his pains seem to be the worst within an hour of eating.  He's lost weight, but one good thing is his diabetes is back under control.  CEA level in November 3.2, December 4.2 and 3.6 in late December.  Onc. not concerned since scans were clear.

I've read about adhesions but haven't found any treatment or cure for them.  Any information you can share would be most appreciated.  Would a CT scan show adhesions? 

Thanks,

Linda

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2320
Joined: Oct 2011

adhesions do not show on any scans.  I think the only way to really be sure is to have surgery.  They can then go in and clean up any scar tissue that has developed.  But before taking that step, I would want a PET scan if it was me.  You don't want to have unnecessary surgery, and the PET would show if there was anything going on other than adhesions.

I always hate saying this, because it's upsetting, but I went for months with all kinds of problematic symptoms, while my doctor was insistent that it must be adhesions because the CT was clear.  I finally ended up in the ER, and then was off to emergency surgery, where they discovered that the cancer had returned.  There was a significant amount of spread throughout the large and small intestine, none of which showed up on the CT.  First thing the surgeon asked was why I hadn't gotten a PET much sooner, given my symptoms.  Uh...because my oncologist said I didn't need it?

I don't want to scare you, it may very well be adhesions.  But I think it would be a good thing if your husband can get a PET to get things checked out more carefully.

Keep us posted on how he's doing~Ann Alexandria

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

Trouble posting from my nook. X-ray this afternoon showed small bowel obstruction, most likely due to adhesions. Nasty Zng tube again for belly rest. Just in room an hour or so, we'll see what happens tomorrow if any more tests are ordered. Durgeon came in and didn't think anything was needed for emergency surgery now. Ct scan a month ago was clear and colonoscopy 12/17 was also clear. I wish the onc had ordered a pelvic x-ray a month ago and we could have addressed it then and he wouldn't have to suffer so much. I'm glad he's here, I figured we'd end up here sooner or later. Thanks for the info. Linda

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

And no relief from pain and pressure. NG tube in for 5+ days now. Tomorrow am we're told his surgeon will come in to make the call for a small bowel study or surgery. I can't imagine him passing all that crap if he can't pass what's already in him. Anyone had tha small bowel study while experiencing an obstruction? How did it go? We're thinking it might be best to just go in with the scope since they probably will end up there.

hippiechicks's picture
hippiechicks
Posts: 374
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi there Linda .. I am sorry to hear of your husbands discomfort and pain.  Hope the NG tube does its thing and helps with comfort.  

I did have a study while I had a small bowel obstruction.  I remember it not being very pleasant, and I was not able to get much of the contrast down.  The nurse was kind and understood.  I did the best I could.  It was good enough as they were able to see what they needed.  I did in fact have an issue with adhesions.  Belly rest and the NG tube plus TPN for weeks and weeks.  I did eventually end up with another very very long surgery to finally get things working again.  

My understanding is often with belly rest the obstruction will resolve without surgery needed.  The study will show what exactly they are dealing with for blockage. 

Keeping you both in my prayers for relief.  

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

Did you have the NG tube for weeks and weeks? I can't imagine...

hippiechicks's picture
hippiechicks
Posts: 374
Joined: Sep 2012

Yes, I did.  It was not fun and very uncomfortable, but necessary.  

I had the NG tube out at one point for a few days and that pain was much worse!  That is what made me vomit, not having the tube.  That was horrible pain! 

I did not vomit from the study.  I also had a clear contrast to drink, not the white thick barium you speak of.  

 

I am so sorry your husband is having such pain.  Wishing him relief soon.  Hopefully this is just adhesions that will resolve itself. 

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1337
Joined: Apr 2010

 

Hi,

Yes, Rick had a small bowel study during one of his obstructions - it was no fun.  The nurses didn't mention that it was very common for the patient to have to live in the bathroom for an hour after the test and that he would be throwing up lots of bile as well.  It was awful.  So this is just a heads up that you should keep a couple of basins handy after the test.

Good luck with everything,

Cynthia

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

I think we will be pushing for the surgery vs.study. That test sounds awful and I know he couldn't handle much more, especially the vomiting. X-ray shows still blockage. GP just here and now he is also on board with surgeons. Hope it can happen today. One good thing is his CEA went down to 2.0 and it was 3.8 a few weeks ago. We're just ready for him to feel better and get that NG tube out. Thanks

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4399
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm sorry you ended up in the hospital but at least now they can determine what is best.  Adhesions can be very painful and cause major problems.  I've never had the study done but have had some adhesions which ended up resolving themselves.  Hoping that he feels better soon.

Kim

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

Well, we waited 4 hours this morning for the surgeon.  Plenty of useless (in my opinion) residents coming in and out and not doing a darn thing.  Finally the nurse called down to the surgical desk to see if he was on the schedule today.  Within a few minutes, a PA for the surgeon came up and said "You're on for 2:00 today"  Great, finally some action.  I left the hospital to come into work for a few hours. I barely got in the office and my husband was calling to say the surgeon stopped up and got on the computer in his room.  He said "I can't find the CT" and was having a fit saying "You've been here 6 days and no one has ordered a ct?"  Well, today's surgery is off until they do a new ct and he can look at it.  I guess it "may" be on for tomorrow.  Poor guy is getting so weak and still having lots of pains. Well, 3 different surgeons from his group have seen him EVERY day since last Tuesday and none of them ordered a ct.  I have asked just about everyone who comes in "How about some new scans?"  I have been sitting here seething but getting lots of work done.  I am waiting for the next call to say "You're husband's in surgery" or some other stupid thing.  I am so frustrated with the care (or non care) he has been getting.  This morning a resident came in and said "You're going to get prepped for the small bowel study" and he said "The hel%l I am" We looked up some info on it and I can't believe they would expect him to pass that concrete barium when he's having so much pain with no food or drink AND an ng tube.

Wait until they ask about the follow up survey.  He's had some great nurses, but several sub-par nurses also.  I just don't even know what to do anymore.  I'm hoping by tomorrow at this time, something will actually get done and he'll have some relief.  This morning our GP came in and said "Maybe it's a tumor" which kind of threw both of us for a loop.  He gets so loopy on minimal meds, I feel like I have to be there as much as I can.  I don't know how people do it alone or if they are really bad shape.

Thanks for letting me vent....

Linda

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4399
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry you have been getting the run around.  I'm hoping that tomorrow he gets his surgery and can finally get to healing.  It has to be so frustrating since he has been there for so long and nothing seems to be happening.  You both are in my thoughts.

Kim

PatchAdams
Posts: 272
Joined: Nov 2011

Surgery for adhesions will just cause new or more adhesions.  I did read that stretching or PT can help in some cases but it hurts like crazy!  

Adhesions begin to form 3 -5 hours after surgery and 93% of people who've had any abdominal surgery have adhesions. They will not show up on any scans.

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

for today at 1 pm, that's the latest story anyway.  When I got back to the hospital yesterday all heck was breaking loose.  Darn residents were back in telling him again he was going to have the small bowel study.  No ct scan was scheduled yesterday afternoon and when he asked when he was going to have the test, they said the residents wanted him to have the small bowel study instead.  My husband demanded the darn "purple" team come back in.  They came in and he told they were fired, he wasn't going to deal with them anymore.  I said "We want to talk to the surgeon not you people" and the resident said "Well, I have a call in to the doctor and if he calls me back,,,,"  I said "We are demanding to speak to the surgeon, so you better call back and tell him that"  The surgical PA came back up within a few minutes.  Of course the surgeon was gone.  She tried explaining what was going on, which still isn't totally clear.  In the end, she said the results from a ct scan or a small bowel study will basically show them the same result.  My husband said he was willing to do whatever would help them the best to prepare for surgery.  They said they would do the small bowel study this morning and the surgery this afternoon.  I'm no doctor, but I can't imagine they would cut into him with all that crap in his system from a few hours earlier.  Anyway, he decided on the ct scan, which they did last night.  This morning 5 minutes after I left another surgeon came in and said the contrast almost stopped at his surgical point (from his colectomy 13 months ago) so they couldn't see much past that.  He is having the severe pains on the other side, but that could be referred pain. 

I don't know how much more my poor husband can take.  He is extremely weak and feeling so lousy.  He's ready for the surgery just to get some relief.  I guess if everyone thinks this is best and he's not getting any better, it has to be done.  How long can he be so weak and have that NG tube?  He needs some treatment to get him better.  I see him wasting away and I'm feeling so frustrated because I think the hospital care is sub-par.

After all the doctors come in and poke and prod his belly, he needs the pain meds because it becomes so painful.  This is a guy who doesn't even like to take Advil at home, so I know he's in a lot of pain.  He has said he's been in more pain this past week than his entire tumor blockage and colectomy surgery.  I just feel awful for him, no one should have to go through all this.  I just hope he's on the road to recovery soon.

Thanks for all the info

Linda

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

2 hour surgery this afternoon found large mass/tumor in small intestines. Doc had path check it and they said it was dead cancer. Surgeon perplexed at discovery and location, about 1 foot up from his colectomy site. He said colon cancrer usuallyy goes to the liver and not the way this did. It could have been cancer from 13 months ago in a lymph node that was killed off from the chemo. Path will stage it and more chemo could be needed. He said he would speak to onc tonight. He rremoved 1 ft of small intestine and reconnected with no bag. Doing well tonight post op, pain he was experiencing is gone, thank goodness. Hoopefully NG tube out tomorrow and clear liquids started. I'm glad it's over and hope he's on the road to recovery. His CEA this week was down to 2.0 from 3.8 a few weeks ago, strange as the surgeon said. It could also be a new cancer that was killed by chemo, maybe onc wiill have more insight.

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1337
Joined: Apr 2010

So glad to hear that your husband's surgery went well.  He'll feel so much better now, and especially when he gets home and back into his own bed!  :)

All my best,

Cynthia

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1209
Joined: Apr 2009

So glad the surgery is over & all went well. Just sorry your hubby was in pain for so long as they dragged their feet.

Proud of you for not punching someone as you waited patiently. I truly never hit anyone, but did a lot of screaming over the years.

Luv,

Wolfen

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

Is not one of my strengths! It's amazing it took 8 days to get anything done. Surgeon said he would have been in big trouble if this had gone on any longet. Surgical floor staff here are 100% better than the floor he was on last week. I'm so ready to get him home. Thanks

Linda

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3492
Joined: Apr 2010

I'm glad they went in and did the surgery and not the study, the study would have been comepletely useless, good call on needing the surgery.

So glad it appeared to be a dead tumor.

Hete's to you getting him home soon.

Winter Marie

 

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

I am at a loss for words for the treatment he received the first 7 days there, I am so sick of talking about it.  He is now in good care and will hopefully be feeling better every day.  He told the residents on the "Purple Team"  You Lost!  Now to wait for path results and next appointments with oncologist.

Thanks

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