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scar tissue

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2003

Hello. Does anyone have any experience with scar tissue showing up on CAT scans? I had most of my large intestine removed last May and then 6 months of chemo (5FU/Leuc) and then in early May I had a PET and CAT that showed something at the joining of my small intestine to what is left of the large. I had a flexible sigmoid scope a few weeks ago, but the surgeon couldn't find anything. I'm now waiting 2 more weeks for a barium x-ray so that he can be sure that he was in the right place. It's frightening not knowing if it's come back, but I'm hoping that it's scar tissue. I had convinced myself that it had returned based on stomach pains and gas. However reading these postings has made me realize that many people have these conditions permanently after surgery. I've just discovered this site and am grateful to read about other people's experiences. It is true that unless you are going through it it's impossible to understand.

wildcat's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Apr 2002

I had the same treatment and also had radiation treatments. The stomach problems do not go away. I take a lot of ammodium and that seems to help. Scar tissue does come about. I had a large part of my colon down to my rectum removed. You get use to the stomach and gas. You stay home a little more. It is Super Bowl Sunday. A year ago I started my radiation and chemo treatments. It is a great game this year. Next year you will feel the same. Congrats on a successful surgery and enjoy the year. The stomach problems do get better over time.

Posts: 19
Joined: May 2002

Yes. I have scar tissue. After the full course of treatment for Stage III Colorectal cancer and removal of my rectum, I had a follow-up CAT scan and colonoscopy. They found that the radiation caused scarring of my small intestine. . .causing what essentially is a blockage. I've had several sleepless nights with intense pain and vomiting. I probably should have gone to the hospital, but it ultimately worked it's way through.

The oncologist and gastroenterologist said, "this does happen" and there isn't much they can do about it. . .and that it'll probably get worse as I age. (I'm now 45)

I finished up with chemo three months ago and it seems to be getting better. I've been going to the gym and working on getting back to health and work. . .still pretty early to tell. If you learn something, I'm all ears.

If you do end up with an obstruction, contact your GI person. They can give you advice and perhaps meds to alleviate the situation.

Good luck!

Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2003

Scar tissue or Adhesions are a nasty, but likely developement especially after abdomnal surgery. They do show up on CAT scans and can't really be helped or removed. I know that they are a real problem for my mom... they show up on the CAT scan and make it hard to tell if there is shrinkage or not. When she was Dx with her reoccurence, it was not offical until after she had a PET scan. The PET can tell the differencew between scar tissue and cancer. I personally recommend a PET scan to anyone having their follow up work done. This test is incredible and can really put your mind at ease, or. God forbid, if there is a problem, it can pick up the most minute tumors and you can hopefully get a jump on them.

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