Post-Op abdominal pain

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BobHaze
BobHaze Member Posts: 162 Member
I had my MIE 3 weeks ago tomorrow, and the surgeon said at our follow-up yesterday that I'm doing great. It was a huge relief to hear that I had clean margins, all 28 lymph nodes he removed were clean, and I'm T1aN0M0. I actually cried in the examination room when he told me that!

I had a week of clear liquids, then a week of "full liquids", both with night J-tube feeding, and yesterday I started on soft solids. It's generally going fine, but ever since I started on the full liquids I've been experiencing intermittent pain in the right side of my rib cage - mostly starting about an hour after I eat. It's there pretty much all the time, but gets worse after I eat. I mentioned it to my surgeon yesterday and he said it's probably just my "new" stomach finding its place in my "new" abdomen, and just to control the pain and it'll probably pass soon. Then today the pain started in the front and radiated all the way to my lower back from the front of my rib cage, and it was probably the most pain I've ever been in. I couldn't even think straight, but my wife came home from her first 1/2 day at work and gave me some Oxycodone, which knocked it right down. I saw my PCP this afternoon, who had no idea why it was happening and pretty much repeated the surgeon's advice.

Has anyone had a similar experience and/or have any suggestions? The pain is steady now (after we ate dinner) but I'm ready with the Oxy just in case.

Thanks,
Bob

Comments

  • NikiMo
    NikiMo Member Posts: 342
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    Give it some time
    Hi Bob,

    So pleased to hear that the tumor was 1a and the nodes were clean, you get to avoid chemo, woohoo!! About the pain, my husband had the IL on 9/6, he had the exact same kind of pain you describe. Eventually it went away with time, probably took about 1 month to go away. Use the oxycontin! There is no shame in using the pain medicine, my husband was reluctant to use it even after two doctors and two nurses told him to use it. Once the pain starts it is hard to get it under control, I would suggest that as soon as you feel a twinge take a pill, if the pain gets worse go for the second pill. That way you don't get that droopy drowzy feeling unless the pain really is too great to deal with, then you can just sleep (with the second pill).

    Again so happy to hear the nodes were clean, I know you were nervous about that...as anyone would be! Take care of yourself and try to be patient, you will heal in time :)

    Niki
    Wife to Jeff T2N1M0
    dx 5/24/11
    IL 9/6/11 clean pathology
  • paul61
    paul61 Member Posts: 1,391 Member
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    I had similar pain after my IL surgery
    Bob,

    I had some pain in the same area you describe and of course mine did radiate around to my back on the right side because I had a large incision there. I assume since you had an MIE you do not have a large incision under your right shoulder blade like us IL folks do. I also had some abdominal cramping after eating when I started with solid foods.

    I would say give it some time. But not too much time. If it is severe enough to cause you to take prescription pain medication on a regular basis I would go back to my surgeon until I got a complete examination to rule out anything that should be addressed.

    I would give it a week and if it does not start to get better or begins to get worse I would go back to your surgeon and have the discussion again.

    Unfortunately the road back through recovery is a bit bumpy for the first month or so. Many people also describe a "gurgling sensation" in that same place after meals. I also had that it can be a bit disconcerting but I am now used to it.

    Unfortunately new plumbing new sensations. My pain did subside after a month or so...unless I break the "small meal" rule that is.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.


    Best Regards,

    Paul Adams
    McCormick, South Carolina

    DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
    12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
    2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
    3/14/2011 CT Scan NED

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!
  • jss2011
    jss2011 Member Posts: 132
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    paul61 said:

    I had similar pain after my IL surgery
    Bob,

    I had some pain in the same area you describe and of course mine did radiate around to my back on the right side because I had a large incision there. I assume since you had an MIE you do not have a large incision under your right shoulder blade like us IL folks do. I also had some abdominal cramping after eating when I started with solid foods.

    I would say give it some time. But not too much time. If it is severe enough to cause you to take prescription pain medication on a regular basis I would go back to my surgeon until I got a complete examination to rule out anything that should be addressed.

    I would give it a week and if it does not start to get better or begins to get worse I would go back to your surgeon and have the discussion again.

    Unfortunately the road back through recovery is a bit bumpy for the first month or so. Many people also describe a "gurgling sensation" in that same place after meals. I also had that it can be a bit disconcerting but I am now used to it.

    Unfortunately new plumbing new sensations. My pain did subside after a month or so...unless I break the "small meal" rule that is.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.


    Best Regards,

    Paul Adams
    McCormick, South Carolina

    DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
    12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
    2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
    3/14/2011 CT Scan NED

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

    follow-up
    Hi Bob,
    Glad to hear you had a good path report!
    Hope the pain of the new plumbing soon sorts itself. That's still a few months away for us but I am trying to be prepared as good as one can be I guess.

    Prayers,
    Julie