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Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

My mom has just been diagnosed with colon cancer that has spread to the liver and lungs. She will be having a colon resection soon. I have done some research and it sounds like a very involved procedure. She just turned 80 years old and until this was in good health. Please let me know if anyone has had this procedure, and how you came through it. Also, the prognosis. Thank you so much and God Bless you for your help.

Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello There!! My husband had his resection done in October 2003. His was an emergancy procedure due to total blockage. They removed his colon and brought his upper intestine down to meet the rectum. He was in the hosp. for about 10 days. He was in alot of pain but the meds helped managed it. He was up and around about 1 week after the surgery. He had problems after he came home due to throwing bloodclots so make sure that they keep checking your mom for that as it was a complete surprise to us. This messed him up badly!! He was back in the hosp. for another 14 days and had to fight to get his system back in order. He was diag. in Sept. 2003 and is doing chemo now. A positive attitude and fight to survive are the key! When your mom comes home from the hosp. it is important to get her to eat and DRINK as dehydration can prolong the recovery!! Best of luck I hope that some of this has helped. I am not an expert just a caregiver. Best wishes!! Sue

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hullo--I too had a colon resection--and am sure that there will be many other replies--most-if not all, have had the surgery.
Yes, the operation is very "major" and the outcome re; recuperation really depends on the type of resection.Meaning that there is a fair bit of colon that can be removed---ascending/transverse/descending/sigmoid/rectum
Most colon surgeries(resections) only remove portions of the colon--but in some cases it can be a complete removal.Some require a colostomy(usually because a cancer is low in the rectum) and the re-joining of the colon to the rectum cannot be done.
It really all depends on the site of the cancer and it's invasiveness of surrounding tissue or other close organs.Procedures and outcomes vary greatly as I am sure others here will tell you.
As far as surgery/recovery goes--well, that can be difficult to say as well.At your mothers age there will be many factors that come into account, however if she is in otherwise reasonable health her recovery may well be excellent.
I was in hospital for 6 days with minimal after effects but nonetheless this "major" operation takes it's toll on ones body and takes quite a while to recover completely from.Post surgery chemo did not help recovery either.
As Sue says(hi Sue!) there can be problems after surgery but I guess that is something we are all told prior to it.
Certainly your mum will be told of the risks in this procedure but so were we all.In short--yes--it is worrying--but lets not jump the gun.Many here are positive examples of modern medicine.
I am not in a position to tell you of her possible future prognosis--there are too many variable of her surgery and the extent of her cancer to do that--BUT--many of us here are survivors--I for one am now in remission.
Please continue to come and talk to us all here--we are one big "family"
Our love and very best to you and your mum.
kanga n Jen

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi, My dad was diagnosed at age 82 and had a major colon resection...they took out 18 inches, with a large blocking tumor and 2 small ones. Other that that, he was also in good health and tolerated the surgery really well, weak as a kitten when he got home after a 6 day stay, but complete recovery. He went on to a year of chemo, that also went well for him. Unfortunatly, he had recurrance 3 years later, but they were a good three years for him and us.
Will they remove any other tumors for your mom, or treat with chemo instead? It's major surgery to lose part of your colon, but after the first 10 days or so, things usually get better. You really don't want to leave the tumors there if you can help it! My own surgery (have you had a colonoscopy ?....family history puts you at greater risk.) I was diagnosed at 53, and the surgery, while major, also went well. Be sure to be clear with the anesthesiologist about pain control after surgery. I had an epidural and general anesthetic, and they left the epidural in for 3 days following. It was like a miracle for me; felt uncomfortable in the belly, but little true pain. Healing can progress so much faster with good pain control.
It's so scary to get this diagnosis, and I was more of a wreck with Dad than with my own! There is a lot of good care and work being done on cancer, so we can hope to list many more of us as surviviors. Hang in there. Feel free to e-mail me if I can help. Judy

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Thanks to everyone who has responded. I realize there are too many variables here, but just wanted to get an idea of what to expect. Surgery is scheduled for 7/16. They say it is Stage IV at this time. She will have a port put in 3 weeks after the surgery for the chemo. I have tons of questions for the doctors, so I will get them all down in writing. I will keep you all informed. Thank you again for your support during this very trying time. It was difficult going through my cancer, but the Good Lord got me through it. I'm praying that He will sustain my Mom also. God's Blessings to all of you!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2004

I'm coming to this conversation somewhat obliquely. A little over two years ago I received a kidney transplant. During the surgery, my upper colon was accidentally nicked and had to be resectioned. I was never told exactly how much of my colon was removed. I am very pleased to report that the transplant, my second (first one lasted 27 years) was successful.
However, I haven't had a normal bowel movement in over two years. It is not unusual for me to have four or five a day.

This discussion is the only place so far where I've been able to find any information about the effects of a colon resection. If anyone here can shed any light on this situation, I would be most grateful. Thanks.


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