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Resuming BM function after Colorectal Surgery

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2005

Hi everyone.

My wife had laproscopic bowel resection surgery on 5/23. She was released from the hospital on Thursday 5/26 after she had passed gas and was feeling a lot better than she thought she would have been at that point. She felt better as each day went by, until today.

Her surgeon said that she should have her first BM by Sunday, 5/29. She hasn’t been very hungry and hasn’t eaten the way she did in the past (obviously) and hadn’t gone by Sunday, so the doctor told us to take Colace. She took two gelcaps on Saturday night, six on Sunday and six yesterday, with no BM. She took two this AM and still nothing.

About 11 o’clock in the morning, she felt a pain in the area of the resection and tried taking a Darvocet. She felt no relief from the pain, so we figured it was probably gas from not going to the bathroom. We called the surgeon and he said take Milk of Magnesia. She took the maximum dose at 12:30 and it was supposed to take effect within six hours, which just past. It hasn’t.

I was hoping someone could tell me if:

1) Is the gas pain this intense? Could it be the primary source of the pain in her side?

2) Has anyone else had these kinds of problems in having their first BM after surgery? She is wondering if the next step is to take the Phospho again and she doesn’t want to do that unless she absolutely has to.

Thanks for any help that you can give.

taunya's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

I did not have that long of a wait myself. I am a little concerned that your wife is having pain. Please call the Doc and ask again. Feel free to be a pest, you are her advocate and if nothing is wrong GOOD!!!! I am thinking of you both. Let us know how everything goes.

Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Hi! I had a colon resection (not laproscopic however) and I was in the hospital a week without even an ice chip. That was very strict orders from my surgeon. (No colostomy bag) It took me almost the entire week to pass anything through me. I had pain from the incision but not from passing anything, and I never suffered gas. I guess everyone is different, but I would be a little concerned if this is normal. I sure hope your wife will be OK.
Sorry I'm not much help. Hang in there. Make sure she doesn't run a fever! ~ Wanda

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I would also recommend either calling your doctor or even going to the emergency room. Yes, it can take a while to have a bowel movement after surgery. However, it is also possible to have a blockage. I sure hope that is not the case for your wife, but best to make sure. Please let us know how things go -- I will be thinking of you.

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2005

Hi Everyone! I have great news. About an hour ago, she had her first BM! I never thought I would be so excited to say that, but I am!

It was mostly diarrhea, but at least we know that there is no blockage and after she went, the pain was gone.

Thanks to everyone for their help. God bless you all!

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

I am happy for your wife.....and I hope you are both laughing a bit. It is so nerve-wracking, this bodily-function thing!!!

My doc would not let me leave the hospital until the wonderful function took place. I remember feeling so much gas pain and having my boss call to check on me...only to have me burst into tears on the phone with him.....thank God he is such a good guy. And, of course, we had to laugh about it later.

Best of luck with her recovery. Can she take short walks?? Gosh, they helped me....

Wishing her a speedy recovery. You must be a very caring person to be posting for her!


Posts: 3
Joined: May 2005

Thanks! This place is so great.

We did laugh about it, for sure. Then today, the pain came back again (she didn't go yesterday) so I went right to the Milk of Magnesia and she went a couple of hours later.

I sure hope that she can get back into some kind of pattern of regularity again. I think that will help a lot, especially before chemo starts in three weeks.

She is walking around the house and doing well other than the gas. She wants to start walking on the treadmill again. She's a tough one, for sure. That is why I knew she had to be hurting when the pain started to get so bad.

We see the surgeon tomorrow for a follow up and to get a port put in for the chemo, so I will ask him about this stuff then. It sure is a lot to take in at once, but I have found that once it happens, you just have to keep going forward. She has been great at doing that too. We had the few "why me" and heavy fear days, but then it just seemed like it made more sense to do what you could do to make it better. This board is great for seeing other people do the same thing.

We will be regulars, for sure.

Dave and Louise

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Dave and Louise

So happy that all of us can laugh. Louise will do wonderfully on the treadmill, but what about adding in some fresh air. If she can pop a few neighborhood walks in she might like it. With cancer and chemo - I do notice flowers more - and I seem to walk longer outside; that just might be me!!

You know, what amazes me through all of this is the support people I deal with. How can I be in a bad mood when the woman who takes my blood each time is so incredibly nice to me....or the chemo nurses who were so fun to be around - keeping all of the patients happy and laughing.
It really helps!!

Best of luck to you both!!

MJay's picture
Posts: 132
Joined: Aug 2004

I know exactly what you mean. Don't poo and gas take on a whole new meaning????? I thought the last time I would celebrate a bowel function was when I finally successfully potty trained my youngest.

Life sure is interesting!!


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