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after affects of colon surgery

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2006

my mom recently had colon surgery in which most of her colon was removed inorder to get the cancer. she is doing fine except that now when she eats, she has to get to the bathroom right away as most things dont stay with her. this is getting her very discouraged not wanting to eat or even leave the house. will this subside and get better with time or will she be like this for the rest of her life. has anyone come across this or have any suggestions? thanks

Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006


My dad had the same problem, except then, he developed an infection, which cleared up. They say that it may take a while for your bowels to be "trained" once again after surgery. Every person is different. It took my dad maybe about a few weeks for him to have normal bowel movements again. Tell your mom to hang in there!!!


Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Griffy -

I had colon surgery June 2005 in which my sigmoid colon was removed. It took several weeks (maybe even more like a few months) for things to return to normal. I remember having very intense, sudden urges. But all this has subsided. Not sure when your Mom had her surgery, but tell her that it takes a while and does get better. And I am not at all sure, but maybe if more colon is removed, it takes longer. Hopefully others can comment.

Take care,

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Hey, Griffy -

You mom has "Short Bowel Syndrome". It will go away - for the most part. Took me about 18 months, but it does pass (bad word choice, I know). I still go frequently (4-5 times a day), but you have to consider we "SemiColons" have a whole lot less storage capacity!

She'll be OK soon enough, but her life will definitely change some. Tell her to (1) take or eat fiber supplements - it actually has the opposite effect on us and slows things down; (2) DRINK LOTS OF WATER (3-4 liters a day) to avoid dehydration.

- SpongeBob

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KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I 'lost' my rectum and sigmoid colon (which is why on my recent colonoscopy I asked if I got a discount with 12 inches LESS colon).
I am 1 year out, and everything is better. BUT, I know what foods send me to the toilet within 20 minutes...I still eat them, just make sure to be near a bathroom. My frequent bathroom stops improved within 3 to 4 months of my resection. Of course, then I got Breast cancer, and the chemo shot THAT to heck!....But now, done with that, I can EVEN eat Mexican food again! One thing PERMANTENLY off my list is popcorn...my doc said it's like eating ground glass...so I just buy popcorn flavored jelly belly's....
Hugs to you and mom! (It DOES get better)

goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

It should get better with time and fiber. I liked the metamucil wafers the best. I also used the j-pouch.org web site and Shaz Ostomy PAge (she has a section on j pouches too). They've all lost most of hteir large intestines and have many suggestion for slowing things down. Tell her to hang in there. It does get better.

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Griffy,

I know that nobody said this but tell her to ask her surgeon. I use immodium when it gets real bad. My problem is the chemo that is doing it. I had my colon resected Dec. 20, 2005. They did say it took a while to get back to normal. Do have her eat more fiber. Make sure she is drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated. Also like others said some certain foods might be doing it. If all else fails try the "BRAT" diet. Bannanas, rice, apples, toast. That is used for "normal" diarehea. Good luck and HUGS to you and her.


Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2006

I just wanted to say thank you to all the people that responded to my message!!! All very good advice! I wish all of you the best too! Griffy

Posts: 36
Joined: Feb 2006

Yes, my husband swore by metamucil..

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