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Peristent nausea after surgery

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009


Has anyone suffered with persistent nausea after colon resection? The doctor said my husband's surgery went well (removed approx 8" of sigmoid colon). He was very well after surgery for a few days. Then they removed the epidural and cath and he started vomiting everything. He would have a good day and would take in some food, and then the next day he would be sick and vomiting. They released him Monday, and that is still the case. We thought it might be the pain meds, but he hasn't taken anything for pain since last Sunday and is still nauseous.

Doc said sometimes this happens, it might take a little longer for him to get back on track, and he might even need to go back to the hospital (he is not up for that at all). He is unable to tolerate food/drink without severe heartburn that makes him very nauseous. He is taking Tums and said it helps a little. He is only eating very small amounts of food (ie.,a saltine cracker, spoonful of mashed potatoes) and he is drinking as much as he can handle throughout the day to try to stay hydrated (doesn't seem like enough to me). Surgery was 11 days ago. They prescribed compazine 2 days ago and it worked for one day, then yesterday, after PET scan, they gave him IV zofran with fluids because he was weak and vomiting.

I should also include that he hasn't been allowed to eat for several weeks before his surgery. When they thought it was diverticulitis they had him eat a lighter diet, followed by hospitalization for the perforated colon during which they wouldn't even allow ice chips for six days. After surgery was scheduled, he drank Ensure for the few days at home before surgery until he had to do the bowel prep. I was under the impression he would be able to tolerate a light diet by now and am so concerned about him becoming dehydrated (I think that may have been the problem yesterday). I can't imagine him starting chemo in this weakened condition and he meets with the oncologist on Tuesday.

A visiting nurse is coming again today and will remove the staples from his incision. Is is possible the staples could be causing this? Might sound silly but my sister had her navel pierced and became very sick, and as soon as she took it out she got better. His incision runs through his navel.

Sorry if I am redundant - posted some of this in another thread. Just wanted to know if anyone dealt with this and how they were able to recover. He just tried half a banana and wasn't able to eat even half of that. I am definitely getting on his nerves by trying to monitor his intake so I don't want to cause him more stress. I am also going to ask them to prescribe zofran since it worked yesterday.


VickiCO's picture
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

I had nausea after surgery, but not nearly to that extent. Zofran works sometimes for me for chemo, not others. There is a drug called Emend...it's expensive if your insurance doesn't cover it, but it has been a Godsend for me.

They probably will not start chemo for a bit until he recovers from surgery. They waited 5 weeks for me. Everyone responds differently, though, so it's good he is seeing the oncologist early.

Our thoughts are with you. Many hugs, Vicki

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

but marijuana has great medicinal uses. In a situation like this it could help.
My opinion and 2 cents.
Hope he feels better

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Just picked up the Zofran prescription and a friend brought me some marijuana for him to try also. Little better today also. Thanks.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

I'm glad he's feeling better, I hope that he continues to feel better. The whole thing is rough on the body, no doubt about it.

eric38's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

Phil - you little pot pusher. }:.}

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi, Donna
When I first got my bowel resection and got home, I began throwing everything up too, medicines included - could not even hold down water.

I know he does want to go back to the hospital, but I begged too - turns out I had a twisted bowel from the surgery and I was throwing up bile and everything.

It finally untwisted itself fortunately so they did not have to go back in. I had radiation and chemo before the surgery and they told me my intestines were like fried bacon.

I have suffered almost 5 years to get the new bowel to function somewhat normally - the first 2 years were hell.

So, if it's bad, have him checked, could be something like mine was. It's a long road to recovery when they open your abdomen and cut your intestinal tract.

Mine was several inches above the belly button and headed south several more inches to below the hair line, so I understand completely.


christellabelle's picture
Posts: 25
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Donna, i must tell you that after my first surgery (colon Resection) i was also nauseated and throwing up too, but it was mostly from the antibiotic i was getting. even when i was allowed to eat, i was throwing up, but it went away after a week or so.i think his stomach just need to adjust like the doctor said, and i also recommended an endoscopy just to be on a safe side. it may not be now since he's going through so much now.
Good luck

Posts: 124
Joined: Jan 2008

When I had my surgery, my hospital stay was 9 days. They finally let me go home and told me I could pretty much eat what I wanted - but with the ileo I had to stick to low fiber foods for awhile. It was Thanksgiving and someone had brought over scalloped potatoes with ham in it. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat that again! Anyway - within 24 hours of being home, I started to vomit and couldn't stop. It was a dark, dark green - almost black in color. The doctors later told me I was basically vomiting poop - as it couldn't get through the other end. Yikes.

Called the doctor - she said to go to the ER - which I did. They tried several anti-nausea meds, finally found one that worked. They readmitted me and I ended up in the hospital for another week. I cried when my doctor told me I'd be in that long - I thought I'd go completely insane. They also started from ground zero on foods/water. Started out - nothing. Then ice chips or popsicles. Then clear liquids, etc. But before I got to any food at all, they had to put a PICC line in my arm and give me TPN (liquid food basically - that goes into your artery).

It was really rough. Anyway - please don't ignore or dismiss the vomiting issue. It can be very serious. If it gets better - great! But if it doesn't, be persistent with your doctors and make sure your husband is getting appropriate medical attention.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Donna
How is your husband,has the nausea gotten any better? I had a lap colon resection 3 weeks ago and was in hospital for 6 days. I had some nausea in hospital but the day before I came home it was really bad and anti nausea meds the nurses gave me didn't really help. The next day though the nausea was gone. Upon coming home I did have nausea from time to time but it usually passed quite quickly. However, these last couple of days the nausea has been worse, had to phone my doctor for anti nausea meds but not really helping. It started Monday afternoon, bad on Tuesday, easing on Wed. Thursday woke up and nausea gone but came back about 5pm, I suspect it was because I ate a little more than I normally would - I'm on a soft bland diet, unable to tolerate much and have been since the surgery. On the weekend I ate a little meat pie on Saturday and a little pizza on Sunday, unsure if this was what caused the nausea, it's frustrating, my surgeon was a bit vague, didn't really think it was normal?? I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow, I am worried about starting chemo if I feel like this already. Anyone else have the same symptoms, would love to hear from you. Donna, I hope your hubby is feeling better.
Kind regards

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Michelle,

My husband is feeling much better and is eating and keeping things down since this past Tuesday after we met with his oncologist. Basically they think he may have developed an ulcer from all the stomach acids (he previously had acid reflux or GERD and was treated for it). They gave him Prevacid, upped the Zofran dosage (he took it 3x per day and is now not taking it because he hasn't needed it) and Ativan (told him to take a night so he would sleep through the nausea - also not taking now because he feels he doesn't need it).

Seems to us it is the Prevacid that is working for him, and the nausea was from the stomach acids. The nausea meds were not working for him either - nothing worked til he started the Prevacid. He started out slowly with soup, rice, applesauce, smoothies, and now his appetite is up, he is hungry for everything, and he is gaining his energy back.

They are not starting his chemo until he is a little stronger because he lost 32lbs in just under a month and was very weak when we saw the oncologist.

I hope this helps. I'm sorry you are going through this Michelle and feeling so bad - it is awful to suffer with nausea, especially when you have so much else going on too, and have to worry about starting chemo.

Please let me know how you are doing.

All the best,

PS - he smoked some pot too and feels that helped "just in general" with the nausea and increased appetite.

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