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How long does it take for a colon to heal?

CessnaFlyer's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Aug 2009

I was told it takes from three to six months for the colon to heal after a colon resection and I’m now at six months, but the area where part of the colon was removed still has discomfort when I bend or get out of bed too quickly. Is this normal, or is the colon still healing? Also, what are the chances of leakage where they reconnect the colon after six months?

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

What you're experiencing, is more than likely what is known as
an adhesion.

Simply: When the body is opened and your insides jostled about,
one part of an organ can stick to something that it wasn't adhered
to before. The amount of fat-like stuff that's normally filling in and
around all your organs to provide a cushion between everything,
has been displaced, and things now rub together and stick together.

Any attempt to surgically "fix" an adhesion, usually results in more
adhesions, and often more serious adhesions.

There are some cases where the adhesion can cause an organ
to be twisted and possibly strangulated, causing serious problems.
Although it may always be"possible", it is fairly rare, so don't
worry yourself sick over it. If you have constant unbearable pain,
vomiting, running a fever, etc.... go to the ER, and/or call your surgeon.

Otherwise...... Welcome to the "club".

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

Well put John. He summed it up very well

PamPam2's picture
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

There is also a build up of internal scar tissue where you get surgery. These adhesions or scar tissue tear very easily,and hurts like hell when it does, it gets tight and knots up. I finally went to physical therapy, and learned how to properly do scar massage, to keep these areas stretched out, and the proper exercises to do after abdominal surgery. This is something you don't normally hear about from the surgeons and doctors, but the physical therapists can help a lot. You can get a referral from your doctor for some physical therapy, it helped me a lot.

lesvanb's picture
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

Like Pam, I've also had PT and lots of acupuncture for the scars. Also exercise like walking is excellent for toning the colon. One year after surgery I started weightlifting which has also helped with bowel movement, and consistency though not all the time with frequency (diet has a big effect-no longer is ice cream a possibility but I love yogurt:-).

Good luck, Leslie

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I agree with what everyone is saying.

Don't get caught up on timetables, because the body does not know any - it only knows that the plumbing has been messed up and the bowel is trying to re-learn what it will be going forward.

Scar tissue and adhesions are huge - I had many painful and brutal episodes and still get a good one now and then - and I'm over 5 years from the surgery.

My situation was somewhat different as I had twenty five doses of radiation that wrecked my insides like you would not believe - it took me well over 3 years to even begin getting right.

So with just a resection for you, I'd give it a little more time and realize that things are different than before.


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