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Surgical Question

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2010

My mom had her surgery on Nov 4th 2008 to remove a tumor from her sigmoid colon. She was admitted to hospital the previous evening with abdominal pain and vomiting. This was due to a blockage. During surgery they decided to remove her entire large intestine leaving a small portion next to her rectum so they could join her small intestine to it. After about 6 days my mom felt something pop and she developed a burning sensation. They discovered a leak in the join and she had to endure another surgery. Lets say it wasn't a leak but a complete mess. The surgeon told us that her peritoneal cavity had filled up with fecal matter and they spent 6 hours cleaning that up and she ended up in intensive care for 5 days. So she ended up with an illeostomy. My question is

1) Why did the second surgery even need to occur. Why wasn't an illeo performed in the first place. When she went back to the surgeon 6 months after she asked about a reversal and he told her that it wouldn't be wise due to the fact she would be tied to a toilet having bowel movements all the time. Why would he say that after doing the first surgery? Seems he is contradicting himself.

2) Why isn't the surgical report available to us? We went to the medical reports department and wanted a copy of her second surgical report and they said it isn't on file for some reason. They are investigating as we speak. Makes you wonder sometimes. I feel having your peritoneal cavity full of fecal matter had to cause some sort of long term effects?

HollyID's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

I am so sorry about what's happened to your mom. It has to be hell for both of you.

What your mom had was an anastomitic leak. It happens. In fact, it's one of the risks of this kind of surgery. I'm not sure how often it happens, but in my nursing career, I've seen it several times. When the peritoneal cavity connects with stool, there is a chance of peritonitis. I've also seen this happen many times. It can be life threatening but there are no long term effects to my knowledge. I imagine it would take a while to clean it up. They irrigate the abdominal cavity with a copious amount of sterile saline and make sure that it's totally void of stool.

As for your #1 question, your mom needed the second surgery because of the leak. It was a life threatening condition that needed taken care of. I think the surgeon was hoping he would try to give her a sense of "normalcy". That is my only guess. I'm not sure why he didn't council her on even a chance of having an ileo. They can make a pouch that stores stool and maybe that's what he was thinking. What you could do is ask him yourself. Tell him your concerns, because otherwise, you'll never know.

#2, The surgical report should be there. I'd go back and ask for it again. You actually own your medical records, and if it's not there, I'd go to the CEO of your facility and again, voice my concerns because your record is not there. Make sure you give them the correct date of her surgery and make sure that they have her correct birthdate on them. They should definitely have it there somewhere.

You have all my good vibes I can send your way. I really hope this works out for your mom and you.

Crow71's picture
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

No should have to endure this kind of extra pain. I'm really sorry to hear about it.
Thanks for the info Holly. I didn't have an answer for #1. I only want to reiterate what Holly said about #2. The report should be available to you in a snap.

If I ever make it to surgery, it may take my surgeon less time to get rid of my peritoneal tumors than it took your mom's surgeon to get rid of her peritoneal crap. Man this stuff gets weird sometimes. Good luck. Take care.

Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

You really should press hard to get that report. I question if one was even done. That report can answer alot of questions. Once you get that report I would look at hit hard. Try to detect any timeline errors or things that dont look right.

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