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Need advise on ilieus PLEASE

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

My husband had surgery 8 days ago and had an iliostomy. He is still in significant pain and his bowels are not yet functioning. He is passing liquids but not gas. He has a NG tube and is miserable. Is this somewhat normal?

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2095
Joined: Mar 2010

I had ilieus for 3 miserable weeks. That NG tube is nasty. Sometimes it just takes a while for the bowels to wake up. Encourage him to keep walking as much as possible - that can help a lot.

Crow71's picture
Crow71
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Sounds fairly normal to me. 8 days might be a bit longer than normal, but everyone's different. What is he eating to go along with the NG tube?

I'm more concerned about the pain. Managing the pain is a critical part of the healing process. What is the pain management plan right now?

Your description really brings back some bad memories. Hang in there. He'll get better.

Roger

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Except maybe a respirator tube along with it.... (don't ask)

If he's got an NG tube, he can't eat or drink. So all he's getting is
nutrition and hydration via an IV; there isn't too much to poop out!

Ileus is when the ileum is not working at all. If he's passing liquid,
then maybe that's all he has to pass. What's the physician say?
Did the doc call it ileus, or is that just a term you're calling it?
Ileus is a pretty serious condition, and it usually isn't treated
too lightly by most docs.

I also hated the NG tube (NG stands for: No Good; I am
surprised they didn't call it the: "NFG Tube"...)

He'll do just fine. Tell him to keep pestering the doc to get that
damned NG tube out of him. Sometimes you just have to
make a lot of noise to get the attention you need.

Best wishes!

John

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

Yes they are calling it an ileus. They clamped the NG tube yesterday morning then removed the tube this morning. Now after only about 1/4 c of broth all day the burping and the nausea has returned. He refuses to have another NG tube they put the first one in when he was awake.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

hi keystone,

Sorry your husband is having a rough time, its not a pleasant experience.

Please tell him he will get through it and just to be patient. That was the message from my team of surgeons in my post op recovery.

Of course rely on your doctors advice firstly.

My experience was similar. 14 days without food. NG tube, Vomits. I had an ultra low anterior resection.

After about 6 days my gut appeared to be coming back to life.
the NG was removed. I had some soups and liquids and a meal.

I started to feel very ill.

Then I started to vomit violently a couple of times. Large massive green bile vomits that
were horendous and impressive in the volume our stomachs can swell too.

The vomit all over me, the bed, my wife. it was a disaster.

It was the worst I felt until I vomited then relief was immediate. My understanding is that its natures signal to say the gut ain't ready to work just yet.

They re-inserted the another NG tube while awake now that was not fun.

So after another week with no food and just before TPN, they pulled the NG tube and we tried again. I think I willed my stomach to eat because I did not want the complications being feed throught the viens if I could avoid it. And I just did.

My 14 days with no food, just basic drips was a bit extreme. some people do go longer. I guess it reflects how traumatic the surgery was , but thats just a guess.

I found some medicated louzengers helped considerably with the NG tube discomfort.

I also enjoyed sucking on flavoured ice cubes made out of vitamins supplements that my wife brought in for me.

I also sucked frozen probiotics. Hoping it would kick start my gut.

And as mentioned earlier walking if he can. I did so many laps of the hallway I wore out the carpet. It did help get rid of flemm and I think get the stomach going.

If the NG comes out before his gut is ready, he will vomit, and then they will just put it back in. I would recommend avoiding this if possible.

It was a memorable part of the bowel cancer journey.

So I think 8 days is getting a little longer than average.

Patience was something I learned during that time in hospital. Like John said make sure his surgeons are really looking keeping a close eye on him.

On the positive side, he has passed through the timeframe when some surgical complications would have appeared, like internal bleeding etc etc etc. its small comfort but at least that might cheer him up a little.

The first proper meal after two weeks was delightful. I hope your husband has his soon.

cheers,

Pete

PS Feel free to PM if you have any other questions

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

Your situation and my husbands sounds very similar. They removed the tube this morning and he has only had about 1/4 c broth and he is getting sick again this evening???

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

Your situation and my husbands sounds very similar. They removed the tube this morning and he has only had about 1/4 c broth and he is getting sick again this evening???

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Keystone.
My husband also had ilieus for over a week. It was extremely painful. They told him walking would help so he got up and walked. A few steps at first, then to the nurses station, then around the station, then around the floor, then 2 laps....... They say it gets things moving.

Thinking of both of you.

Aloha,
Kathleen

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

It sounds like we are in the same situation. I'm not sure how to PM you but would love to know how your husband is now. I read your profile and my husband is stage III also with 1 node involved. I'll tell you the truth I get nervous each time I get on here but I realize that this is an excellent source of support and information. I added you to my favorites and would love to ask you a few more questions by PM ing.Please tell me how to do this, if you don't mind. We are relying on God also!!

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

It sounds like we are in the same situation. I'm not sure how to PM you but would love to know how your husband is now. I read your profile and my husband is stage III also with 1 node involved. I'll tell you the truth I get nervous each time I get on here but I realize that this is an excellent source of support and information. I added you to my favorites and would love to ask you a few more questions by PM ing.Please tell me how to do this, if you don't mind. We are relying on God also!!

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

I had the NG tube for 8 days. I am sure I would have had it longer if my wife did not beg the Doc to remove and try liquid diet. I did Liquid diet for 2 days and got bumped to soft foods and then got released.

Advocate for your husband. Ask is the NG Tube is really necessary? etc... Home is more relaxing then the best hospital. Do I need to be in the hospital? Can I come back for daily check ups and rest at home? What are my dietary restrictions?

Best Always, mike

aira
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi there - so pleased i came across these threads - made me realise we're not alone.

My partner had a bowel resection 10 days ago and he experienced vomiting about 24 hours later which has been on and off ever since - large amounts of bile and fluid. They put an NG tube down on day 2 post-op and left it for 4 very miserable days - he became very low - took it out when the vomiting eased briefly for 48hours. He then tried jelly, a biscuit and soup and has vomited bile again three more times over the last 3 days - he's resisted the NG tube again as simply loathed it the first time but they insisted on refitting it today.
He has had intermittent bowel movements (not good ones but solid) which the consultants were pleased about and then diarrhoea started in the last couple of days - so some food and liquid is passing through his gut but it's simply not functioning right. We're thoroughly confused and very worried now. The Doctor today said he probably had developed Ileus...they did an X-ray today too. Hoping for consultants to come tomorrow and take a look now but waiting like this and seeing him suffer so badly is heartbreaking!

But we're not sure what the next steps are now - seems to be wait and hope it gets back to normal function? He hasn't really eaten for 3 weeks now and is wasting away so we are very worried. He was exhausted and completely drained up until today when he actually felt more awake but now he's low again because of the NG tube. As a slim 6ft5 man he really is skin and bones now. The NG tube means he can't even attempt to eat.

Any advise would be very welcomed!
i send best wishes to you - hopefully your husband is feeling better now.
Thanks

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2095
Joined: Mar 2010

I had mine for about 3 weeks, starting a few days after surgery. They pulled it early when I protested too much, but it had to go back in - yuck. I had ileus for 3 weeks. Make sure he's getting appropriate nutrition. I didn't get put on tpn until about 2 weeks in, because my surgeon felt confident that the NG tube would be able to be removed tomorrow. However, tomorrow took a long time in coming.

Depression, feeling miserable about the state of affairs is normal with all of this. We are put through torture. Yet I can say at 4 years out, everything works just fine, and I'm doing great.

Wishing you and your partner well. It will get better, tho the battle seems endless.

From a stage 4 on the other side now,
Alice

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

This is an older thread but the good part of responding to an older thread is that you get to hear the outcome. My husband was miserable and you are right thats so hard to see but after about 10 days Phils resolved and he started recovering quite well. He had about a month recovery at home and was very weak but I contribute that to the lack of nutrition for 2 weeks. I hope this resolves soon for your loved one and hang in there cause it seems as if its never ending but it will. Stephanie

Daffodil324's picture
Daffodil324
Posts: 59
Joined: Mar 2010

I had this happen too after my colon resection in August 2009, and although it was unexpected and scary at the time, I came through it fine. I'd had my surgery, everything seemed to be going well, and I went home. After I was home for a few days the ileus developed and after calling the doctor, I went to the emergency room and was re-admitted. I was vomiting at that point which did relieve some of the pressure. They put in the NG tube--the process wasn't pleasant at all, but it did go in quickly and as soon as it was in it drained a lot more out of my stomach and I was more comfortable (except for the aggravation of the NG tube in my nose and throat). They put in an IV and kept me on IV fluids and ice chips for a couple of days. I did a lot of walking too and that did help. I had pain for awhile from some gas that finally moved on--I remember a very nice nurse stayed with me that night and talked with me a lot until I felt better. I was in the hospital for almost a week and went home when I'd had the NG tube out for a couple of days, I was eating again, and my bowels were working. The nurses told me that an ileus was a very common complication with surgery like mine.

I hope your husband is feeling better soon and back home again. It sounds like a lot of us here have been through this after surgery.

aira
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks everyone - it's such a relief to know we're not alone in this experience, altoughso very sorry to hear so many people have to suffer in this way.

He is still poorly - no food yet but he's been moved to a gastro ward with similar conditions (and other NG tubes!) so a little more reassured and the doctors do not seem unduly concerned (although generally their visits seem to cause him more confusion and alarm than reassurance!) The lethargy and exhaustion which followed surgery and lasted over a week seems to be wearing off and he amazingly has a little tiny bit more energy today which I hope is a good sign for things to come. Very glad to hear the long-term outlook is a good one tho, fingers crossed this doesn't continue much longer. Feel so helpless! I really appreciate your comments and advice.

Best wishes to you all for a healthy future :)

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