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Colon Surgery and adhesions

ccfree4evr's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2011

It has been three months since my surgery for colon cancer (resection). I had begun to actively walk between 2 to 4 miles a day with 1 mile being the most I could walk so the walking was accumulative miles. I felt great but then suddenly developed severe abominal pain which stopped me from being able to continue my regimen of walking. It has been 3 weeks now and although the pain has pretty much subsided, I am still unable to pick up where I left off and walk even 1/2 mile without beginning to feel the twinge of pain. A nurse told me this pain could be adhesions or scar tissue. However, my doctor wants me to get a CT scan and I am a bit fearful as I have already had 3 this year and wonder if maybe my colon needs a bit more time to heal or if they are adhesions / scar tissue I can just cope with the pain or take it slowly back into walking. Any comments, suggestions are most welcome.

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

about the amount of cumulative radiation from the CT scans is justifiable, it is probably in your best interest to get another, as an active tumor or an adhesion will do more harm than the radiation (which is just the potential for future harm).

The earlier a tumor is caught the more effective the treatment.

Please let us know what you eventually decide.


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

I had a bowel obstruction about 3 months after my first surgery and it hurt real bad. Things stopped and I wound up in the ER at a different hospital than where I had my initial surgery and after waiting a few days for it to clear up or a room to open at Sloan, they wound up removing the scar tissue and it's been fine since Dec 04.

Personally, I would go for the scan. I would never want to go through another obstruction again.
I hope this helps somewhat...

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

Pain is your body's way of telling you to take it easy.

For the first six months after surgery, the patient is
usually told to exercise, but to go easy with it. No
lifting over 20 lbs for the first 3 to 6 months, and not
over 40 lbs for the first year. Doing "sit-ups", or any
strenuous exercise should be avoided, since the
abdominal muscles take time to heal, and hernias
can occur easily.

Adhesions are your body's way of healing. The
downside, is that the intestines can adhere to each
other, other organs, or simply form a band around
the intestine itself. In all cases, an obstruction can
occur at the site of an adhesion. You really can not
do much to avoid that from happening, so why worry
about what you have no control over?

An adhesion can form without pain, or with sharp
stabbing or pulling pain. But when it does cause pain,
the pain will be there regardless of what you are doing,
or if you are doing nothing at all.

If you're getting pain after walking a mile, then you're
walking too much. It could be from over-taxing your
body when it's trying to heal. Good grief woman, give
your bod a break! You've had major surgery and your
muscles have been cut through, they need time to mend
together; you've got loose ends that can't do what they
once did.. at least for now..

Get a scan. The radiation is minimal (they say), but you
are right to be cautious. If a stupid cell phone can be
suspected of causing harm from it's radiated signal, that
CT scanner should cause some concern as well!

A scan will set your mind at ease. It might not indicate
adhesions, but if the surgeon left a pair of pliers in there,
you'll be able to see it and notify you attorney.
(just kiddin')

It does sound like you're simply doing too much too soon,
and a scan will provide proof that it's nothing more than
that, if that is the case.

You'll be fine. If you just can't seem to sit still, I'll drive
my van over and you can vacuum it for me, OK?

Stay well,


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