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Surgery recovery time/surgery the best option?

Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2012

I am one of the fortunate people, so far the biopsies have only come back stating precancerous. At this point I understand I don't have the worries that I am sorry most of you have. I have been on pins and needles twice, waiting for results.

History: I had a large polyp, a few smaller ones removed and gave me my first tattoos during a colonoscopy last spring. Doctor mentioned that if the polyp, was something (cancer?), I would be in for surgery. Biopsy indicated precancerous. Was scheduled for a followup in three months, which took six months to find an appointment. Second colonoscopy doctor said area where he removed previous looked healthy, and grabbed a sample for biopsy, almost as an afterthought, I think. Future colonoscopies every three years. Doctor called me today, said biopsy showed precancerous stuff. Wanted to do a sigmoidoscopy and burn the area where the polyps were removed.

Today I had the sigmoidoscopy and he couldn't remove the entire polyp. He tried a couple of different snares (and injecting air or water to lift the polyp), then tried cauterizing the polyp The polyp was non-lifting. Another note on the pictures said residual polyp 35mm. I think that meant 35mm size. He talked about a group in Seattle (I live on the other side of the state) that might be able to remove the polyp with different technique or procedure and said the other option was surgery. I thought about that a bit (this was during the sigmoidoscopy) and said I would rather try the different procedure or technique before I had surgery. A while later he said that surgery was the definitive treatment, other procedures might (or was that would?) result in ongoing or further polyp removal/colonoscopies or something like that.

Surgery doesn't seem like a fun choice to me. I had my gall bladder removed via laproscopic surgery, and it took five to six days before I felt reasonable. I might not have been the best paitent, perhaps not eating as well as I should have during the week following, had a bit more pain that I would have liked, just laid around home and took pain killers. I suspect that removing a portion of the colon will lengthen the recovery time and increase the "fun" during recovery. Maybe surgery is the best choice in order to prevent future problems and end the ongoing string of colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy.

Colonoscopy doctor said a general surgeon would perform the surgery, referred me to the same one who removed my gall bladder. Is a general surgeon the best choice?

I would love to hear from anyone who had a portion of there colon removed, would you tell me about your recovery?

Anyone have any thoughts on surgery versus some procedure similar to polyp snare that my doctor mentioned?

Thanks again, blessings and best wishes to all of you battling nasties in your colon,


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3270
Joined: Jan 2010

Glad to hear that polyp is pre-cancerous.

I think I would get a second opinion from a surgeon who specalizes in colon issues, rather than having a general surgeon do anything.

Depending on location a specialist may have another option for you.

Also I would consider another doctor for future follow-ups, yes including colonoscopies. You don't want to have future problems get to the cancer stage.

Even if you have to travel a ways to a larger city to get help with this, it would be worth it to know you are getting best options and care.

Best wishes for your future health.

Marie who loves kitties

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Avoid the general surgeon. Find the best specialist you can. Congratulations on catching it early.

Good luck,


herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Get the SURGERY in my humble opinion, pre-cancerous left alone turns into cancer, which in turn leads to either surgery if early enough or chemo then surgery if you're lucky. As a Stage IV colon cancer person, trust me, you don't want let it get far if you can get rid of it now. Surgery might not be what you want, but it can be what saves you from a world of hurt in the future including death from it if it turns into cancer and spreads.
And as for colonoscopies every 3 years, the next year would be when I got mine checked next, just to see how fast growing these polyps are, then, I might go every three years if it were me.
As every one said get a SURGEON Colon cancer SPECIALIST, it's the only way to go, not a general surgeon. I had one surgeon specialist for my colon, one surgeon specialist for my liver and one surgeon specialist for my ureter, each with their teams during a one day surgery
And the colon surgery is a lot easier then the liver surgery from what I understand and recovery is quicker, especially since they are just removing a portion with precancerous tumor.
Wishing you all the best,
Winter Marie

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

A surgical procedure or a surgery to remove what remains is the most prudent decision.

Chances are you won't have to do any follow-up treatments and would just have some type of procedure, the recovery...and then that just might be it...except for follow-ups.

There's no ribbons or awards for going through what we have gone through here...you're in a good position...one many here would easily swap for...you've got things before they can even turn.

Truth is...it doesn't get much better than that.

Good luck as you move forward.

BTW, my resection was done by a vascular surgeon...he was good...and knew what to do...and told me he could do it...I was new and didn't know what to do then, so I trusted.

He spared me a colostomy, but I paid a high price in recovery for several years...who knows, a colorectal surgeon might have just removed everything. 9 out of 10 might have...

Talk to a couple of doctors and get a feel...you'll know what you feel comfortable with from there.

One last thing...the scope doctor referred you to the general surgeon...

You can bet that these two folks are tied together at the hip...it's easy...scope doc finds the area in question...refers you to the cutter...and you know the rest...

It's a one-stop shop...a real turn-key solution...

This may be good...it's exactly what happened to me...and that's why I had to tell you...these guys were in the exact same building...just across the hall...you never even had to leave the farm:)

But, it worked out for me...

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I think you need to suck it up and have the surgery. You have an excellent chance of not ending up like us.you will have to have the surgery anyway if you do develop cancer because you chose not to listen to the doctor over a little pain. General surgeon is fine for a colon resection.

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

Colon Surgery is about 4-5 days in the hospital. Taking it slow and easy for an additional 2-4 weeks. Then a slow but steady increase in activity. It takes me about 3-4 months to get back to full speed. I am exceptionally active person and not a desk bound guy.

Surgery is probably the most assure option. Else did something get left behind in deeper tissue.

Best Always, mike

Posts: 193
Joined: Nov 2012

I agree with thxmiker. My surgery was performed by a general surgeon. I was in the hospital 5 days. It took me a couple of weeks at home to get up and around comfortably and another month to not feel the incision (although it wasn't very painful by this time). They had a problem with me during surgery so I had a big cut (about 5 inches). This is NOT the norm. Quite a few colon resections can be done via laparoscopy which was what mine was supposed to be. My recovery would have been quicker if they would have done the laparoscopy. I also had a problem with the morphine while in the hospital. They wanted me to get up and start walking a couple of days after surgery and the medication just made me "zombie-like". I've been in the hospital a few times since then and refused the morphine.

Rob65's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Depending on where the Polyp was located it might be wise to find out from a colorectal surgeon if an iliostomy or colostomy will be required if you decide to have surgery? This may factor into your decision making process. In my opinon, getting rid of the cancer (if possible)is the main objective and the rest is secondary.


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