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ileus after open abdominal surgery

manapart's picture
manapart
Posts: 67
Joined: Feb 2019

Since my oncologist nurse blocked my cell phone and email from asking any further questions about my surgery thursday morning, I guess ill pose the question here about ileus. How long does it take for your digestive system to function normally. Its kind of unpredictable in my case since I have gastroparesis, so it doesnt funcition normally anyway but i would like to think that it will not cause further nerve damage or make my gastroparesis worse. Since the colon is being removed, maybe optimistically it might help though I will be getting a reversal asap. Im told they wont let you out of the hospital until everything is functioning. 

 

Taking the anti biotics now, and started my two day prep. I got backstabbed by my employers. I appealed to keep my job until I could recover and promised to be back in June reguardless to how I was doing. He told me to my face he had sympathy and not to worry, he had my back. Next day my kronos account was deleted so I could no longer check in and out. I was planning to work today and tomorrow. 

 

This may come down to a last minute decision for me. I look at the pancreatic cancer forum and no one is there and I can pretty much assume why. I just want to get this over with. 

 

Thanks to everyone for all their help, advice and support. Ill try to update as soon as I can. Everyone take care. 

 

 

rod

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2099
Joined: Mar 2010

My bowels initially started working in about 2 days; then I had intraperitoneal chemo which caused an extended ileus.  However, I'm prone to the rarest of complications.  Walk as much as you can - that helps to get things moving.  Also, I've heard that chewing gum helps as well (tho I learned about that well after my ileus.)  I will note that at a subsequent surgery with IP chemo (again) I did not suffer an ileus.

Alice

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Mine started working within a couple of days both times. They'll take out some colon on either side of the tumour so they get clean margins but they won't remove the whole thing. They'll start you off on clear soups and then jello and easy things like that. 

I've also heard that chewing gum helps. I think it makes you salivate more and that helps with digestion. I've had blockages from things like raw veggies and my surgeon told me the most common cause of them is canned mushrooms because people tend to not chew them but kind of let them slip down their throats. Also eating oranges. I can eat them but I have to cut them in half and take the meat out with a spoon. If I eat something that could be an issue like salad I make sure I have something soild to eat as well such as meat. I think it pushed things along. And I chew everything very carefully. I can no longer eat corn on the cob, which I love, but it put me in the hospital once.

Thinking of you Rod. You're going to do this, I know you are.

Jan

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6254
Joined: Feb 2009

My doctor wouldn't give me anything until day 4 and then told me I'd be able to chew some gum and within about 7 hours it started working.  They actually gave me a full meal too that night and that was probably one of the best dinners even being hospital food.

Kim

feckcancer
Posts: 101
Joined: Jun 2018

Good luck for your surgery. i hope all goes well. prayers being prayed from this side of the world. Thinking of you. Take care

Joan M's picture
Joan M
Posts: 390
Joined: Oct 2016

I haven't had the type you are having.  Sorry to hear about your job. 

Hopefully, Something better will come along for you. Praying for everything to go well for you!

 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6254
Joined: Feb 2009

Your body function is all individual.  It took me about 4 days for it to wake up and they say walking helps it, but even with all the walking around the floor it still didn't want to wake up.  It will when it wants too.  Most hospital stays are about 4-7 days so everyone is different.  My reversal was about 8 months later after my surgery healed they then started treatment so they waited for all that to happen before reversal.  Hopefully you can contact your boss and ask them what is going on with your job.  Hope that all works out for you.  I'm thinking about you and praying for success of your surgery.

Kim

manapart's picture
manapart
Posts: 67
Joined: Feb 2019

having a lot of pain and constipation for those 4 days? When you finally did move, was it painful? Did the solid meal give any discomfort?

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6254
Joined: Feb 2009

You haven't really eaten anything so there was not much discomfort.  The only pain was from the surgery but they give you medication to help control it but it still hurts.  The solid meal was wonderful and your output will be more liquid if you have an ileostomy so it's hard to become constipated.  Much easier when it comes out automatically.  I've been praying for you and wishing you the best outcome tomorrow.

Hugs!  Kim

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4907
Joined: Jan 2013

and praying all goes well, and that the surgeon's hands will be guided. 

It took about three days for my bowels to start moving, and the first bowel movement was like tar. In fact, it looked like meconium - baby poo - It scared the living daylights out of me, but the Doctor said it was all normal. 

Considering I'd had a staple gun up my rear end, I didn't experience any pain or discomfort while pooping. I thought it was going to be awful, but it just kind of slid out because it wasn't firm. 

I find music very soothing. If I were to do it again - and God, please don't make me - I would take music into the bathroom with me, because being relaxed when you defecate is so improtant. You don't want to be tesed up and expecting the worst. So, take a book or some good music and let it all flow out. 

Also, I wouild find something to prop your feet up on. At home, I use a. 'Sqwatty Potty' (Look it up on Amazon) Yeah, people laugh at it, but it helps to have your feet elevated. 

You will do well, wether you know it or belive it, you WILL do well. 

Tru

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I had no pain or concerns about the pooping part because I already had an illeostomy. It's funny, I hated it so much when I first got it and wanted it reversed as soon as possible and now I won't give it up. After years of IBS it's a blessing! Last night I tae something that bothered my tummy. Instead of being on the toilet over and over with cramps and feeling sick, it wa just movements that I was aware of but that's it. It's been one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I also never pass gas although the bag is sometimes noisy.

Jan

 

OnTheRoad
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2018

My digestive system started working on the day after the surgery. I had a lot of pain on the first hours after the surery, but after I got some  medicine, I can tell you I had a little pain on day 2 and only some disconfort on day 3 onwards. I returned to work 2 weeks after surgery.

I returned home on the 3rd day after surgery and I consider I was pretty ok, if you take in consideration LAR is not a small surgery at all.

On dat 2 I started walking. There was no pain in it. I felt a little weak and this weakness also remained for soe days, probably due to the blood lost during surgery.

I wish you all the best. I hope your surgery goes fine and that you return to normal life as soon as possible.

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