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Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectomy

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Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectomy

Postby Lidarose » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:20 pm

Hi all! :)
I am now 2-1/2 months post-op (right hemi-colectomy with removal of 32 lymph nodes and my ileo-cecal valve), and am experiencing unpredictable, watery, horrid-smelling diarrhea periodically, with much flatulance. The diarrhea's odor is the worst I've ever smelled, (not to mention the odor of my flatulance!). I'm not sure what's causing it, as in between, I'm actually constipated.

Example: Two constipated bowel movements last Sunday in the A.M. Went out for anniversary dinner with my husband, and ate well! One hour after dinner, (we were home, thank the Lord), I spent 4 hours on the pot with diarrhea. I'd get off and then try to walk into the bedroom, and have to go right back! By the next day, all was "firm" again.

This seems to occur after a meal that's larger than normal, with more fat than normal. That's the only thing I've noticed that's possibly causative.

Problem is, there's no diaper made that would hold the amount of liquid this diarrhea produces, i.e., (4-5 bowlfulls), not to mention the embarrassment of the awful odor, and I'm now afraid to leave the house, for fear that I will be caught in public with an occurrence, and have to spend 4 hours on a public toilet somewhere, or worse be caught with no restroom in the area! There's no surcease once it starts, and there is no time to go anywhere, or get home, and worst thing of all, there's all of 10 seconds notice when it occurs!

Is anyone else who's had a right hemicolectomy experiencing this phenomenon?

Would appreciate any input!

Thanx,
Lida :roll:
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectomy

Postby garbovatwin » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:10 am

Have you tried to bulk it up a bit with fiber wafers?

There are a few. I have seen Metamucil wafers mentioned frequently.
http://www.metamucil.com/metamucil-fiber-wafers.php
They're available in most larger grocery stores.

A looser bowel movement is considered normal your time out from surgery. It could take up to 6 months to a year for your new plumbing to get in shape again.

How is your diet?

Have you altered it since surgery? Sometimes the need to experiment with what works and what don't is necessary.

Are you a meat eater?

jamiana
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectomy

Postby butterfly » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:13 am

Hi Lida - Jamiana is correct, it can take up to a year for everything to regulate. That is what my surgeon told me as well. Maybe try eating smaller meals and really focusing on what foods are causing the diarrhea, even keeping a food diary might help. You mentioned fatty foods, so maybe avoid those, and avoid large meals. Alternating between constipation and diarrhea is similar to IBS, so maybe it is a matter of regulating your fluid and fiber intake, and avoiding high fat and high sugar foods to get things under control. I have had IBS since I am a kid, and eating something as simple as pancake syrup caused so many cramps and spasms with blasts of diarrhea. I never correlated that to IBS, but years ago a doctor said sugar causes IBS, and it all made sense. Now if I pure maple syrup, I am fine. As long as I avoid certain high sugar and high fat foods, I am symptom free regarding IBS. There was a link on here for a bowel management plan from MD Anderson that maybe you could try. But I think eating a consistent diet is key with lots of fruits and vegetables (if you can tolerate them), plenty of water and non-sugary fluids, and some light exercise, should help. Because you lost 1/2 your large intestine, the place where water is absorbed back into your body, you are likely going to be more inclined to have watery stools. Certain foods are going to cause bowel motility to speed up, hence pushing through all the watery contents since the water didn't have time to be absorbed back into the body. So it seems to me there is something causing your bowel to be aggravated and speed up. Fat, sugar and spicy foods can be the culprit, and keeping track of your food intake should give you some insight. Have you talked to your doctor about it? I wish you good luck. You shouldn't have to live in fear of needing the run to the toilet. Are you receiving cancer treatment or taking any medications or supplements? Maybe that is part of the issue? (I am not sure what your diagnosis is.) Wishing you well!
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectomy

Postby Lidarose » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:00 pm

Thanx, Butterfly and Jamiana! :)

I was very lucky and had no metastasis, i.e., the 32 lymph nodes they removed were all negative, no liver or muscle involvement, so will not need Chemo, (thank you Lord), and yes, I am a meat eater, but don't eat nearly as much beef as I used to, have subsituted chicken, lamb and turkey instead. Yes, I bought the Cinnamon Metamucil wafers and like them alot. My gastroenterologist wants me to eat two of them daily, if they don't bother my colon too much. So far, I've only been able to eat one a day.

I just read an interesting article on the web regarding a process called "steatorrhea" which occurs after bowel resection. Here is a link. http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/166/10/1297

I believe the gist of it is, that after this type of surgery, the colon can no longer process fat, and this is what causes the horridly smelly, liquidy diarrhea and flatulance. I found it very interesting, although the woman involved did not have the exact type of surgery we've had, her diarrhea problem was the same.

I discussed it with my gastroenterologist yesterday and he said yes indeed, this could be the cause, and to cut down on fatty foods. Now that I think of it, our anniversary dinner was simply loaded with buttery vegetables and high fat food, I had prime rib and a mini-crabcake first, plus a salad with blue-cheese dressing, and white chocolate strawberry shortcake for dessert! So - I'm going to cut down on fats, and see if I have any recurrences of the problem. I hope it's this easy a solution! With the loss of the ileocecal valve, I can see where the speeding up of motility and improper fat absorption could be the culprit. Let me know what you guys think!

Thanx again,
Lida :D
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby too young for this » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:31 am

I am having this surgery in a week and have been afraid of the consequences. You have explained why I have had this problem after a gastric bypass and why it will get worse after this surgery. I can see myself trying a meal like the one described ...prewarned is better served. I am going through all this to increase both my length of time AND my enjoyment of time with my grandchildren. Thank you for your posts! :lol:
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby justin case » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:48 pm

I had this scenario, just Monday evening. I was sliding into home plate every 10 to 15 minutes, for 8 hours. I am nearing the end of my chemo, and I think mine is do to toxicity from the chemo. I also wonder if was something I ate for lunch. I had a bowl of chicken and shrimp fettuchini ( leftover). The hard stools, I'm kind of used to, as I had my reversal almost 4 months ago. Things seem to have been straightening out, so this episode really through me for a loop. I hope things straighten out for you, and this can be handled by dietary changes. I have been using imodium, even for just frequency problems, and it seems to help. Please check with your doctor, before listening to this internet hack though :roll:
Regards,
Michael
7/11 diagnosed Stage 2 colon and rectal cancer
chemo/rad
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Reversal & port removal
21 round of chemo Folfox 9tx, 5fu 12 tx
Doing fine
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby lepperl » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:46 pm

Hi,

I have not had any surgery related to my diagnosis yet so I am not familiar with the normal side effects. But I do know that you can easily get C-diff in a hospital. Has your Dr. checked for this.
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby elise » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:39 am

I had surgery in March (so 4 months ago) and I do notice that after I eat, I usually have a fairly urgent need to get to the bathroom.

The key for me now is small portions, lots of fruits and veggies, lean meat and not too many artificial treats (gummy bears etc.)

Keep a food journal and I think you'll find the culprit.

Elise
Feb 2012 Stage 2a (T3 N0 M0) CC @ age 30
Mar 13/12 Right hemicolectomy and 18 lymph nodes
May 23-Nov 6/12 Chemo (8 rounds Xeloda)
Feb 28/13 NED, Feb 20/14 NED
May 13/14 Dx Stage 4 with 1 liver met @ 32
Jun 12/14 Liver resection
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby Angiemarie2000 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:08 pm

The first thing i do when we go somewhere is find the bathroom. Since my surgery 7 weeks ago, I have had the same experience. I am also on chemo treatments that cause some of it too. I've tried Imodium. But the gas build up is almost unbearable, that I rather have the diarrhea. Good luck to you
5/12- @ 37 DX IV KRASmt
5/12- R. Hemi
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6/12- xeliri-7rds
CEA-DX @ 80 then 11,10,7,14,25,210,340,540,900
12/12-R. Ovary removed
01/13- folfox 4 rounds
03/13- folfox failed, in liver failure, starting regorafebin.
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby esk2poo » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:13 pm

Linda,
I had my valve removed also and it took a long time for me to get used to the new normal. I am also lactose intolerant which was complicated further.

The question about the C-Diff was a good one though. It is one nasty infection easily picked up from the hospital. It leaves you with very foul smelling BM's. Getting a stool sample. The doc is not a bad idea. I actually had it per surgery which was treated with anti biotics but unfortunately had 3 other reoccurrences and was on flagyl and vancomycin for 6 months. I am finally back to normal 10 months after surgery with only 2-3 BM's a day but I still get some strong urges sometimes where I barely make it to the bathroom.
Good luck,
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby barry42001 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:40 pm

Hello
On July 20th in 2012 I had a right side hemicolonectmy with removal of 2 foot of my colon and ilyoceco valve yes I am certain I have misspelled that but with that said at as of today I am experiencing many of the same issues that I did immediately after surgery namely watery or loose stool extreme flatulence and streatarria again I know I probably misspelled this is well but anybody coming this blog will know what I'm talking about I have been told by my surgeon to eat in normal meal that very little is off of the menu I find myself going to the restroom 8 to 10 times daily. Now with all that said I am an avid coffee drinker and I understand coffee will not help diarrhea but I've never had issues drinking coffee l before and I was told I was under no dietary restrictions I am still actually losing or maintaining weight no matter how much I eat I do have periods of nausea although they're not too bad I still drink protein drinks like boost or equate. When I go to the restaurant with my girlfriend I eat anything I want or need I can't seem to gain weight I have started weight lifting a little bit but as expected so soon after surgery my stamina and overall strength is very poor it's returning but slowly are there any suggestions on what I have said so far any assistance you can give me at this point would be appreciated since my surgery is done with me thank you so very much in advance. My surgery was necessary because my appendix ruptured I had peritonitis and septicemia and abscesses had formed along a 2 foot section of my colon. Requiring an emergency surgery.
Barry
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby elise » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:48 am

I had something very similar and found that with 2 slices of cracked wheat bread everyday I became too firm! So I'd say, for me, 1 piece per day is the key!

I couldn't do large meals before or fatty foods but now I can do some fatty foods ( but not large meals).

Play with your diet and you'll find a combo that works.
Feb 2012 Stage 2a (T3 N0 M0) CC @ age 30
Mar 13/12 Right hemicolectomy and 18 lymph nodes
May 23-Nov 6/12 Chemo (8 rounds Xeloda)
Feb 28/13 NED, Feb 20/14 NED
May 13/14 Dx Stage 4 with 1 liver met @ 32
Jun 12/14 Liver resection
Aug 18/14 Chemo FOLFOX
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby Angiemarie2000 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:51 am

Elise you are so right, I've found that the brat diet on runny days works well and high fruit and veg on the constipation days works for me. I prefer to manage with diet, all the crap inducing/ reducing drugs make my gas to bad to tolerate.


Angie
5/12- @ 37 DX IV KRASmt
5/12- R. Hemi
6/12- Folfox/avastin-(Bad Reaction)
6/12- xeliri-7rds
CEA-DX @ 80 then 11,10,7,14,25,210,340,540,900
12/12-R. Ovary removed
01/13- folfox 4 rounds
03/13- folfox failed, in liver failure, starting regorafebin.
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby barry cressman » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:37 pm

Actually I try going high fiber for a while snacking on things like whole wheat crackers nothing has changed my surgeon has advised me that I can expect modest improvement on what I have frankly that is not terribly encouraging.
Barry
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Re: Unpredictable, Watery, Diarrhea After Right Hemicolectom

Postby bspavithra » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:34 pm

Hi all,

I know all the posts are as old as 2009 and i am all the more curious to know how are you all feeling today. has life come back to normal? the reason i joined this forum is to understand if my mom can have a normal life up after RT exploratory laparopomy with right extended hemicolectomy. its been 8 months since she had the open surgery and she still continues to have diarrhea almost everyday. she is so scared to come out of her house and always hoping she will get back to normalcy. she eats at small intervals with no spicy food or sugar based, yet she ends up going to the bathroom 5-6 times average. she is confused about what she should eat!

would really appreciate to know if all who posted are doing well?

Thanks

From an affectionate daughter
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