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Low Anterior Resection Surgery

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Low Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby mclaughlin366 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:22 pm

Hi, I'm having lower anterior resection done on Feb 22 and was hoping someone could tell me what to expect after the surgery and if you have normal bowel functions. I had the TEM surgery a month ago to remove a tumor and the biopsy came back cancer, right now it's stage 1 rectal cancer but they are unsure if it has spread to the lymph nodes ,so I have to have the resection done to get to the lymph nodes. I have to get a belly marking for a lleostomy just in case, the doctor is hoping to avoid this. The CT scan was clear of the cancer spreading to my liver and lungs.
I'm 41yrs old female and very scared but trying to stay strong for my kids and family.

Thank you
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby BrownBagger » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:28 pm

Many people here have had LARs. I had an LAR and a temp ileo in June of '09 to remove a rectal tumor, and enough colon to get at the lymph nodes.

It's serious surgery and you'll be laid up for a few weeks afterward, then it's a rather long process getting back to "normal" with a reconstructed lower bowel, but it's something most of us have gone through and lived to tell the tail. Just to provide a brief thumbnail sketch, I had no complications and the surgery went very well. I was in the hospital for 4 days and 4 nights, then laid up at home for about 3 weeks. After that, I slowly got back into normal activities, etc. At five weeks, I generally felt pretty good most of the time (I returned to work 3 weeks post-op). At six weeks, I was back on my bicycle, riding 20-50 miles at a pop. At ten weeks I got my ileostomy reversed. Recovery from that operation was only a week or two, but getting acceptable bowel function back after that took a few months.

I'm sure others will share their experiences, good and bad.

Good luck!
Eric, 56
Dx: 3/09, Stage 4 RC
Recurrences: (3/lung)
Major Ops: 5
Chemo Rounds (career): 74
Bicycle miles post-dx 10,316
Motto: Live your life like it's going to be a long one, because it just might, and then you'll be glad you did.
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby mclaughlin366 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:44 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience with me.
When you had the reversal did you have any issues returning to work ? I heard you need to be very close to a bathroom. I'm worried because I travel a lot for work and I'm on planes all the time and just not sure how all this will work out.
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby BrownBagger » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:51 pm

The worst part for me post-reversal was the first couple of weeks. I just parked myself close to the bathroom in a comfortable chair and answered the frequent calls as they arose. Your guts really don't appreciate all the intrusion, and they let you know it. I got on a plane and flew to Arizona for a week about a month post-op. No problems. A week after that trip was over, I flew out to Wisconsin and drove up to Upper Michigan. Again, no problems. You can control an overstimulated bowel with things like Imodium and narcotic painkillers, which most doctors are kind enough to prescribe for that purpose. I also noticed something about my body: It tends to cooperate when I need it to. So, while I'd have good trips and meetings, days when I was at home or otherwise close to a bathroom, it could be kind of rough. Hopefully you're the same way.

The biggest issue for me was pain from overworked anal tissue. Sometimes you need to take a Percocet just to get four hours of relief. Calmoseptine cream also helps a lot. It's what the pros use.
Eric, 56
Dx: 3/09, Stage 4 RC
Recurrences: (3/lung)
Major Ops: 5
Chemo Rounds (career): 74
Bicycle miles post-dx 10,316
Motto: Live your life like it's going to be a long one, because it just might, and then you'll be glad you did.
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby mclaughlin366 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:57 pm

Thank you this is very helpful and makes me feel a lot better then I did.
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby JackAZ » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:18 pm

I had LAR on Jan. 9. The surgery was 3 hours which my surgeon said was normal. I was in the hospital four days and three nights. What worked for me was walking with my IV entourage in tow. I walked the halls 8-10 times a day about every hour for 20 minutes. I did not have an lleostomy but they did mark my belly as a precaution. When I got home I made a point of walking 2-3 miles a day. I did take 3 weeks off of work but returned full time to 11-12 hour days as a manager.

Looking back on the experience the only challenging time for me was the first day/night when I was duped up on morphine and my head was "foggy."
Dx 12/21/11
1/12 - LAR - 9/18 nodes affected
Dx T3N2bM0 - Stage 3C - Clean CAT with CEA = 1.3
2/12 - RX Radiation with Xeloda for 5 weeks
4/12 - FLOX treatment for 8 bi-weekly sessions
8/12 - Completed FLOX treatment
9/12, 4/13 - Clear PET scan - NED
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby sadysue » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:37 pm

Hi. So sorry you are experiencing this. I had my LAR back in Aug 2011. I knew ahead of time the doctor would install an ileostomy because my almost 4 inch growth was right where the colon and rectum join - it needed time to heal and reconnect. Half of my rectum and quite a few inches of colon were removed. The tumor and lymph removal surgery was not bad. I was sore but had managable pain with meds the first week or two and then I had no need to take anything. The ostomy was a PIA (no pun intended) to become accustomed to and took me about two months. I will be happy to have the ileostomy reversal surgery in the next month or two. Good luck with your health. Take one day at a time and you will get through this.
Mary Ann
Rectal dx 4/2011 (Stage 3B - T3N1M0)
5FU/Rad - daily/6 wks ending 6/2011
Surgery 8/19/2011
Finished 8 rounds Folfox 2/2012
Ileo reverse and port out 3/2012
NED
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby Stomatrooper » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:13 pm

I was stage 1 low rectal and had surgery Oct 2010

My experience

Post op complication of a wound infection - then 'my guts went to sleep' - this kept me inside longer than anticipated @ 10 days - also experienced a blockage at about 4 weeks (ouch) - I was fairly weak for 2 - 3 weeks after the op', nevertheless managed to walk up a modest mountain @ 5800' about 10 weeks after'.

I had a Temp Ileo for about 14 weeks - the bag was very manageable and did not have much impact on my day to day life - it was a bit of a nuisance with the stoma maintenance but it pays to be meticulous with this.

It was a bit rough the first 2 x weeks after the take down - first week very rough (you don't know what a sore butt is until you have had this experience) but things have slowly got better - a year out things are close to being back to normal.

We are all different so what I experienced may not be your experience - good luck with it all.


John
John, Diag. 20 5 2010 @55
Rectal, 2cm dia, 3cm from anal verge
T2N0M0
5.5 Wk Chemorad
ULAR Oct 2010
Temp Ileo, infection; blockage; incisional hernia
Takedown Jan 2011
Hernia fix - June 2011
Clean CT Sept 2011 & Nov 2012
Clean scope May 2013
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby beth568 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:47 pm

Not much I can add here other than to say - yes - it's major surgery - but it's manageable, and if you are in otherwise good health you will likely do just fine. I'm 43, had LAR surgery last May, and didn't end up with an ileostomy. I had some bowel management issues for a few weeks, and that was frustrating, but it has improved significantly with time. My advice to you would be to start out with a very bland, lowish fiber diet, and to gradually introduce foods. I wore Depends for about a month after surgery, even though I never had a major accident; it just helped me to know that I wouldn't have a disaster if I couldn't make it to a bathroom in time. If you search this forum for the threads on post-reversal life you'll see that the big issue is "clustering" of bowel movements, which for me meant heading back to the bathroom every few minutes for periods of about an hour or more in the early days. Not fun, and yes, it can cause awful butt burn. Calmoseptine ointment and soaks in a hot tub help a lot. If you have to deal with traveling again after the surgery, I'd just get an aisle seat, wear the adult diaper for peace of mind, and hope for the best.

As for other recovery issues, the sooner you can get up and moving while in the hospital, the better. You will feel achy and stiff for a couple of weeks, and may need to move slowly, but by 6 weeks out, I was feeling pretty good. I did a lot of walking up and down our street after I came home, and the more I moved, the better I felt.

People here will help with any questions you have, and no question about bowel function is off-limits (it's been a huge comfort to me to be able to find straightforward information and answers about issues that I couldn't comfortably discuss with people who have not been through this experience). Good luck!
Beth
dx @age 42, Jan '11 RC, T2or3NxM0 (stage IIIA/IIIB)
6 wks chemorad Feb - Mar '11
LAR 5/23/11, staged T2N1bM0 (2 of 15 nodes positive)
8 rounds FOLFOX, June-Oct. 2011
clear scans Nov '11, May '12, Nov '12, May '13
http://www.mysemicolon.net
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Re: Lower Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby mclaughlin366 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:33 pm

Thank you to everyone. I'm so glad I found this site it helps to know I'm not alone. I was feeling alone, I don't want to be a burden to my family, I'm trying to keep things as normal as possible for them. I'm sure after my surgery I will have many questions.

Again Thank you,
Angela
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Re: Low Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby k mohammed » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:08 pm

I had LAR July 11 2012 spent 8 days in a Toronto hospital, came home very weak and 10lbs lighter. The 1st week at home was a struggle with bowel movement every half hour, then the butt pain {anal tissue}. 3wks later im doing a lot better, doing long walks 30mins at a time 3 times a day, my Dr said i need 2 months for recovery which im going to take before going back to work. hopefully i'll have better bowel control by then. By the way i had 15ins of my intestine removed. Had a tumor approx 5ins from my anal verge, i am 57yrs young and cant wait to enjoy my life with my wife again who has been very helpful and supportive.
k mohammed
 

Re: Low Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby Daisymae » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:16 pm

I had LAR in March, ended up w/temp ostomy and had that reversed in May. The LAR wasn't so bad itself, I just got a bad ileus after the surgery, which is apparently somewhat common after abdominal surgery. This does NOT mean you will have one, just sharing my experience. We ended up in the hospital an extra week while that cleared up, so 13 days total. Life was really okay w/the ostomy, I learned to change the bags, dress in ways where it wasn't super obvious, etc. Had it about 10 weeks then it was reversed. The first few weeks were really rough, but as many promised, the bad days get fewer and fewer. I'm def glad I went through w/the reversal, although not sure I will ever have a "normal" bowel regime again, but what I have now is certainly manageable for the most part. The LAR surgery really wasn't a big deal, but I felt like I was in a fog for 2ish days after, but I kept pressing the pain med button so probably self induced. Honestly if I hadn't had the ileus, I probably wouldn't have thought it was that big of a deal. Good luck. I'm sure you will do just fine. But do make sure you are going to a dr who regularly performs such surgery, like a board certified colorectal surgeon. Not sure if anyone else mentioned that.
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Re: Low Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby k mohammed » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:39 pm

5 weeks later, doing great no pain getting back to being physical. having better bowel control, using immodium only when i go out for long periods. Had the pathologist report earlier today, i am clean and free of any traces of cancer, now i can focus on enjoying my life again. In 2 weeks i would be going back to work, goodbye 2 months off work, cant wait. good luck everyone it gets better with time.
k mohammed
 

Re: Low Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby WorriedWife » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:31 pm

Hello K,

I'm so glad your surgery went well! What type of surgery did you have? Are you all cured and you do not have to do chemo? What stage are you?
Thank you!!
Hubby
CC Stg. 2b
Dx 6/12
surgery & reconnect
opted out Folfox
Pet Scan Aug NED
abscess/fistula for over a year
ongoing Dec 2013
Praying for each and every one of you
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Re: Low Anterior Resection Surgery

Postby k mohammed » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:45 pm

Hi worried wife, in reply to your questions i had Lower Anterior Resection surgery where 15ins of my intestine was removed, had a stage 1 cancerous tumor, no chemo or radiation was needed. I am now clean and returning to work as a printing press operator after 8 weeks at home. I now have very good bowel movements, each new day brings hope of returning to normal.
k mohammed
 

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