C-Section after stomach surgery

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C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:29 pm

Hi all...specifically the mother's of the group who have had babies after a colon resection. I am pregnant (YEAH!!!) and heard a rumor that some hospitals will only do a C-section if you've have previous stomach surgery, has anyone heard/experienced this before? I had the full bowel resection surgery (7 /12 years ago...instead of laproscopic). I don't know why I am even stressing about it, I'm only 14 weeks and I can ask the doctor in a week and a half when I go in to see him, but thought I'd throw the question to the group! Thanks for your help!

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Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby willtowin » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:35 pm

Congratulations.......yea....I bet you are over the moon. I don't know about stomach surgery demanding a c-section. I had three c-sections and after the first, they always wanted to do another one because of the potential for the uterus to rupture. I would not think that your colon surgery would cause anything to rupture, maybe a slight risk for a hernia, but I don't know for sure. I have heard some hospitals will not let a woman have a natural birth w/ a prior c-section.

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Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby justsing » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:53 pm

It really depends on your OB. Most hospitals will defer to whatever the doc wants to do. I would think the issue would be potential adhesions, hernias, etc causing the neighborhood to be a little more complicated, rather than any stress specifically on your uterus.

Many docs will consider allowing a trial of labor and see how things are progressing. They also may recommend an induction situation where you labor entirely in the hospital under close observation.

Things will clarify themselves over the course of the pregnancy. There are lots of things they won't know this early such as the position of the placenta, size and position of the baby. LOTS of info still to gather.

AND, I very clearly remember my eldest's birth. There was a woman laboring in the next room who was a VBAC (vaginal birth after ceasarian) who was BEGGING them to "JUST SECTION ME!!!!! %$#@ I want this baby OUT!!!"

So a planned c-section might be looking really good long about 37 weeks!

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Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Molly » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:54 pm

Hi Maggie!

First of all, congratulations! You're in for a WONDERFUL ride!!! You must be due in early January...no?

Second...not true that you have to have a c-section, and if that's the only option your hospital is offering, possibly consider another hospital/OB (if you are concerned). (Mine isn't even that large of a hospital and it was never a question.)

I am nearly 10 years out from a colon resection (dx with stage II colon cancer at 23 years old back in February of 1999...and they removed 25 inches of my large intestine) and had my first baby Christmas Eve in 2006. I was really nervous (obviously, but on top of the fact that it was my first baby, I was completely freaked out about adhesions and Lord only knows what else is going on in there now!) and spoke with my OB at length about it. She didn't seem too worried and knew of a few IBD patients who had had resections and then babies, but we decided to bring my oncologist into the loop anyway. (He was a happy camper because it gave him an excuse to have me come into his office once a month to check my surgical scar!)

My biggest concern was that if there were complications during my labor/delivery, I would need a c-section and then we might run into scar tissue or something like that. Unfortunately though, no one seemed to have any solid answers for me, since no one seems to know many women who've had babies after colon cancer. I spoke with a friend of mine who is a surgical oncologist, and he said that the only time he's seen a problem during a c-section is if there was mesh used when a patient was closed up after their original resection. Do you know if you had mesh? If you aren't sure, you can get copies of your surgical reports and read through them, or ask your doc to do it for you. It turned out that I didn't have any, but I had had adhesions after my first surgery, so I was still worried.

Anywho...we (my OB, my onco and I) jointly decided that I should consult a surgeon, which I did. The plan with him was to shoot for a regular delivery and the surgeon (actually, it was a surgical group, which made it a bit easier) was put on call when I went into labor, in case there were any complications and I needed a c-section.

Fast forward a few months and I went into the hospital around 2:30pm...got sent home around 5pm...was back by 7...started pushing around 12:30am and Kyril (pronounced Kiril) arrived at 1:07am 12/24/06. I have three friends that were pregnant and due right around the same time I was...none of them cancer survivors, or colon resects...and I don't even talk about it around them because my labor and delivery was so much easier than any of their! 2 of them had c-sections and both spent longer than expected in the hospital before and after.

I'm not saying everyone who's had a resection is going to have that easy of a time...but I am saying that it's completely possible to have a normal birth after a colon resection. (I will say that the doc and anesthesiologist both thought that I might have been in a little bit more pain because of things stretching inside. I was fully planning on the epidural anyway, so that wasn't a question. You may want to think about that when you're considering whether to go au natural or get the drugs.) :) )

So...that's my long and drawn out version. In a nutshell, definitely talk to your OB about it and have some sort of plan in place, just in case. If you're prepared, Cardinal Rule is that you won't need any of it!

If you want to chat more, feel free to PM me. I'm on baby #2 now. 16 weeks along and feeling like a chunker! :)

Congratz again!!!!!



Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:32 am

Thanks....that makes me feel a lot better!!! Molly, sounds like you are maybe two weeks ahead of me. Yesterday started my 15th week. I'm due Feb 4. I never sign in under my screen name (call it laziness), but I've posted here lots before (maggie110). I had stage 1 signet ring carcinoma in my colon....in November it will be 8 years ago (I was 21). Thankfully, I only had to have the resection done and no chemo or radiation. I don't honestly know why I am worrying about c-section verses natural birth, but I can't stop thinking about ANOTHER surgery...I've actually underwent TWO surgeries since my pregnancy....nothing to do with colon cancer and nothing major, but added a couple more scars to my collection...so the prospect is frightening to say the least. I am sure that whatever needs to happen, will and it will be successful and wonderful, so I need not worry too much. I thought it couldn't hurt to throw the question out there to you experienced moms! I will most certainly be a little more proactive in the questions asking to my doctor next week when I go in and see him. Honestly, my last couple visits, I have just been so overwhelmed by the whole thing....being pregnant, seeing the baby, hearing the heart beat, etc, I have been completely abnormal for myself and asked barely any questions. Usually I have a million!!!!
You guys rock....thanks again for your advice and insight!!!!

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Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Molly » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:55 am

Hey Again, Maggie!

HA! You think you're just worried about the c-section for now? Just wait until you start hearing other mom's horror stories! ;) jk! I know exactly what you mean about not wanting another surgery. (You're talking to the girl who wouldn't have a port put in for chemo becuase I was afraid of another surgery!) Instead, I opted for 2-3 needle sticks with every chemo infusion. (Blood draws and actual chemo lines.) Smart chick here, huh?

In all seriousness, you have every right to worry. On top of everything else your body is going through, you get to think about what it went through 8 years ago and whether or not that wll effect you pregnancy. But if you are prepared, you'll get through it without a problem.

Oooh! ...and if you think you're overwhelmed now, you just wait till the BIG ultrasound!!! Mine is in 2 weeks! Then it really starts to feel real. :)

Good luck, Maggie, and please do keep me posted!!!


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Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby NWgirl » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:29 am

Maggie - I have 2 children and both were c-sections. My fears were just opposite yours - I was (am) deathly afraid of labor pains!!! When my doctor told me my first child was breach and he recommended a c-section I did the happy dance! And for my 2nd child I asked if he could do a planned c-section again rather than try a V-bac (or whatever it's called) and he said sure! Yahoo!!!! The c-section is no big deal at all. A little pulling and tugging which is weird, but it's really fast and completely painless during the procedure. And after going through surgery to remove my tumor - the c-section was truly a walk in the park! (I had my children prior to my cancer diagnosis) The key to a quick recovery like all surgeries is to walk, walk, walk. The sooner you are up and moving the sooner you feel better. So if for whatever reason you end up having to have a c-section, don't sweat it - after going through cancer, you can handle anything!!! And a c-section is truly not that bad.

And a nurse told me once that the important thing isn't how the baby arrives in this world, but that when you leave the hospital you take home a beautiful new baby with you. Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!!
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Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby LaurieM » Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:15 pm


Congratulations on your pregnancy.
I have never had cancer (that I know of) but I do have an ileostomy which is how I stumbled upon this site. I had to reply!

At 28 weeks pregnant, I went to the Er with stomach pains. It turns out I had been born with a malrotated bowel, which until then I did not know about or had had any problems with. A portion of my bowel had twisted on itself causing a bowel obstruction. The surgeons removed the obstruction and sewed the remaining bowel together. Unfortunatly, on 4-20-08 I once again developed stomach pains. CAT scan which showed a perforation where the bowel had been reconnected. The second surgery was more extensive, they had to remove scar tissue from the first surgery and then clean out my "dirty" abdominal cavity. The second surgery left me with an ileostomy. My baby did well through both surgeries.

My due date was 6-30-08, I thought I would have to have a c-section. My doctors decided it would be best for me to try a vaginal delivery. I was very nervous that something would go wrong because of my recent surgeries. On 6-5-08 my beautiful healthy baby was born, vaginaly. Labor and delivery was quick and painless (epidural!). There were no complications during delivery.

Sorry this was such a long reply. My point is, I had two emergency bowel surgeries during my pregnancy, and still had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. Good luck!!


Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:11 am

Thanks again to all who have replied! I went to my OBGYN the other day and he said he's actually much prefer me to have my baby vaginally to C-section. He's exact words were, "I don't want to open that up again!" My sentinments exactly!! That certainly puts me more at ease!! Of course I was watching "A Baby Story" (BIG mistake) and was thinking a c-section might not be that bad! Hee hee!
Hey Molly- scheduled the BIG ultrasound for Sept 17. Are you going to find out what you are having? I can't wait to know!!!

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Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Molly » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:31 pm

Hey Maggie!

So great to hear from you...and great news from the doc! My ultrasound is scheduled for next Tuesday (August 26th) and HECK YEAH I want to find out. I'm one of those Type A's who has to plan for EVERYTHING! :) How are you feeling?

Please keep me posted!


Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:55 pm

That's exciting....You'll have to let me know what you are having!!! I am a total type A person too. I know it's goofy, but I swear I feel like I'm sort of in denial about being pregnant. I think once I actually know what the sex is, I can begin planning and it might feel a little more real. I seriously have NO baby things at all. My mom made a baby blanket, but that's it!! Things are going pretty good for me. I have had a 3-4 week break from morning sickness....I thought I was in the clear....but it seems like it's starting over again for me. No where near as bad, but still getting sick in the AM (and sometimes in the PM too). FUN! That's OK. It sucks for a bit, but I don't really mind too much. Other than that, all is well. Getting a bit round in the middle and tending to be a bit more clumsy, but all in all pretty darn happy to be alive and having a baby. How are things going for you? I hope well!!!


Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Kelli » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:55 pm

Hi, my name is Kelli and in May of 2005 I had my entire large intestine, appendix and a small portion of my small intestine removed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. I had a severe diesese called Hind Gut Dysgensis...I know that is spelled wrong, but I am the first female ever diagnosed with it, 7th overall ever to have it. They reconnected my small intestine to my rectum, I didn't have a " bag " but they opened me up like a c-section along with 3 small laproscopic incisions. I healed up pretty well, once my incision fully healed, but then , this past October, I had surgery here in TX to fix a hernia in the upper portion of my small intestine. The intestine was looping and going up behind my " Omentum " which in most normal people is connected to the Large Intestine, " Colon ". Because my entire colon was removed the omentum was just kinda hanging and my small intestine, for no real reason , herniated up behind the Omentum and near my lower stomach. SO they went in and sewed my omentum up ( 400 and some stitches ) so my intestines could not herniate again, and then they took out some leisions ( adhesions ) through out the remaining small intestine. At the very end , near the rectum, they found that my intestine had sort of " kinked " and fell next to the rectum. So they reopened my " C-section " incision from my previous surgery and corrected it that way. I have been doing incrediable, I would even say, better than before, and now my husband and I have been given the go ahead to try and have a baby. My main concern is that with a vaginal delivery, I could rupture the connection point of the small intestine to the rectum, but at the same time, I don't ever want to be cut open down there again. Before this last surgery, my OB told me that she felt very confidant that I could have a vaginal delivery with out any complications and with my surgeon from the Mayo Clinics approval. Now with this second surgery, even though I feel so much better, I am afraid they are going to tell me I need to do C-Section. I don't see my OB until April, unless I get PG before that. Do any of you have any comments on this? Thanks~ Kelli


Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Medders » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:06 pm

Hi all.
I had a bowel resection at 19 weeks, this then had to be laid open due to infection. As you can imagine as the baby grew, I grew and so did the site of incision (to the point where it was 25cmx18cm round and approx 4cm deep! I'm only tiny as it is and that was pretty gross!) I had a C-section at 37 weeks and gave birth to a healthy baby boy (6lb13oz). He's one now and a real fighter, you'd wonder now looking at him why, still to this day, the doctors all refer to him as the miracle baby:)
At the end of the day, if previous abdnominal surgery means you'll have a C-sec, don't worry. I was alseep through mine but the bond between my son and I is immense. From what I understand of the natural way isn't all that any way:)

Crohn's mommy

Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Crohn's mommy » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:52 pm


I am happy to hear that there are a few people who had bowel resections during pregnancy. I am 10 weeks pregnant and have seen my healthy baby on ultrasound, but I am not so healthy. I have Crohn's disease, pretty severely. I waited until I was really healthy before getting pregnant, which my doctors told me was the best way to ensure that I would stay healthy during the pregnancy, because only 20 per cent of women with quiescent Crohn's will have a flare-up in pregnancy. The other 80 per cent do well. Well, I guess I was in that unlucky 20 per cent because since two days after I found out I was pregnant I have had a terrible time and been in and out of hospital, with blood transfusions, X-rays, drugs, the whole awful bit. Somehow my baby seems to be growing and developing normally so far, which is great, but I am suffering!

Because I continue to have trouble, a bowel resection is being considered. I am really worried about it, but maybe being on all these drugs and having all these transfusions is worse for the baby? It is good to hear that other people have had bowel resections during pregnancy and done well anyway. I have read that fetal death rate during major surgery is 26 per cent, but that doesn't seem to be the experience of anyone here. I just wonder - how do you get the abdominal wall to heal when the belly is growing behing it? Does it heal after the birth or what? And for those of you who had babies early - how early were they born and were they okay?

I always wanted the experience of being pregnant and having a biological child, even though I knew there was some risk to it. The disease takes a lot from me, but I fight for whatever aspects of a life I can get. So I'm trying to feel positively and enjoy the pregnancy, but it's hard because I feel scared a lot of the time, for myself and for the baby. But I do believe the doctors can keep me alive for the next six months or so, and then once I've had the baby I will focus on getting healthy again. I will probably never have another pregnancy though. But that's okay. At least I will get to be a mom.

Thanks for sharing.


Re: C-Section after stomach surgery

Postby Guest88 » Tue May 01, 2012 7:35 pm

I had a laproscopic subtotal colectomy almost 2 years ago in August of 2010 when I was 21. I'm married now and am 8 weeks pregnant for the first time. I was so worried about being able to conceive after that surgery but here I am. I'm still very cautious to get excited, attached etc because i'm just terrified something will go wrong. I have heard a lot of mixed things about labor and delivery after the surgery. I had stage 1 colon cancer with 80 plus polyps (not FAP or MYH conclusively) and so they decided after many colonoscopies to remove the majority of my large intestine, appendix and gall bladder and resect my small intestine to my rectum (like Kelli).

Kelli, did you ever get pregnant? What happened if you did? Please let me know anyone who might have information on my situation. Thanks!


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