What To Expect With Surgery

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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:10 pm

What To Expect With Surgery

Postby Deep » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:00 am

So, I got my surgery on Monday. I am kind of nervous but am ready to get this over with. My tumor is located 9 cm from the anal verge and I was told to expect an ileostomy bag when I wake up. Just wondering if anyone is willing to share their experience and who could tell me what to expect during recovery. I was a smoker and am on the patch which I was told might affect my healing times.

11/29/18 Diagnosed T3N1 Rectal Cancer (Age 39, Male, no family history)
01/02/19--02/7/19--- 25 rounds radiation/chemo (Capecitabine 2000 mg)
04/15/19 Surgery, temp ileostomy

Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:40 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: What To Expect With Surgery

Postby Pyro » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:56 pm

Well I have a colostomy so I’m not a lot of help there, I did however, get by in recovery with nicotine gum.
Aug 2015- Diag Stage 4 CC with mets to liver (38/m)
Sep 2015- Avastin/Folfox/Iron
Dec 2015-Not a surgery candidate for liver
Jan 2016- Erbitux/Folfiri, 2nd opinion at MDA in TX
Feb 2016 -MDA liver surgery, Dr. Vauthey
Mar 2016 -30% of left lobe rem, PVE
May 2016 - 70% of liver rem
Jun 2016-Rad
Jan 2017-perm colost @MDA
Jul 2017-Erb/FOLFURI
Nov 2017 -Lung & Liver ablations@MDA
Jan 2018 -Xeloda & Avastin mx
Jul 2018-Avast/FOLFURI
Sep 2018-Rad
Mar 2019 - Keytruda, CEA @30, shit still here

Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:09 pm
Facebook Username: Matthew

Re: What To Expect With Surgery

Postby sbpaq1 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:16 pm

Surgery was, for me, a breeze.

Only my experience...

Pain - Assuming, with good reason, you will have LAR Surgery with a minimally invasive approach the pain will also be minimal. My surgeon was utilizing a quick recovery approach which included absolutely no narcotics and honestly they werent needed, I was home two days after the surgery.

The front exit - Your ileostomy will be a temp bag out of surgery, the nurses will come in and give you a real one most likely the day after surgery. You will be asked to keep track of the output before they let you out, same with urine after the catheter. While I am sure you met with an ostomy nurse pre surgery I took a video of it just in case asking multiple questions along the way. It helped when I got home to refer to.

Recovery In the Hospital - This means walking, walking and more walking. I was up about 6 hours after being put in my room. Progress through the liquid diet, then soft foods and normal foods pretty quickly. Catheter should be taken out day after surgery as well. Also, kinda nasty, there might be stuff continuing to come out your backside while in the hospital for which you will have no control over. The nurses and doctor say its fine and it is, dont sweat it.

Misc - You will most likely get a wound bulb that collects liquid you will have to empty periodically but its a nuisance rather than a problem.

Back Home - If you are not a good back/side sleeper get used to changing that. For the first 2 or weeks I could only sleep on my back because turning to my side was painful and obviously you cannot sleep on your stomach. A good recliner is great for the first week or two until you dont have pain when turning and then you can go side sleeping(either side). I dont smoke but was a caffeine addict, that becomes a no-no at first because your dont retain water as the colon goes offline where our water is normally recycled. The ileostomy will take some time to get use to and the biggest surprise to me was the smell, it smells far worse than a normal bowel movement.

Overall dont be worried the surgery it is the least problematic or traumatic thing to get through. The radiation pain was far worse, the folfox clean up(in the dead of winter) is far worse, the pain of getting your ileostomy fitting wrong and getting severe irritation is worse. If I was given the option to do the surgery every three weeks or my current chemo I would take the surgery, that should say something. I am not looking forward to LARS either but we do what we must to tackle this beast.

You will be fine :)
Age 30, Male
07/05/18 - Colonoscopy, T3N2M0/Stage IIIB Rectal, MSS and High Grade
09/10/18 - Finished 28 Days Xeloda/Radiation
10/11/18 - MRI decrease in Tumor & Nodes
11/19/18 - Surgery
12/06/18 - Bad news, Surgery margins inconclusive but response is visible.(Grade 2), 17 of 19 nodes, PNI & Lymph Invasion
12/09/18 - Bad news, 2 spots on liver and 1 on Lung(Not definitive metastatic)
12/12/18 - XELOX Start
02/15/18 - Good News! Lung spot gone, Liver Spot down to 1, Lymph Nodes shrinking.

Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: What To Expect With Surgery

Postby Punky44 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:37 am

My mom is three weeks out from surgery and our biggest hurdle is the ileostomy itself and just dealing with eating with it and changing it. The surgery itself was not that big of a deal. My mom’s was robotically assisted laparoscopic so she’s got a few mini incisions here and there and then one maybe 3-4 inch vertical one on her lower abdomen. She was super bruised for the first 2 weeks—whole side where she was laying and thigh, but it’s all faded now. She never needed anymore pain meds than Tylenol/Advil. But the ileostomy has been by far our biggest challenge beyond anything. Thank god it is only temporary. Good luck with your surgery on Monday!
Caregiver to my amazing mom (68)
10/1/18 DX with rectal cancer; CEA 17 at diagnosis
MRI/CT/PET puts staging at T3N2M0
Total neoadjuvant therapy:
8 rounds Folfox 11/5/18 - 2/11/19; CEA dropped to 6.2
Short course radiation 3/14/19 - 3/20/19
Robotically assisted laparoscopic LAR 3/21/19
Pathology report says yT2N0M0 with 0/38 nodes

Me: 34, first colonoscopy 11/16/18—normal! Come back in 5 years.

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