HELP! Post surgery pain

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Marie25
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:32 am

HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby Marie25 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:18 am

Husband's APR surgery was about 17 days ago. Yesterday he had severe pain in belly area. Oxycodone and tylenol did not relieve it. We are now at our local ER and they are refusing to look at him and want to send him by ambulance to Mayo Clinic (6 hours away). We are going to drive ourselves in a few hours... but I am asking... did this happen to anyone? What was the outcome of the belly pain? His surgery went really well. No surprises. His colostomy was having movements regularly so shouldn't be an issue with that. So ready for him to just start feeling better.
Supporter to my husband
Rectal adenocarcinoma
Folfox 8/2019
Short Course Radiation January 2020
Surgery January 2020
T3 N0 stage 2A
0/42 lymph nodes

KimT
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:53 pm

Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby KimT » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:49 pm

Could be gas pain. Gas pain is the worst. Pain medicine doesn’t help it at all.
2/10 dx colon cancer
right hemicolectomy 3/19/10
Stage 2a 0/43 nodes
Lynch syndrome
3/14/10 colon resection/ removal of metal clips
Nov 11 dx ovarian cancer

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CRguy
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Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby CRguy » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:05 pm

Here's hoping things have been diagnosed properly and resolved by now !!!!!
Please let us know how things are going with hubby

In Harmony
CRguy
Caregiver x 4
Stage IV A rectal cancer/lung met
13 Year survivor
my life is an ongoing totally randomized UNcontrolled experiment with N=1 !
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NHMike
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Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby NHMike » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:24 pm

Roughly where is it? The lower right would indicate a problem between the small and large intestine.

I am surprised that they didn't even do a CT Scan as that could rule out an obstruction and potentially find the problem.

I've had severe pain but nothing that soon after surgery.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

Utwo
Posts: 269
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 10:14 am
Location: T.O.

Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby Utwo » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:35 pm

In my case intermittent pain and intermittent fever were signs of a leak and an infection.
58 yo male at diagnosis: T1bN0M0, 0/15 nodes, low grade/moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma
03/2016 colonoscopy: 2 small polyps removed in left colon; CEA = 1.3
04/2016 colonoscopy: caecum sessile 3.5 cm polyp piecemeal removed with kind of clear margins
05/2016 "prophylactic" laparoscopic right hemicolectomy - bleeding, leak, infection
06/2017 CT scan, colonoscopy OK; CEA = 1.6
A lot of funny stuff discovered by CT scans in liver, kidney, lungs, arteries, gallbladder, lymph node, pancreas

Marie25
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:32 am

Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby Marie25 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:25 am

Thanks everyone. Update....he has a permanent colostomy so i don't think it would be a leak anywhere. No fever but has also been taking tylenol. The pain is kinda in the middle and near where the drain tube was. He is Still in the hospital. Had a CT scan and at first they thought it was diverticulitis, then they said it was a blockage. They removed drain tube thinking that had something to do with the pain. Said it doesn't look like an infection, but all his white blood cells are elevated.
Supporter to my husband
Rectal adenocarcinoma
Folfox 8/2019
Short Course Radiation January 2020
Surgery January 2020
T3 N0 stage 2A
0/42 lymph nodes

Soccermom2boys
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:29 pm

Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby Soccermom2boys » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:01 pm

Hi Marie—
I hope your husband is feeling better, figuring out what the issue is. I can share a few experiences from my own situation—I had the same surgery a little over four years ago. I don’t know how long his pain lasted or it’s specifics, but I absolutely recall the jarring, completely out of no where pain that I would get that first 4-6 weeks after surgery. While I never had any scans or special appointments to deal with it, I can almost guarantee it was due to adhesions from the surgery itself. Mine was always on my right side a little further past from where those drains were. APR surgery is for sure a major surgery and you are open for long enough that adhesions are a common development unfortunately. It is something to consider and at least inquire about. They would just come out of no where and be so painful and sometimes be just a few minutes of pain and other times last around an hour—generally not longer than that at any one time. I would never know what set them off, but damn they could take my breath away when one attacked. I would try to rub that area and warm it up with a heating pad, trying to loosen up the feeling. So while that may not be the issue, something to keep in mind as he heals.
The other experience I had about three months after the surgery and halfway through my 8 folfox treatments was an extremely painful case of gastroenteritis—basically an inflamed colon that was pissed from the chemo I guess. That brought me to my knees and the ER because I was in such pain I feared it was a dreaded bowel obstruction I had read about on here. After some heavy drugs to get past the pain and liquids only for 24 hours (and a CAT scan to show no obstruction), it was deemed only gastroenteritis and I was able to go home about 48 hours later thankfully, but that pain was beyond bearable and I couldn’t even get fluids in me when it started to progress and we went to the ER. That truly came out of nowhere as I felt fine/normal earlier in the day and progressively felt crampier so that by mid-afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore. Nothing to really do for that, just needed to do the liquid diet thing until we ruled out any bigger issues and then a low residue diet for several days afterwards to ease back in to eating. I also had my next chemo treatment delayed two weeks to give the colon a chance to calm down.

You said he is about two and a half weeks past the surgery. As frustrating as this early stage is in the recovery process for that surgery, he will turn a corner, but please tell him it will probably be a good 8 weeks before that happens. Just tell him to truly be in the moment, one day at a time. I just personally judged my recovery from that surgery by how I felt when I stepped out of bed each morning—as long as I didn’t feel worse than the day before I defined that as progress in the right direction. Keep us posted on what it turns out to be. I have my fingers crossed for him that in the big scheme it turns out to be on the benign side.
8/3/15 Went in with a hemorrhoid, came out with a tumor
8/12/15 Biopsy from colonoscopy confirms RC (45 yrs old--zero family history!)
9/21 - 10/29/15 chemorad 28 tx (with Xeloda)
12/17/15 APR with perm colostomy
Pathology report stages me as IIIA (T2N1M0)--1/15 LN detects cancer
2/3/16 chemo port inserted
2/8-6/2/16 8 rounds of Folfox

Marie25
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:32 am

Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby Marie25 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:46 pm

Soccermom2boys wrote:Hi Marie—
I hope your husband is feeling better, figuring out what the issue is. I can share a few experiences from my own situation—I had the same surgery a little over four years ago. I don’t know how long his pain lasted or it’s specifics, but I absolutely recall the jarring, completely out of no where pain that I would get that first 4-6 weeks after surgery. While I never had any scans or special appointments to deal with it, I can almost guarantee it was due to adhesions from the surgery itself. Mine was always on my right side a little further past from where those drains were. APR surgery is for sure a major surgery and you are open for long enough that adhesions are a common development unfortunately. It is something to consider and at least inquire about. They would just come out of no where and be so painful and sometimes be just a few minutes of pain and other times last around an hour—generally not longer than that at any one time. I would never know what set them off, but damn they could take my breath away when one attacked. I would try to rub that area and warm it up with a heating pad, trying to loosen up the feeling. So while that may not be the issue, something to keep in mind as he heals.
The other experience I had about three months after the surgery and halfway through my 8 folfox treatments was an extremely painful case of gastroenteritis—basically an inflamed colon that was pissed from the chemo I guess. That brought me to my knees and the ER because I was in such pain I feared it was a dreaded bowel obstruction I had read about on here. After some heavy drugs to get past the pain and liquids only for 24 hours (and a CAT scan to show no obstruction), it was deemed only gastroenteritis and I was able to go home about 48 hours later thankfully, but that pain was beyond bearable and I couldn’t even get fluids in me when it started to progress and we went to the ER. That truly came out of nowhere as I felt fine/normal earlier in the day and progressively felt crampier so that by mid-afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore. Nothing to really do for that, just needed to do the liquid diet thing until we ruled out any bigger issues and then a low residue diet for several days afterwards to ease back in to eating. I also had my next chemo treatment delayed two weeks to give the colon a chance to calm down.

You said he is about two and a half weeks past the surgery. As frustrating as this early stage is in the recovery process for that surgery, he will turn a corner, but please tell him it will probably be a good 8 weeks before that happens. Just tell him to truly be in the moment, one day at a time. I just personally judged my recovery from that surgery by how I felt when I stepped out of bed each morning—as long as I didn’t feel worse than the day before I defined that as progress in the right direction. Keep us posted on what it turns out to be. I have my fingers crossed for him that in the big scheme it turns out to be on the benign side.


Thank you for the wonderful info! The surgeon did end up mentioning something about adhesions as well. Turned out not to be super serious! We just made it back home an hour ago and his pain is gone. He ended up passing some stool and gas and bam no more pain. So he will be taking some milk of magnesium and miralax for awhile to make sure he doesn't get bound up again!
Supporter to my husband
Rectal adenocarcinoma
Folfox 8/2019
Short Course Radiation January 2020
Surgery January 2020
T3 N0 stage 2A
0/42 lymph nodes

Marie25
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:32 am

Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby Marie25 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:48 pm

Everyone thank you! We just made it back home an hour ago and his pain is gone. He ended up passing some stool and gas and bam no more pain. So he will be taking some milk of magnesium and miralax for awhile to make sure he doesn't get bound up again! I have had so many questions here and I hope one day I can go from question asker to giving answers. This forum is truly the best.
Supporter to my husband
Rectal adenocarcinoma
Folfox 8/2019
Short Course Radiation January 2020
Surgery January 2020
T3 N0 stage 2A
0/42 lymph nodes

DarknessEmbraced
Posts: 3499
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Facebook Username: Riann Fletcher
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby DarknessEmbraced » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:26 am

I'm so glad it wasn't serious and that he's doing better! :)
Diagnosed 10/28/14, age 36
Colon Resection 11/20/14, LAR (no illeo)
Stage 2a colon cancer, T3NOMO
Lymph-vascular invasion undetermined
0/22 lymph nodes
No chemo, no radiation
Clear Colonoscopy 04/29/15
NED 10/20/15
Ischemic Colitis 01/21/16
NED 11/10/16
CT Scan moved up due to high CEA 08/21/17
NED 09/25/17
NED 12/21/18
Clear colonoscopy 09/23/19
Clear 5 year scans 11/21/19- Considered cured! :)

NHMike
Posts: 2495
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: HELP! Post surgery pain

Postby NHMike » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:33 am

Marie25 wrote:Everyone thank you! We just made it back home an hour ago and his pain is gone. He ended up passing some stool and gas and bam no more pain. So he will be taking some milk of magnesium and miralax for awhile to make sure he doesn't get bound up again! I have had so many questions here and I hope one day I can go from question asker to giving answers. This forum is truly the best.


These things are pretty scary if it was an obstruction. I've had a fair number of these (I had one on Thursday) and find that laying on my left side helps to resolve it. There should be a post here by Karen on things to decrease the changes of obstructions:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=58447&start=1350#p485876
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT


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