What To Expect With Surgery

Please feel free to read, share your thoughts, your stories and connect with others!
Posts: 38
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 (Tumor Staged T2)
7/8/19-10/15/19 Chemo (8 Rounds) Folfox
11/12/19- Scan NED

Posts: 305
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- Stage 4 CC with liver Mets(38/m)
Sep 2015- Avastin/Folfox/Iron
Dec 2015-Not liver surgery candidate
Jan 2016- Erbitux/Folfiri, 2nd opinion at MDA in TX
Feb 2016 -MDA liver surgery
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 fail
Jun 2019 - FOLFURI
Aug 2019 - No more, quality time!

Posts: 10
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 - 28 Days Xeloda/Radiation
10/11/18 - MRI decrease in Tumor & Nodes
11/19/18 - lAR
12/06/18 - Bad news, Surgery margins inconclusive, 17 of 19 nodes, PNI & LVI
12/09/18 - Bad news, 2 spots on liver and 1 on Lung, XELOX start
02/15/19 - Good News! Lung spot gone, Liver Spot down to 1, Nodes shrinking.
06/15/19 - bad news! Rectal recurrence and node increase
07/01/19 - folfiri
08/23/19 - surgery consult unc

Posts: 484
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 at dx)
10/1/18 DX with rectal cancer; CEA 17
Total neoadjuvant therapy:
8 rounds Folfox 11/5/18 - 2/11/19
Short course radiation 3/14/19 - 3/20/19
Robotically assisted laparoscopic LAR 3/21/19
Pathology report says yT2N0M0 with 0/38 nodes
6/28/19 Reversal and port out
CEA 2.1; 1.9; 2.6; 2.8; 2.3; 2.4; 3.0; 3.4; 3.1
Latest update: 6/28/21: Clear CT with CEA 3.1 (attributed to emphysema)

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

Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:44 pm

Re: What To Expect With Surgery

Postby CF_69 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:10 am

I had my surgery almost 4 weeks ago. I woke up without an ileostomy. I had a laparoscopic LAR. Surgeon took my sigmoid and about half my rectum.

I was up and walking after a few days. I just walked 8 km the other day. Ive read it’s good to stimulate your bowels, however I’ve been having a lot of constipation issues.

Maybe I rushed back to eating normal food.

I’ve just been having a lot of trouble getting things moving. I’ve had success with prune juice on a couple of occasions, but not every time. I’ve been taking miralax fairly regularly, but can’t tell if it’s doing anything.

I had “success” with milk of magnesia once, but I took some this morning, and nothing.

I’ve had pretty bad back pain around my lower left hip area for about a week now, which I’m sure is related to the constipation.

Overall it hasn’t been very fun. I keep reading that it will get better, and I’m looking forward to those days.

There’s a ton of info on people dealing with reversals but I can’t find much on those of us that were reconnected straight away.

Lately it seems that either I pass mucus and gas, or little pellets.

I need to work tonight so I’m just drinking coffee and will down a protein shake before I go and hope for the best.
47 at diagnosis
Rectosigmoid junction
2.8 x 1.8 x 3.5 cm
December 2018 - 1.9
September 2019 - 2.5
March 2020 - 2.3
September 2020 - 2.5
Xeloda / radiation x 25
Laparoscopic LAR April 2019
0 of 12 nodes
Stage 2A
4 cycles of adjuvant Xeloda
MRI on liver for 2mm hypodensity not suspicious.
Clear CT - September 2019
Clear CT - October 2020

Posts: 6203
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: What To Expect With Surgery

Postby Lee » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:02 pm

CF_69 wrote:I was up and walking after a few days. I just walked 8 km the other day. Ive read it’s good to stimulate your bowels, however I’ve been having a lot of constipation issues.

Maybe I rushed back to eating normal food.

For constipation issues, try a low fiber diet or for me, spinach or salad greens, They will have me going within a hour of eating it. Cheese on the other hand will slow me down.

Walking is probably the most important thing you can do following surgery. I would recommend bring a wrap around robe for walking those halls. It easier to get in and out of and does a nice job in covering the back end.

Good luck with your up coming surgery.

rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 16 years and counting!

Return to “Colon Talk - Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) support forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests