Surgery next week

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Hi, I’m a first time poster who’s having surgery for a Right Hemicolectony next week. I had a colonoscopy thinking they’d confirm diverticulitis but as with so many others I was shocked when they also found a 5cm tumour on the opposite side. I’m staying calm (so far!) as just grateful that at 76 years old it has been found now and it can be treated. So one step at a time.  Maybe there are others on here who have had the same operation and can give me some advice? 

  • Hi Obrigada

    Presumably you've had a Pre-Op assessment, & an initial meeting with your surgeon, who most likely will have told you the basics about the Op.?

    I had a left Hemicolectomy in May '19 also for a 5cm tumour, & was 70 yrs.then. Mine was a very straightforward keyhole Op, & a Stoma was not required. Despite feeling very anxious about the procedure, I found it far easier than I had anticipated. I awoke to a Fentanyl drip (for the pain,) & a catheter.tube....both of which were removed 2 days following; & then just took Paracetamol. You are expected to get up the following day - even if only to sit in a chair. Then, you will need to use the loo - which in my case was a fair distance from my bed. This was doable, I just felt a little achy in my abdomen.

    Although I was supposedly nil by mouth the following day - I was ravenous, & so, the notice was removed - & my appetite was huge! I was in for four days, & was glad to get home - & be able to sleep! As the nights there were very difficult. The nurses were loud, the lights were bright, & BP is taken every few hours.

    They usually don't send you home until you have had a bowel movement (which took me two days.) I found this quite painful for the first few days - but it gradually became easier. I walked about, climbed stairs. A friend shopped for me for the first two weeks; thereafter, I carried on life as normal.

    You will need to be careful not to carry anything at all heavy, & only fill a kettle half full - for at least six weeks. (To prevent the risk of a hernia.) You will also be taught in hospital how to inject yourself daily with blood thinners - normally for one month.

    Many best wishes to you, & hope it all goes very smoothly.

    Marianne

  • Hi Marianne 26

    Thank you so much for your reply. 
    All the pre op done and chat with the surgeon. I was wondering how painful the first poo would be! Were you on an Enhanced Recovery Programme? I’ve heard they give you protein drinks before surgery which speeds recovery. I am having keyhole surgery but adhesions could prolong the op. I was hoping to be home in 3 days, maybe too optimistic! No one mentioned the blood thinning injection so something else I'm now prepared for! Were you offered chemotherapy? Sorry for the questions!

    Thank you again and glad life is back to normal for you.

  • Hi I had my operation last Tuesday its a breeze I had to have an ileostomy bag so pooing is fine you just have to learn  keep it clean and change it. I'm not in pain little discomfort but they give you painkillers.  I ho home from hospital today gave to wait fir results to see what's next.i think that's the hardest bit. 

  • Hi, yes I remember one of the many leaflets I was given - was about Enhanced Recovery; however, I didn't notice anything special about being on it. I think it was mainly to do with the fact that you are encouraged to walk as much as possible during your hospiral stay.

    I think that the blood thinner injections are normally prescribed for any hospital procedure these days - as I was also given them - after breaking my foot last year, & spending a week in hospital.

    Following Op, I met the Oncologist, who stated I did not need Chemo, However, a year later, I developed two small lung nodules, & then was prescribed Chemo for six months, with the hope of shrinkage prior to Lung Ablation.

    Please, do ask any questions you want! I am sure that others will also come along & tell you of their experiences.

    Best

    Marianne

  • Hi Unfair2. Thank you for the information. Have been told I won’t need an ileostomy but there’s always the chance of ‘leakage’ resulting in a temporary one. Great that you are so positive, and going home today. Yes, never easy waiting for the results.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Obrigada

  • I suppose there is always the chance of cancer popping up somewhere else even if they say they’ve caught it all. Wondering if a course of chemotherapy would help prevent this. I must ask the question!  Sorry it happened to you and hope it’s all sorted now. Seems to be a lifelong journey from now on. One step at a time!

    Obrigada You?

  • It mainly depends on the biopsies taken at the time of the OP. According to my surgeon, I had very clear margins after the resection, & I none of the 22 lymph nodes nearby had any cancerous cells. However, I did have something called EMVI - Extra mural veinous invasion near the site; (cancerous cells within a nearby vein.) I was obviously pleased at the idea of not having to undergo chemo at the time - however, my daughter was less certain, & asked her own GP (during an appointment,) & he said that he would have opted & insisted on follow up Chemo. But, I was not offered that opportunity - because my Oncologist was insistent that it was not necessary - because of the low marginal results (5%) that chemo would give, yet also, probably because she had two elderly patients the weak before, who had had heart attacks - whilst on the Chemo. At that time, even though she was an Oncologist - she was pointing out the risks of Chemo - perhaps too dramatically!

    However, one year later, the chemo tablets I took (I refused the infusions,) did reduce their size, & I was able to have Lung Ablation 4 weeks later - which was a very non invasive procedure (no surgery involved.)

    I am now on yearly CT scans & 6 mthly Blood tests. The last scan showed as clear.

    Yes, unfortunately, once diagnosed, it is something of a lifetime journey - as everytime you have to wait for results of Scans/ Blood Tests, is always a worrying time....but, you get used to it - as the years go on. TBH, I'm very grateful that I am being 'followed on' (normally for five years,) yet also, any concerns I might have in the meantime - I always have access to my wonderful Colorectal Team - who, if needed, I can phone anytime with any queries.

    But, at the moment, I suggest that you just concentrate on your upcoming Op. next week - & forget about the future appointments 'down the line.'

    Perhaps take with you - Chewing Gum; apparently it reduces any pain/cramps in stomache. Eye mask & earplugs - for nightime sleeping - though I needed to be alert for everything going on! & of course, some diversions from the boredom of a hospital stay - which for me, were a couple of books, & a Codeword Book. Yet also, I found the drinks & meal trolleys a wonderful anticipation (despite the crap food I endured at my hospital!)

    Marianne x

  • My surgeon tells me it is a T2 tumour with no spread but as you say, can’t be sure until after the op. And the wait for results! He’s hoping to remove my tubes and ovaries at the same time as this could be a likely place if it returned. He won’t if it adds too much time to the op. Encouraging to hear you didn’t need any more surgery and you have an all clear.  
    Not that I want it and understand negative effects, I think I will push for chemotherapy, ‘belts and braces’ affect!
    Hadn’t considered chewing gum, good idea. Have to say a major concern I have is not making it to the loo in time! Seems daft in the big scheme of things!  I did think you were brave when you said you had a huge appetite! I will be too worried about the consequences! 

    Just had a call from the hospital to confirm my admission…and not to bring a suitcase full of stuff. As if! (10 pairs of pants enough?!) 

    Obrigada

  • Good morning and welcome, I had an emergency right hemicolectomy in November 23. The operation was keyhole however, I had to have a large incision made due to my tumour being 10 by 8 cm. I had my operation on the Monday and went home on the Thursday. During your hospital stay you will be encouraged to walk a lot! After the operation you may have pain in your shoulder, this is from the gas they use during the operation, I was given peppermint tea to help.

    The first sign you will have that your bowels are beginning to work is passing wind. I did not poo for a week due to constipation so please ask for laxatives if it happens to you. 

    My tumour was graded as T3 M0 Nb1 G3. 2 out of the 24 lymph nodes removed were affected. As the lymph nodes were affected I was offered chemotherapy which I started on the 12/1/24.

    Any questions please ask. 

    Rachael x 

  • Hi Rachael hope the chemo is doing its job without making you too sick…one of my fears. I will have it if it gives a better prognosis. Must have been a shock for you going in as an emergency and expecting keyhole surgery, that is in the back of my mind, suppose it’s what is best on the day.

    You have cheered me up knowing  I ‘only’ have to pass wind before going home! Though I guess that could be a trial in itself! Marianne 26 suggested chewing gum, so that and peppermint tea should do the trick! Then I’ll panic about pooing when I’m home. 

    Only 2 days to go, waiting for reality to kick in!

    Thank you

    Obrigada