Low anterior resection

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Hi! Wave I had a low anterior resection last Monday and am now home. I didn't need a stoma, which I'm grateful for. I'm freaking out about the risk of anastomotic leak, LARS and what the histology might show. At first I was a bit constipated, but today I have diarrhoea and am spending a lot of time on the toilet. Before my surgery I was feeling quite upbeat and positive, but at the moment I feel a bit low. The pain is not too bad, but I'm not sleeping very well because my abdomen feels so 'draggy' that I can't sleep on my side. Does anyone have any experience and/or advice please?  Thanks for reading.

  • Hi I'm sorry you are having a rough time. It's very early days for you yet and sadly no one can tell you what it is going to be like because everyone is different. 

    I had the same op as you and no stoma. I was told to eat anything I wanted to, I came home a couple of days before Xmas and although weak I ate very tiny portions of everything. I suffered from constipation at first but soon realised my diet wasn't helping me. Reading other posts I read about the beige diet, mash, chicken etc and gradually introduced more foods. This helped me lots. 

    Not everyone gets lars. I don't know if I have it or not or whether this is my new normal. Having the sigmoid removed means we have no longer any holding area so we will need to go more frequently but it does get easier. If I feel I am becoming constipated I take smooth move tea or laxido.

    I propped pillows wonder one side if me when I came out of hospital, I wasn't directly sleeping on my side but slightly tilted. You should be able to start side sleeping soon.

    Try to walk about a little each day and build up your strength. I hope you get a good histology and start to feel better soon x 

  • Hi  and a warm welcome to the board. Yes it’s totally normal to hit a bit of a downer once you get home and the reassurance of the nursing team isn’t there. The bowel does not like being handled during an op and your toilet habits will be a bit topsy turvey for a few weeks. As Poppy says, not everyone gets LARS, but it’s likely that you will have to get used to a new ‘normal’ with regards to your bowels. Worrying will not change the results of the histology report but hopefully they will be back soon. 
    Your insides will still be settling back into place after the op - I had a stoma and slept with a folded towel under it when lying on my side as it felt supported then so maybe you could try that with your tummy?

    They say about 5 weeks to recover from the op so please don’t put too much pressure in yourself. Try and do some little walks or go out for coffee with a friend. It’s nice to get away from the whole cancer thing sometimes and chat about non cancer stuff.

    Take care and please keep posting and let us know how you’re doing?

    Karen x

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  • Hi Sea Swim, just wondering what stage was your cancer, and what distance was the the tuma from the anal verge, was the join low,

    Regards