View Full Version : Surgery Question

05-26-2006, 11:28 PM
My mother had surgery almost 2 weeks ago and while her surgery went beautifully she is having some serious difficulty with her digestive system. At first the doctors informed us that this was completely normal and expected, but now at almost 2 weeks it is becoming concerning. Her entire stomach was originally very distended, but at this point it is almost like a very large pouch on only the right stomach that won't go down. She has had everything from enemas and suppositories to eating fiber foods and taking liquid prescriptions that are given to colonoscopy patients. She has been x-rayed to be sure that she does not have a blockage and that came out fine, but everything the doctors try does nothing to fix the problem. Is there anyone out there who experienced anything similar to this long after surgery? I would appreciate any insight.

05-27-2006, 07:21 AM

I had a swollen abdomen from Feb to November (9 long months!). I was checked for blood clots,checked for fluid pockets that can occur after surgery, had an ultrasound of my abdomen(liver, kidneys etc), sent to gyno and had pap smear, was told by one doctor that the Senekote(natural vegetable laxative) I was taking was causing me to retain water in my intestines and I had blood test to check enyzmes etc. I still continued to have a swollen abdomen. I had several people ask me if I was pregnant. Finally, I was given a colonoscopy at 9 months post-op and the doctor said through this process of elimination he believed I had developed IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrone). He said that IBS can cause constipation or diahrea. I had extreme constipation after my surgery(which I had never had previously) and I also had extreme bloating after eating.

I started drinking Lactose free milk and ice cream and it helped but I noticed that I still bloated after some of my meals...especially when I ate cheese products which I do ALOT! Last year I had a food allergens test and found out that I was allergic to the protein in cow milk and corn(corn is in more products than anything...it is even in chewing gum), so even though I was drinking Lactose free milk...I was still getting the protein from cows. My doctor recommends drinking goat milk or soy milk(double yuck) because he said if I continue to drink cows milk my allergies will worsen with time. I alternate one carton of Lactose free and then buy a carton of goat milk for cereal. I still eat a lot of cheese and my belly still swells huge for about an hour after eating it.

This has all happened since surgery...I don't understand why spine surgery would affect my digestive system...maybe it is a coincidence...I can't say but would welcome any thoughts.

Kindest Regards,

05-27-2006, 01:14 PM
My surgery was May 10th and my stomach is still bloated and all "messed up" too. I drink lots of water, prune juice, eat Metamucil cookies, and take my stool softener pills and laxative syrup. It stinks because I thought I wouldn't have an appetite, but I do and I'm swollen, so most of my clothes don't fit!!!
good luck

05-27-2006, 02:30 PM
I had my surgeries in February and my stomach is still messed up. I'm like bloated or my organs are not in the right place. hahaha! Wouldn't that be funny if they twisted all my innards around so much during anterior surgery that they are stuck now. Hee hee.

I look like I'm a little preggo. At first, it was constipation and bloating and gas. That went away and I started exercising, (PT and walking) and I have lost weight so I know this puffiness isn't fat, but it's still there. *sigh*

05-31-2006, 09:28 PM
It sounds like a lot of people have had similar problems. My mother has been x-rayed and had a ct scan this week to make sure that she does not have an obstruction, but the doctors have informed her that it is just a huge pouch of stool that won’t move. Summer and Katblack, I know the two of you have had your surgeries recently. Have the Drs informed you on how long this should continue before it is no longer considered normal? My poor mother has taken everything under the sun for this, but its just not working. Thanks.


06-01-2006, 01:57 PM
Nope..........I wish. My doctor said it was normal and everyone heals at different paces, so I have no idea how much longer we'll have to go through this!

06-02-2006, 05:29 AM
I was almost 2 weeks before I went after surgery and its only now (3.5 months post op) that my insides are getting anywhere at all back to normal. After I came home, even with regular laxatives (senna etc) I had periods of up to a week where I couldn't go. My doc said it was cos all my insides had been moved. I had the really preggo looking belly for ages and its still there a little. It seems quite normal for people to have problems of this kind after this kind of sugery but I will keep my fingers crossed for her - it's very uncomfortable to be in that situation.

Karen Ocker
06-02-2006, 04:54 PM
My belly got down to size in time. Exercise and weight control helped.
I had IBS before surgery but I think the strong antibiotics mess with the normal intestinal bacteria which belong there and are needed for proper digestion. It seemed to kick up after surgery. Also, opiods cause "the mother of all constipations". :eek:

When I had a recent hysterectomy they did find some adhesions there from the anterior approach.

A good site for IBS self-help similar to our scoliosis self-help is: helpforibs.com

06-02-2006, 05:57 PM
I know it sounds hideously petty,shallow, and vain, but I'm really proud of my flat stomach and I can't stand to think of all that bloating and distension after surgery!!!!

I keeping thinking of how brave I used to be about medical stuff back in my twenties...but that was because there was no internet and no information overload. I'm hooked on this forum -- mostly because I've now taken such an interest in all the great people on it -- but all the post-surgical stuff you guys are going through is scaring the bejesus out of me!!!!!!


06-03-2006, 04:20 PM
Chris, It's not petty or vain..........I too am very proud of staying in shape and having a flat stomach. With my previous back hump I had to be proud of my front half, the back half was so jacked up! Not all have the stomach swelling, I didn't. I LOL at Karen O's comment about opiods! It is so true, be prepared!