Right Hemicolectomy with complications

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi.  My name is Jan.  I have had a procedure, a Right Hemicolectomy and I am hoping someone here might be able to offer me some advice or share their experience if they too have had a Right Hemicolectomy.   Just a quick background- I went in to hospital on 11-12-14 expecting nthing more than an appendectomey.  When I awoke in recovery I knew something more drastic had been done and learned they had to do a Right Hemicolectomy as there was a large mass and great infection in my bowel.  It was quite a shock, to say the least.  They did the procedure through an open surgery and left me with about a 5 inch long incision.

On Boxing day, about 3 weeks later my wound blew open and a massive amount of infection poured out.  I went back to hospital where they put me under anestesia and drained the wound.  They decided to leave to wound open and pack in with a dressing to let it continue to drain.

The following day, a District Nurse came to the house to check the wound and when she removed the dressing the room filled with an awful odour and feacal matter was oozing out of the hole in my tummy.  This too was quite a shock and very upsetting to me.  

Back to hospital - they checked it out and believed a fistula had formed and they reccomended using a Stoma Bag to catch the draining feacel matter.  

a few wekks later, I had a second infection which blew out another spot in my wound - back to hospital - treated and sent home - 2 dressings - the stoma bag and traditional packed dressing.  No more feacel matter, just a beige ooze from my site.  Sometimes foul smelling but not of feacel.  

I am now 2 months and 2 weeks post surgery.  I had the stoma bag treatment end last week and am now using normal dressing though there is still a lot of output and these need changing 2-3 sometims 4 times a day. 

Again, outflow is light brown, sometimes smells almost what I would conisder "Bad breathe".  Sometimes the outflow is nearly black - a very very dark brown and when this happens in is painful.  Other times not so much.  

Phew - if you made it this far, thank you  That brings me up to where I am now.

I feel disheartened and find this procedure difficult to cope with in some ways because I cannot see any measurable improvement - the hole in my tummy is still draining, is still painful,  it still looks the same width (about 3 cm) and I just feel like there is change or no end in sight?  

Can anyone else share any information, experience, advice with me that might help?  I don;t understand why the outflow changes colours and why it hurts when it is dark but not when it is light in colour.  How long does it take for a hole in your gut to heal?

Also, my bowel functions were absolutely perfect immediately following the surger - the first 2-3 weeks or more - but now - I have at times URGENT needs to open my bowels, and feel I may not make it to the toilet. This is a worry when I am on the trains, or walking to work, etc. I have not yet returned to work yet, but still worry.   This can occur 3 or 4 times a day whereas before and for my whole life, I was a one a day kinda gal.  The substance is very loose, and at times painful to go and there is bright red blood on the tissue.  (I do have a history of piles which were surgically repaired over a year ago).

Well, thats me, inside and out.

Thanks for your interest and any guidance you can offer.



0 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi jan, sorry to hear you have had a rough time. I've not had a RH but have recently had major open surgery which developed an infection and a hole opened up in my abdomen which had to be packed daily by the district nurses. I never thought it would heal but I went on a major nutrition boost with decent protein and I found that once I did this the wound healed rapidly. I mean really rapidly. My hole was 4cm deep and 3 wide. Suddenly it went to 2 then .5. This was within days. I was ecstatic! I too have loose frequent bowel motions and have to rush to the loo. I am due to see the consultant at the end of March and will discuss this then. Did they remove your appendix? I've heard many people complain re this once appendix is removed. I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery.


    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply Deb - I really appreciate it.  Sorry to hear you have had this trouble too, but glad you are now seeing it mostly in the rear view mirror!

      What kind of Nutrition Boost did you do?  Can you give me a few examples of what your diet consisted of - what type of protein, etc?  That wuld be really helpful - I will do anything to speed up the closure of this wound.  

      And yes, they did remove my appendix - it was a mess.  I am hoping this urgency to get to the loo goes away.  Its odd that for the first few weeks following the surgery - several in fact, its only  been a recent development - but the first few weeks everything was perfectly normal - and now - I worry about being out in public too long.  sad  

      All in good time I suppose.  Thanks again for taking the time to reply - its really helpful and encouraging to hear from one who has been through it.  x

  • Posted

    Sorry jan I forgot to mention, my wound took about 10 weeks in total to heal. I still get pain from the wound site at times which I put down to adhesions. I too had brown gunk coming from it which ponged.


  • Posted

    Hi jan

    I purchased a Nutri Bullet and every morning made myself a smoothie consisting of Kale, carrot, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana, fruit juice. I scrambled an egg and had that for breakfast too. I ate almonds and walnuts through the day. I ate chicken breast, fish and quorn. I took a good quality Phytonutrient made by Viridian and organic flaxseed oil. I also ate loads of satsumas as I just craved for them. I didn't stop eating chocolate but I really made sure I ate well. And I also had one Complan a day food supplement. After eating like this for about a week I saw a drastic improvement in my wound and it just sped up from there. Even the nurses were surprised at the speed of the healing. It's worth a shot. You don't have to buy the nutribullet, anything that smooths/juices well would work I suppose. But just getting as much nutrition in you as possible should help speed your healing. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. It would be good to hear how you get on.

    Take care.

    Oh and also, I was told that it was improtant for the brown gunk to come out and that the wound doesn't heal until the fluid stops. I think the nurses called it exudent? 


  • Posted

    Hi J en,

    you have my sympathy,  I had hysterectomy 6 weeks ago and also now have hole in bowel. It's been a nightmare journey and I'm still in hospital.  I am having specialist nutrition and the plan is to leave the hole heal itself.  I still have drains in and have also developed a fistula.  My consultant said it can take upto 3 months to heal but we are all different,  I find it very difficult to cope at times - the hospital is 70 miles away from my home which doesn't help.

    hope you get some answers soon xxx

    • Posted

      Oh poor you - its awful, isn;t it.  I forgot to mention in my post that this too is a Fistula and that is a good expectation of time to heal.  I am going approaching  three months now and it looks like it is getting close.

      I am now pretty convinced the urgency in needing the loo is down to an old hemmerhoid I had repaired surgicallly a year ago - it has now gotten EXTREMEY painful and angry.  So be sure to try and keep yourself as regular as possible through your healing.  As said, this came out of the blue as everything appeared picture perfect at the start.  It is probably a combination of the surgery, infections and being sedentary for so long.  

      Good luck to you too - I hope your wound heals quickly and without incident.  Not what you needed on the back of a Hysterectomy.

      All the best.  x

  • Posted

    I am wrting on behalf of my wife. she also had a Right Hemicolectomy due to Chrohns disiease caused blockages.

    She had the same complications fistula and all, including explosive bowel movements. Another op to rejoin the suture line connecting the intestine to the colon sorted out the fistula( yes, she had a stoma bags for a few months while they waitied to see if it would heal itself) 3 yrs on and she still had explosive bowels and hence isn't able to work. She Occasionally takes a couple of laxitives to remove blocked fecal mater from her stomach, that under xrays look like rocks in her stomach ( as the surgeons put it). We tried using a magic bullet blender etc but the problem with that is unless you've had a Right Hemicolectomy then you have no idea what the effect of extra liquid in food does to your bowel motions....the colon absorbs moisture from food... hence  bad diarrhea.

    Same reason why she can't eat leafy veges/ fibreous foods....high water content.

    So I smile at the well wishers on here but please. unless you've actualy had a Right Hemicolectomy with complications please be considerate in answers....Oh by the way, she has also had a hysterectomy and thats a walk in the park compared to this.

    So.. if anyone, having been through the same operation with the sme complications can offer ome sound advice...we would really appreciate it.

    Thanks for putting up with my ramblings.

    • Posted

      Hi - I have an ileostomy so have no colon at all,  due to Chrons.  I had it 30 years ago with few problems apart from occasional blockages which are so excruciating and terrifying.

      it awful when you don't recover well from surgery.  I had a hysterectomy last year and my bowel perforated,  I spent 3 months in hospital being vein fed and now have abdominal fistula,  certainly no walk in the park for me!  In fact it was the worst of all the operations I have had.  I am on a Hugh protein diet and make use of nutri bullet too,  diahorea with an ileostomy is no joke but I find I'm ok with smoothies etc,  but we are all different and all our experiences are different.

      i hope she finds some answers soon as it's very hard.  I too no longer work and I hate it .


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