Sigmoid colectomy

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Hello everyone, I am 26 years old and I was diagnosed with diverticulitis last July. It had flared up 4 or 5 times before I went to the hospital the first time, I was being stubborn and thought I just couldn't digest meat very well. Then it was flared up for 2 weeks and I was trying to work through it and basically collapsed, I lost all energy and couldn't even stand. After I got home that afternoon I passed out in the middle of the floor 3 feet from my front door and my wife made me go to the hospital. They said I was constipated and sent me home. 3 days later I went back and was in the hospital 5 days. This past August it happened again but I had a terrible headache to go with it, apparently the infection had spread to my blood stream and I was in the hospital for 6 days. It was odd to me bc my stomach didn't hurt near as bad as the times before. After healing for 6 weeks I had a colonoscopy, and the Dr told me that if I didn't have my entire sigmoid colon and 2 inches of my decending colon removed that the next flare up could kill me. I have to talk to a surgeon on the 8th, but the only time I talked to the GI Dr was when I was coming down off of the sedation meds from the colonoscopy and don't even remember getting into the vehicle to come how. Can someone please tell me what I should expect from all of this? What are the chances I will not have to do this surgery again, and will this correct it and my life go back to normal? Someone just sharing their experience might make me feel better about it. I'm pretty much freaking out about it, mostly because I have a 6 year old daughter.

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  • Posted

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this I know it was long. I can't imagine having this for as long as some of you have. I think mine started bothering me when I was 24 so I think I've only been bothered with it for 2-3 years

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  • Posted

    I was very close to a bowel resection when I decided to do a bit more of research on surgery versus no surgery.  I have always had uncomplicated diverticulitis as a diagnosis, was given antibiotics for 10 days and a liquid diet for a week or so and it cleared up eventually.   Obviously if you have complicated diverticulitis that is much more serious.  Old school medicine would counsel that one flare would lead to another and each flare would be worse than the preceding.  I've read that is not the case.  I have cut out all nuts, seeds, skins on veggies, potato skins, popcorn - anything that is hard to digest.  In other words, it comes out the same way it goes in.  I have been flare free for almost 3 years.  Is it the miralax or is it the diet.  I don't know, but it works for me.  Probably a little of both!    A food diary is a good way to start.  

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    • Posted

      I'm definitely going to wait until after Christmas before having a surgery, and I would really like to manage this some other way. Then again I'm kinda thinking I may have done too much irreversible damage and I might need to get it taken out and make some serious changes to my diet. I think I'm going to try to manage it with diet and see how far it goes without a flare up. I'm currently 50/50 on surgery, it just seems to me that if some people have had it for 30 years and a lot of flare ups and can manage theirs with diet I should be able to also because I'm only 26. However every person or case of this seems to be different. I don't even know which one I'm leaning towards more. I know I'm going to try miralax or metamucil though, it seems like it helps everyone on here that take it.

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  • Posted

    The common theory is that only old people get this disease but I am seeing more and  more young people posting.  I had my flrst flare around age 57.  The theory is that in industrialized societies, we eat a lot of processed food and have very little fiber which in turns causes hard stools which in turn can cause the diverticula or pockets in the colon.  The powers that be say that societies where a lot of fiber is consumed don't have these pockets.  "They" also say that most people over the age of 60 have some type of pockets but only a few end up with diverticulitis.  But you are young so the theory of old age is out the window.  I started having problems when I started eating Kind bars every day for a healthy snack.  I believe that caused my first flare but I did not go to the doctors, I just stopped eating them.  I was OK for a while, then started eating nuts, - now another flare that sent me to the doctor. Put on antibiotics and told to eat a high fiber diet.  Eased back into it but as soon as I added non-soluble fiber, I had another flare.  That's when I decided to watch what I eat and have been flare free for almost 3 years.  "they" said all sorts of studies have debunked the theory of nuts, seeds, etc. but if you notice many folks on this site avoid them and have been able to control their flare ups.  As far as I am concerned, the  pockets are already there and no amount of fiber is going to reverse those pockets.  They do not go away.  Cat's out of the bag so to speak.  I would just do a lot of searching about surgery before you go through this very serious operation, unless of course you are in a dangerous condition with  perforation, etc.  Read up on the potential problems after bowel resection.  Good luck - whatever decision you  make will be the right one for you and that is what is important.

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  • Posted

    Hi Corey,

      Wondering how you are doing now that you are a couple weeks out after having surgery?

       I did meet with the surgeon last week. I am scheduled 3/26 for robotic colectomy. Hope I will feel much better! I can’t shake the pain and still have some nausea. This has been awful since Dec.

        As before , I hope you are well and continue to heal . Hope you can eat everything!

    Kate

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    • Posted

      I really really hope yours goes as well as mine. After having the one issue with rice I've had no other problems, I went back into to fast and went back to a liquid diet a few days. My staples came out after 1 week, and the 2nd week I ate a steak with no problems. I love steak and I couldn't eat it for 2 years. Good luck to you Kate, keep us updated. Are you worried about the surgery?

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    • Posted

      I’m worried! I’ve said before I am not worried about the pain, or if they would have to do a colostomy. I don’t want an NG tube since nausea kills me anyway! I can’t Wait to feel better!  4 months of nausea isn’t fun.

       Two questions for you  how long was your surgery and did they send you home on antibiotics?  And apparently there is a new protocol at the hospital where they inject the nerves in your abdomen to reduce the amount of narcotic you need after did you have this?

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