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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Ileocecectomy - Advice/Expectations?


10-20-2011, 07:26 PM   #1
jess
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Ileocecectomy - Advice/Expectations?

Hi all,

I am new to the forum but am scheduled to have surgery (an Ileocecectomy) a week from today (Oct. 27th). I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2009 and haven't had a "bad" flare up until recently. I have been hospitalized three times since August (each for about 5 days each) with extreme abdominal pain and nausea. They sent me home the past two times with a PICC line through which I have been receiving TPN (nutrition). I have been on TPN and a clear liquid diet for about three weeks now and will be up until my surgery next week. This is hopefully to increase the probability of being able to do the surgery laparoscopically, however, the surgeon has said he can not be positive until he gets in there and sees what is what.

Anyways, I have never had surgery before and was hoping for some information about other people's experiences or what to expect in terms of the surgery itself and recovery. Also, any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. The surgeon has told me I should expect to be in the hospital for 5-7 days after the surgery and that a "full recovery" can be any where from 3-6 weeks.

Again, I would appreciate any thing people have to offer!

Thanks!
Jess
10-20-2011, 09:07 PM   #2
Emily
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Hi Jess and welcome! I hope your surgeon can do it laparoscopically, it is less total incision and faster healing time. Also, 5-7 days in the hospital sounds about right, although some people are there for just a few, and some like me for 11! It all depends on how quick your bowels wake up, you won't be leaving until your bowels are passing stuff through. My best advice is to relax for the following month and don't try to jump right back into everything, take it nice and slow!
I started moving a bit too fast and went out partying last Halloween 3 weeks post-op and infected my incision. so take it easy! I hope everything goes well. Truth be told, it's not so scary and in fact it changed everything for the better for me. Good luck!
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10-20-2011, 11:00 PM   #3
tiloah
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Hey welcome to the forum.

I had this surgery recently. You can check out our surgery subforum for peoples' experiences. I posted mine in the most exceeding detail I could.

Good luck with the surgery. I hope it goes well for you and has you feeling good for a long time.
10-20-2011, 11:11 PM   #4
archie
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Hiya and welcome I also had this surgery last yr and as mentioned above it's hopefully not as bad as you think. I was in 6 days post op til as the bowels a bit sluggish post surgery and the first week was the hardest recovery wise and pretty much back to normal after 5 weeks. My advice is get up and moving as soon as possible as it helPs you heal in more ways than one. Good luck and keep us posted many people get great results with surgery so try to keep positive.
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Diagnosed Crohn's 2010
ileocecal resection 2010
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10-20-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
jess
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Thanks guys. I will definitely check out the other forums as well.

Were your surgeries able to be done laparoscopically? Also, what were your experiences with eating after the surgery? Were you on a liquid diet for a while? Are there certain things/foods I should have in the house for when I get home that might be helpful?

Thanks again, this has been really helpful in alleviating some of my anxiety already!
10-20-2011, 11:40 PM   #6
tiloah
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My surgery was done laparoscopically with hand assist. This means basically halfway between laparoscopic and open. They just couldn't remove what needed out without a larger incision. I had two laparoscopic incisions at the bottom of my hips and one larger vertical scar going down my belly button, which is about 5".

I was on no food for several days. Because your system is not "awake" you are not hungry. When they said I could eat food they said no restrictions. I was still very scared of the pain and of eating food, so I was extremely cautious. I ate "safe" foods in very small quantities. After about a week I realized that eating wasn't going to hurt anymore and I became more adventurous. But I was more comfortable eating things like mashed potatoes, apple sauce, scrambled eggs and things of that nature at first.
10-21-2011, 12:08 AM   #7
Feather
 
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Hey Jess!

I had the same surgery 8 weeks ago (it was my first surgery, too). I'm glad your surgeon is positive about doing the surgery laparoscopically--that's how mine was done, and it really makes the recovery so much easier. Try to take a walk as soon as you're up to it, because it makes the bowels wake up more quickly. I was in the hospital for 7 days, and I went back to school 5 days after that. It was probably 5-6 weeks before I really felt like I was getting my full energy back.

Also, be sure to take it slow when you're released from the hospital. Short walks around the neighborhood worked well for me. I always forgot about lifting heavy things, and I think that slowed my initial recovery (and also caused a lot of pain), so definitely remember not to lift heavy things!

I couldn't eat anything for about 3 days after surgery, then I could start having water, then more substantial liquids, then soft foods, then a regular diet. I'm still being really cautious with foods, though, eating a modified low-residue diet. I really liked crackers (saltine-type and graham crackers) after surgery. Italian ice was really good for me, too. I had both of those things in the hospital but got them at home because they were good, easy things to eat. Mashed potatoes were also a pretty simple soft post-op food that worked well for me.

Good luck with your surgery! I hope everything goes so well!
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Diagnosed Crohn's in 2003 (age 11)
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10-21-2011, 12:23 AM   #8
jess
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Hey Feather, thanks for your response! How have you been feeling since the surgery? Have you noticed improvements already?

Also, does any one know if a catheter and/or drain around the incision are always involved in this type of surgery?
10-21-2011, 01:14 AM   #9
archie
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Hi Jess I also lime diesandhr had hand assisted laproscopic surgery and have about a 3 " Incision through the belly button which was needed to remove the damaged bit of bowel. I was on a soft diet for a day then eating a low res diet for 6 weeks after that but everyone is different, if your on clear liquids before you might ne on them for a bit after but a dietician will come see you. The surgery itself wasn't to painful but the gas pain in the shoulders wS worse so take it really really easy post surgery not to many visitors as they tire you out with talking and don't lie too long in bed walk walk anwalk some more and take all the drugs needed, I took day clothes as it was nice to get out of the pj's every morning and get a breath of fresh air outside.
10-21-2011, 01:13 PM   #10
tiloah
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I had a catheter and a drain. I suppose that would be at your surgeon's discretion, but be prepared for both.
10-22-2011, 01:37 AM   #11
archie
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I had a catheter which is standard for most post surgery but luckily no drain
10-22-2011, 04:22 PM   #12
Feather
 
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Hey Feather, thanks for your response! How have you been feeling since the surgery? Have you noticed improvements already?
I'm feeling really well! It definitely took awhile for me to start feeling like this again, but I'm getting more and more energy every day. I'm also feeling better than I did for years before the surgery, because my huge stricture is now gone!

Also, does any one know if a catheter and/or drain around the incision are always involved in this type of surgery?
I didn't have a catheter when I woke up from surgery, but they had to put one in after I was awake (so annoying!) because my bladder was still "asleep" from the anesthesia and was getting too full. I didn't have a drain.
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