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Complications: Small Bowel Perforation

Posted Dec 21 2008 7:32pm

My incision and stoma after step one

My incision and stoma after step one

During the second of three surgeries (I had a three-step surgery, instead of a two-step surgery ) a complication occurred where my small bowel was perforated. Here’s what I can remember of the occurrence. Everything was fine, I even asked the surgeon to sew up my incision instead of having staples (this is usually a choice, ask for it if you want it!). The first surgery left a huge scar, and by sewing it up I could minimize the scar the second time around since they use the same incision point for surgery #2 of a three step process.

Everything was great for a day or so; I had a nice, clean incision, I felt fine. Somewhere during the second day, I remember now that it was a Thursday, I started feeling cramps — well cramps are hard to imagine considering I had my stomach slit open. Maybe “crampy” is a better way to put it. After a while, it felt as though I couldn’t relax my abdominal muscles, then I couldn’t relax almost any muscle in my body. I tried to sleep after a dose of morphine (which gives me terrible dreams by the way). My wife was sleeping on a cot in the hospital room (something she always does when I have complications). Around three am I awoke and could no longer sleep: my muscles were tense, my mind was racing, I could not relax any part of my body. I was concerned about this tensing because I didn’t want to reopen the incision that was not healed yet. My wife tried to comfort me, told me to relax, but relaxing was impossible. I can’t recall the next few hours but I went into emergency surgery early Friday morning.

My incision after step 2's emergency reopening

My incision after step 2' s emergency reopening

Because they had to reopen an incision that was just closed not more than two days ago, the manner in which they closed the incision looks a little different than most people’s. See how it curves left and right (the picture is sideways: feet to the right, head to the left). I’ve posted a photo here with the hopes that it will help others. My takedown, or step three of the three-part surgery, was on 11/4/2008. I’ll post a photo of the current scar in a few days. It really isn’t that bad despite the way it looks here.

Sure, it took a little longer than most for me to recover from having two fully invasive surgeries on almost adjacent days. I was in the hospital for two weeks instead of one, and for a week or two out of the hospital I was very weak and still somewhat nauseous, but I held in there.

Hang in there everyone!

Posted in j pouch surgery photos   Tagged: complications, incision, perforation, Photos, septic, step-one, step-two, stoma   
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