CRC Ft. Lauderdale believes in the power of knowledge. We offer the most current information on colon disease and minimally invasive procedures.
With both open surgery and minimally invasive procedures (MIP), you will need time to heal. You will be on intravenous (IV) fluids and pain medication and will not be able to eat for the first couple of days. You also will probably feel tired or weak and experience loose bowels for a period of time.
Side effects of colon surgery typically include short-term pain and tenderness and temporary constipation or diarrhea. If you have a colostomy, you may develop an irritation of the skin around the opening (stoma).
Remember that your body is unique, and so are your emotional needs and your personal circumstances. In some ways, your colon disease is like no one else's, and no one can predict how your body will respond to treatment. Statistics can paint an overall picture, but you may have special strengths, such as a healthy immune system or a strong family support system. These have an impact on how you cope with colon disease. If at any time you are having trouble coping, talk with your doctor, nurse, or social worker about your concerns. They may also suggest a therapist or mental health professional to help you.
Your healthcare team will monitor your progress and work to get you back to normal as quickly as possible.
After your surgery, regular follow-up exams will be very important for you. These exams, which may include a physical and a rectal exam, a colonoscopy, and blood tests, can determine if your colon disease has come back. If you had MIP for colon cancer, other tests, such as chest x-rays and CT and MRI scans, may also be done if anything suggests that the disease has returned. If colon cancer returns, it is often within the first two to three years after surgery.
If you’ve had a colostomy, follow-up is an important concern. You may feel worried or isolated from normal activities. Whether your colostomy is temporary or permanent, there are healthcare professionals trained to help you. Ask your surgeon about programs offering information and support in your area.
If your MIP was for colon cancer and you had subsequent radiation therapy, it could affect your feelings about your body and could lead to changes that affect sexuality. Your cancer care team can help with these issues, so don't hesitate to share your concerns.