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Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 31315
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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My wife has had a colostomy bag for some months now (since

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My wife has had a colostomy bag for some months now (since my last question.) She goes in tomorrow to have her entire large intestine removed and her small intestine attached to her rectum. My question is how dangerous is this operation and is there a chance of her not making it through the surgery as I am terrified. Her question however is will she lose weight from it as she has gained a great deal of weight since having the bag. What should she eat and how will it affect her life? How long is the normal hospital stay as her doctor says he will probably keep her for two weeks.

Kind Regards
Stuart Barrentine

Hello stuart,
I am Dr. Arun and will be helping you today.

The anastomosis of small intestine to the rectum is a major undertaking but is routinely done, thus surgeons usually have lot of experience. So life threatening surgical complications during the operations are very less. Blood loss is one of the major issue during the surgery. Since there is always facility of the blood transfusion, this is easily sorted out. But anesthesia complications (lung issues like collapse) are around 2%. Almost all of them are manageable. Thus this surgery has very low mortality rate (around 2 out of 300 patients).

She is likely to loose weight after the surgery as whole of the large intestine is removed which can cause frequent diarrhea. After this surgery, people loose lot of intestinal fluids which now can't be absorbed. So there is likelihood of weight loss. Initially all fried food, soda drinks, foods which are difficult to digest are prohibited as they can cause severe diarrhea. Nuts, meat, pies, cakes also need to be restricted initially. Gradually body would adjust and acclimatize and diarrhea episodes would gradually decrease with these foods and most of foods are tolerated in about 6 months. She would be allowed whole wheat bread, banana, other fruits, thick soups, broths, egg white, coconut water in the first week. Gradually most of things can be added according to the body responses. The total duration of stay in the hospital can be around 10-14 days; as your doctor mentioned.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.

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