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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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colon..waist size of 38 inches before surgery, Came out of two hours

Customer Question

I am male, 58 years old. I had colon surgery, no cancer. I had a waist size of 38 inches before surgery, Came out of two hours of surgery and with a 45 inche waist line. The doctor said it was normal to have an extended belly and it would go back to normal in about one month. Called him the second month as there was no change in my belly size. He said sometimes it takes longer. It is now seven month and it still is extended. I saw the doctor after four month and now he says it is belly fat.

Had a second opinon and he had a C Scan down. They found two small hernias. I had a C Scan down before the surgery and there was no hernias. The doctor said if I had the two repaired my belly would only be a little bit smaller. He does not know what is causing the extended belly.

Could you please help me. Thank you.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Hernias after abdominal surgery are very common. This suggests you have weakness in the abdominal wall and it may be worth seeing a physical therapist to look at exercises to tighten abdominal muscles.


However before you do this, it is also important to exclude fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites), usually percussion of the abdomen can suggest fluid, or an ultrasound although the CT should have shown free fluid.


Other things to consider are the presence of gas in the intestine leading to more bloating, and also reduced diarrhea leading to improved calorie absorption. Has your weight changed at all?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am not passing a lot of gas. The CScan does not show fluid. What then is causing the extended belly?
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

On examination is the abdomen soft or hard?

Has your weight changed?

What was the surgery?

Has the nature of your bowel movements changed? If

Can you 'breath in' your stomach to a slimmer figure?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

It is soft.

yes , five pounds.

Colon surgery to remove two small tissues.

No change in bowel movements.

Yes can breath in stomach.

Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for the extra information. I will assume that your doctors have thoroughly examined you and found no medical reason for bloating, or any signs of intestinal obstruction etc.

Surgery in the abdomen does have an impact in the abdominal muscles which can lose their ability to 'hold' in, and I would suggest that you work on exercises to improve the abdominal muscle tone. The fact that the belly is soft and can 'breath in' suggests that this is predominantly a muscle problem, and should improve with time.


The weight gain is not helping either, as men often put the fat on the stomach area, and you may have some increased subcutaneous adipose tissue. But with exercise and reducing calorie intake, you should see an improvement in about two to three months.