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Hi there. Have you had any normal bowel movements since your surgery?
It is not uncommon for the bowels to "go to sleep" in a sense after major surgery such as you went through. We call this "ileus."It can takes days to weeks for it to wake up and begin to peristalse normally, especially when one is taking narcotic pain killers. Hopefully, this latest movement, as painful as it was, will begin to stimulate more regular contractions of your bowel wall and allow the colon to return to a more normal state. Your GI doctor will ask you about all of this (e.g. bowel history, medications, GI symptoms) and examine your abdomen and rectal area (to make sure there are no obstructions or complications from the surgery). He or she may also order a CT scan or barium enema to look at what is going on inside. They will likely adjust your medications as well and provide more effective agents for promoting evacuation.
First, they will want to rule out something near the opening that may be slowing or resisting the passage of stool, such as a large hemorrhoid or scar tissue or inflammatory mass. They will also want to check the tone in the anal sphincter to make sure it is normal. The CT will show details of the internal organs around the colon and any major issues involving the colon wall or any signs of obstruction from scar tissue, hematoma, etc. The barium enema (much like colonoscopy) show details of what is going on inside the colon (which does not always show up well on CT). There is also a very good chance they will not feel the need to get imaging, especially if all else looks good and they feel the bowels are starting to move more normally.
Does this make sense?
Hi Lisa. Does this help going forward toward your follow up appointment?