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Michael asked...

Discomfort after surgery on my bowel.

Tags: Cancer

I had bowel cancer 10 years ago, 2 operations carried out. First one part of colon removed followed by 6 months of chemo. Second operation 12 months later, colon removed small bowel attached to rectum no chemo.

Since the operations I have always suffered with discomfort across my lower abdomen which has got worse as I have got older, I also produce a lot of wind and my stomach continually rumbles.

The problem is worse when I get up in the morning, but gets better as the day goes by. I am 70 years old and reasonably fit for my age. Do you think this problem is related to my stomach muscles not working as well as they did, or something more sinister?

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The answer

Any procedure that removes part of the bowel will affect absorption and how fast food travels through the gastrointestinal tract, this tends to be faster so noises from the gastrointestinal tract are normal and to be expected, usually due to gas and fast transit through the bowel.

The lower abdominal tightness if this is where the surgical incisions were made, may be related to scar tissue forming post-surgery. This does continue for over a year post surgery and can cause tightening. There is also a potential issue with adhesions that can affect the bowel after surgery, this is where loops of the bowel can stick to each other and this can cause problems over time.

If the discomfort is causing problems I do suggest you talk to your doctor about this so you can be examined. Hopefully this will help you.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.


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