Bowel Obstructions: Time for Surgery

As I talked about in my previous article, I was having horrible stomach pain in June of 2009. I know I made a bad choice by going to a concert that night. I could justify my actions though. I knew that I was returning to the hospital the next morning and I had a feeling things weren’t going to go in my favor. So why not enjoy the evening?

The next morning, I met Dr. Rombeau at his office at Temple Hospital. He hurried me along to the “outpatient CAT scan lab.” He informed me that I would hear from him with my results by noon. I went to lunch with my mother and went home to wait for his phone call. Around five after twelve, I got a phone call from Temple Hospital. It was the Chief Resident of Surgery. He told me that they had found a hole on my bowel, and that the operation room was being prepped as we spoke. He said to get down to Temple now!

Emergency surgery due to bowel obstruction

I started to panic!

I threw some clothes in a bag and ran to get my mom in the other room. I told her that Dr. Rombeau was in the O.R. preparing to perform emergency surgery. We sped down to Temple Hospital, and the Chief Resident whom I had spoken to on the phone met me at the emergency room. He walked me through the E.R. and right into the O.R.

The O.R. nurse told me to get out of my clothes and into a gown. Everything was happening so quickly I thought I was in a dream. I was able to speak to Dr. Rombeau right before I went to sleep. He told me that there was a small hole in my small bowel. He wanted to open me up and repair it. If he didn’t get me into the O.R. now, I would get more sick, because waste was literally leaking back into my GI tract. Dr. Rombeau added that he couldn’t guarantee that the J-Pouch would be able to withstand the surgery. There was a chance that he would have to put a ostomy bag back onto my stomach.

Waking up from a successful surgery

Six hours later, I awoke from the anesthesia. I was very out of it, but I first reached down and felt for a bag. There was none! As I began to come around, and think more clearly, Dr. Rombeau came in to see me. He told me that the surgery was a success. He repaired the hole in my small bowel. I was going to fully recover after a weeks stay in the hospital. I was very lucky, but I had lots of questions to ask.

The reason for my bowel obstruction

Over the next few days, I started to ask the doctors that were servicing me about bowel obstructions. They informed me that the more surgeries I have on my bowel, the better chance of obstructions due to the scar tissue that forms post-operation. There was really no way of preventing it.

Since 2009, I had one other bowel obstruction. I was able to avoid surgery by just resting the bowel. Resting the bowel sometimes loosens up the bowel, and allows digestion to occur again. If you are an individual with Crohn's, and you have ongoing pain in your stomach, make sure you visit your doctor. I almost became septic, and that would have made this surgery and outcome much more complicated.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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