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Constipation from a Tortuous or Redundant Colon?

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#1 Hiroshimmer

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:43 PM

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For the past year I've had a really bad problem with getting stuff out, and it feels like I have a knot in my lower left abdomen when I haven't gone in a while. A colonoscopy, ultrasound and barium x-ray revealed no problems other than a long coiled intestine.Since the past year it has gotten worse, with it no longer being a problem of constipation, but the inability to get even liquidy stuff through.Everyone keeps calling this constipation and tells me to take more liquifying remedies (miralax 2x day, mag citrate, amitiza...) but when liquid won't pass through, what's the next step?I really don't feel like another pill is going to magically uncoil it so things can pass through, and it feels like the only other step is surgery which everyone has told me to stay away from because I'm way too healthy etc.Does anyone else have this problem?


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#2 Sean

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:51 PM

I have about a foot of extra colon. My transverse colon has an additional loop in it that dips down to just above my rectum. My doctor is non-committal about whether the redundant colon makes my colonic inertia worse. I do know that it makes it harder to clean out my colon for a colonoscopy and makes it more challenging to get a colonoscope fully inserted.

#3 annie7

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:29 PM

Hiroshimmer---yes i have similar problems --although i don't know if i have an extra long colon--a colonoscopy scheduled for end of november should be able to tell me that.i have slow transit constipation --dx'd by the sitz marker test. per my gastro's advice, i've been taking a mixture of a stimulant laxative-- dulcolax--and milk of magnesia and while that used to work well about four years ago when i first started it, now unfortunately it's not so reliable. because of the milk of mag, my stools are fairly liquid but i still don't pass them well. it feels like all this sloshy liquid gets hung up in the transverse colon --not the rectum or sigmoid colon. if i can get it down to the sigmoid or the rectum, i can get it out. but not if it's above. i also have a lot of pain in the upper left side of the colon--the splenic flexure. some days are worse than others. even water from a big quart size enema won't all come out--a lot of it just stays up in the transverse colon. so i stopped doing those (years ago they used to be reliable) i don't understand why i simply cannot pass all this liquid stool. when i talk to the gastro about it, he just keeps telling me to take more osmotics--miralax (which doesn't work at all) or more milk of mag. i've tried to follow his advice but all those extra osmotics just collect up there in the transverse colon and make me even more bloated and sloshier--i feel like a washing machine stuck on rinse--lol.i'm now to the point where surgery would be a relief but the gastro and his PA keep telling me "i don't want that".......oh yes i do.. i'm desperately hoping that the new constipation med that was just fda approved--linzess (linaclotide) will help. it's supposed to be available in decemeber.good luck to you--please let me know if you find anything that helps--thanks.

these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#4 Hiroshimmer

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:26 PM

Annie7-Ugh yes! We're in the same boat, except my problem is more around the sigmoid area. It feels like pressure or something is bunched up and needs to be shifted.Miralax works somewhat for me, but as of the past 48 hours its as if something just shut closed and thats that. I finally got some straight up liquid out, but it both took forever and I can feel that it wasn't all of it.My mother works in the GI lab and she talks to and I have seen the two doctors she works with. All of them shun surgery because it can cause so many other problems (and I personally form bad scar tissue) but I don't know what else to do.I wonder if you have a kink or a stitch or something that is keeping stuff back.After your colonoscopy be sure to ask about redundancy or narrow areas or anything like that.I had my colonoscopy and they basically said "its moderately redundant. see ya."I am taking donnatal again today, I'm hoping this helps today.It might be worth looking into, it relaxes spasming intestinal muscles however since it slows them down it can slow the transit of stuff even more for you.

#5 aaltimas1

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:12 PM

I seen somewhere there is a type of surgery that can be performed where they insert some type of tube into your colon and your can flush it out with water once a day with like a pump, I dont know what this surgery is called but I will look for it again on the internet? Has anyone else heard of this type of surgery?? Or has had it done?

#6 annie7

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:15 PM

yes, i have heard the same about surgery and how it can cause more problems--and the scar tissue problems, too, worry me. plus i might have to have an ileo (a bag) because i have outlet problems--pfd, a rectocele and a vaginal prolapse. and i definitely do not want rectocele and/or prolapse surgery with all that horrid mesh!it's good your mother works in the GI lab--i imagine that's helpful in getting information....hopefully..although i don't think "moderately redundant--see ya" is helpful at all. quite dismissive, actually. that doc should have given you some advice as to how to deal with it, especially since it's causing you problems! yes, thanks i do plan on asking questions about the colonoscopy. i'm not sure i'll be in any condition to ask (or remember) much about it after the procedure but i'll ask plenty at the follow up--which won't be till january or so. have you had a chance to ask your doc if the colonoscopy showed any kinks or anything like that in the sigmoid area? anything that would shed some light on your situation?i have read that there are sphincters within the colon, at the junctures between the different parts--ascending, descending, transverse and sigmoid. i know i'm probably not quite explaining this properly, though. but they're there.hope the donnatol helps! i take librax--another antispasmodic--but yes, you're right---these meds do have a side effect of more constipation so i try to limit myself to only taking it when my pain is especially severe. but thankfully it does help with the pain.good luck--let's hope tomorrow is a better day--- i'm always telling myself that.


these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#7 annie7

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:18 PM

aaltimas--yes i've read about that surgery too--it's the MACE procedure. i've been planning to ask the gastro about that too. a few years ago someone here on the board posted about it. he'd had the procedure and it was a big success--he said it gave him his life back.

these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#8 aaltimas1

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:21 PM

Thanks Annie, it seems like that is a good approach to constipation rather then slicing and dicing??? I am willing to try something like this,MACE if it would help me get back into life ?? thanks all

#9 Hiroshimmer

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:11 PM

Annie7 -I've been doing a bunch of things to try to help work things through my kinks, but either something is too kinked to let things through, or I'm having spasms so bad that it's constricting the area (hopefully this one, this one is easier to fix...)After my colonoscopy I was actually able to be back to normal within a few minutes, no memory lapse or goofyness, everyone is different though. You might want someone to come into the room when its finished so you can ask questions and they can help you remember what was said. The colonoscopy and barium enema(UGH) showed some loops in the sigmoid area, and one area that went straight down and did a 180 to go back up, that might be the specific point of my problem? I wonder if you have a similar problem in your transverse. I know theres three sphincters, the obvious outer one and another two right where the sigmoid attaches to the rectum(right?). I think those are working fine as my pain is further to the left.Tomorrow may be a better day, but I'm tired of planning it around my poop, or the lack there of. :c

#10 Hiroshimmer

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:13 PM

aaltimas -The only thing I'd really worry about with that type of treatment is the risk of infection from having a foreign object inside, and the constant removal of good bacteria from the intestine. I'm not sure how much either of those are an issue, but it's something I personally would worry about until I knew either way.

#11 Hiroshimmer

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:25 AM

Thanks internet, you lead me to finding this new bowel reconstruction surgery type: http://www.carponovu...oducingCARP.pdfCarpoNovum has set the goal to change the perception of how to create an anastomosis. Fundamental studies in wound healing and amazing creativity in the art of engineering have paved the way for the vision. What the colorectal surgeon and patients would benefit from is a procedure which:
  • Creates a fast and reliable anastomosis.
  • Reduces morbidity and mortality.
  • Avoids the need for a protective stoma.
  • Detects potential leakage after surgery.
  • Maintains elasticity of the intestine after surgery.
  • Has the possibility to stimulate, and to improve the outcome of the healing process.
  • Monitors and determines the status of the circulation in the intestinal ends before creating the anastomosis.
  • The surgical procedure should be short, user-friendly and easy to learn.
Of course it seems to only be in Sweden so far...Anyone hear of this?

#12 annie7

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:36 AM

Hiroshimmer--thanks for the link. no i hadn't heard of this before. sure does look good though---a big improvement over what we have now.and yes i try to work through my kinks also. lying down with a microwaveable heating pad sometimes helps--relaxing, deep breathing and massaging the kink through the pad often helps relieve the pain and also release trapped gas (although unfortunately not trapped stool) i also do the whole bowel massage thing...and yes that loop you have in the sigmoid area--that goes right down and does a 180 up--that sure does sound really problematic to me.that's good that you were coherent right after your colonoscopy, without a memory lapse. i'd really like to be able to ask questions about it right there on the spot rather than have to wait til the follow up. my hubby--my "responsible driver"--will be there of course and he'll help me remember what i've said if i'm coherent enough to say anything but he's not very proactive when it comes to talking to doctors and asking questions.this is actually my second colonoscopy. had my first one about nine years ago when i was 51 (yes i'm old--lol) at that time the doc did not say my colon was unusually long or twisted. i have read from other people's posts that their gastros said that a colon can develop problems --like stretching out--over time. so maybe that's what's happened with me.and oh yes i do hear you.i have had chronic constipation problems for over 50 years now and yes i truly am getting tired of planning my days around--as you so aptly put it--my poop or lack thereof..

these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#13 Sean

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:06 AM

I had a surgeon at a well respected university teaching hospital recommend the MACE procedure to me in the late 90's. I was still in my 20's then, and decided not to go through with it. The daily irrigations through the stoma just seemed like a lot of trouble. I was told that I would need to block out an hour a day. I just figured that I could do the same thing with conventional retrograde (through the rectum) enemas if I wanted to and had the time. The same doctor also wanted to remove about half of my colon to see if that would help with the colonic inertia by cutting transit time in half.I talked to a couple of adult patients who had had the MACE procedure and they were both satisfied. I have been thinking about doing it now, but my doctor tells me that I may no longer be a candidate. They won't do it unless you can demonstrate that conventional retrograde enemas work effectively to empty your colon. A large warm water enema no longer works completely for me. Like Annie, I retain a lot of the water in my upper colon, and nothing I do seems to make it want to come out. I can feel the water sloshing around in me for the rest of the day. The bloating from the retained water is not fun, either. I am thinking that the water is getting stuck in the redundant loop of my transverse colon. My gastroenterologist is now talking about surgery to either shorten my colon or remove it entirely. I am trying to avoid that as long as possible.

#14 annie7

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:15 AM

thanks for that information, sean. looks like the MACE procedure isn't for me, then. oh yes--carrying all that retained enema water around all day is truly wretched.

these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#15 aaltimas1

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:57 PM

I vow to you guys and to the universe that I am going to keep trying, today I woke up with major depression this ibs has effected my life so impact fully my only goal now is to find some relief and help others. God willing I will be successful, I am not going to give up I give up many times in my life jobs, football teams, school programs years ago and that was one of my greatest regrets, it doesnt matter if I achieve success at this point all that matter is that I keep trying and keep growing spiritually. There is some much out there it get overwhelming, but I will try o take part in this form more offten, I love all of you and if you have suffered like me I will cry or laugh with you because some days feel like they will never end.

#16 pukka

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:03 AM

I had never heard of the MACE procedure. I have thought that removing a section of my colon would make things better for my IBS - C. Anyone done this?

#17 PoopiePalace

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:43 PM

To All of You Fellow Toilet Tangoers: I too have suffered with chronic constipation my whole life and not until I found this forum a short time ago, I suffered alone. I never realized there were so many of us out there dreading each and every day. Basing our whole lives around our bowel movements. I cannot work early morning jobs, I don't travel if the plan flight is too early in the morning, I miss going to important conferences because check-in and registration is usually too early for my system to accommodate. I never eat breakfast out and often have to say no to invitations to do things, all based on my bowels. I know I am preaching to the choir here but it often feels so unfair that we have to suffer like this for years on end. However, there can be light at the end of this dark tunnel. I was finally referred to the motility clinic at Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. And I have to say this is the truly the poopie palace. These doctors embrace the whole bowel process and leave no stone unturned. They performed 5 different tests on me before a diagnosis. They found out I had both a biological problem which led to my physiological problems. I did a hydrogen breath test which showed I was positive for methane gas. This indicates and overgrowth of bacteria in my small bowel, which is the cause of my constipation and had it been eradicated many years ago I wouldn't have messed up my insides. The treatment for this was 2 specific antibotics and now a specific diet and to my surprise it is low in fiber, which goes against all we have heard about how to help constipation. The antibotics killed all the bacteria and by body does what it was meant to do naturally. For the first time in years I get an urge, sit on the toilet and poop. Just like that and it happens every day. I do still take Mirlax every night but according to the doc. not a problem. And without too much information the poops are normal and healthy. Now for the physiology which my help you guys with the crazy colons. My colon too is not normal, it transverses back and forth like a Z. But they did a test called a defocography to find this out which is much better then a colonoscopy. Barium paste is inserted in your rectum and then you poop while they are filming the process so they can actually see what happens to your insides when you make a bowel movement. It was more facinating then gross. It showed that I had have major surgery to repair the insides (rectopexy, rectocele and entrocele). But it has been 3 months now and I never thought I would have an urge and be able to just sit down and poop again. The diet is tricky but that can be for another time. I just wanted to say it feels good to not be alone and I hope this is a little help.

#18 pukka

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 07:02 PM

To All of You Fellow Toilet Tangoers: I too have suffered with chronic constipation my whole life and not until I found this forum a short time ago, I suffered alone. I never realized there were so many of us out there dreading each and every day. Basing our whole lives around our bowel movements. I cannot work early morning jobs, I don't travel if the plan flight is too early in the morning, I miss going to important conferences because check-in and registration is usually too early for my system to accommodate. I never eat breakfast out and often have to say no to invitations to do things, all based on my bowels. I know I am preaching to the choir here but it often feels so unfair that we have to suffer like this for years on end. However, there can be light at the end of this dark tunnel. I was finally referred to the motility clinic at Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. And I have to say this is the truly the poopie palace. These doctors embrace the whole bowel process and leave no stone unturned. They performed 5 different tests on me before a diagnosis. They found out I had both a biological problem which led to my physiological problems. I did a hydrogen breath test which showed I was positive for methane gas. This indicates and overgrowth of bacteria in my small bowel, which is the cause of my constipation and had it been eradicated many years ago I wouldn't have messed up my insides. The treatment for this was 2 specific antibotics and now a specific diet and to my surprise it is low in fiber, which goes against all we have heard about how to help constipation. The antibotics killed all the bacteria and by body does what it was meant to do naturally. For the first time in years I get an urge, sit on the toilet and poop. Just like that and it happens every day. I do still take Mirlax every night but according to the doc. not a problem. And without too much information the poops are normal and healthy. Now for the physiology which my help you guys with the crazy colons. My colon too is not normal, it transverses back and forth like a Z. But they did a test called a defocography to find this out which is much better then a colonoscopy. Barium paste is inserted in your rectum and then you poop while they are filming the process so they can actually see what happens to your insides when you make a bowel movement. It was more facinating then gross. It showed that I had have major surgery to repair the insides (rectopexy, rectocele and entrocele). But it has been 3 months now and I never thought I would have an urge and be able to just sit down and poop again. The diet is tricky but that can be for another time. I just wanted to say it feels good to not be alone and I hope this is a little help.


Wow! it sounds like you really found the right place. I live in Miami, but will consider going to Cedar Sinai if my condition does not improve in the next few months. I was doing really well only taking probiotic yogurt, benefiber and prunes and then about three months ago I started to have problems evacuating. Like you this is not really about constipation, but in getting everything out. I am now in the process of going through a CT scan and a small bowel series. I had a colonoscopy about a year ago and it was fine. I am currently taking aloe Vera in the morning and afternoon, probiotic in the morning and Creon with meal and am doing ok with the bloating (one of the worst symptoms for me) but I can feel that I have not evacuated completely.

#19 PoopiePalace

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:50 PM

To Pukka, the decography test showed why I was unable to completely eliminate. It would take me at least 2 hours every day to completely empty and sometimes I would just give up and feel awful for the entire day. You might want to suggest to your doc. to be able to have a decography. This was where they found out my rectum had prolapsed, I had a rectocele and entrocele which all caused the stool to get caught up in places and not eliminate completely. Once they fixed how the stool came through the small bowel and colon they were able to address the cause, which was the overgrowth of bacteria. I believe our conditions are multifaceted and often doctors don't want to look at what can be the true cause, which is why I love the docs up at Cedar Sinai. They never said, eat more fiber, drink more water or just do suppositories, laxatives, etc., what they said is "You should not be constipated so let's find out why". Take care.

#20 pukka

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:51 AM

To Pukka, the decography test showed why I was unable to completely eliminate. It would take me at least 2 hours every day to completely empty and sometimes I would just give up and feel awful for the entire day. You might want to suggest to your doc. to be able to have a decography. This was where they found out my rectum had prolapsed, I had a rectocele and entrocele which all caused the stool to get caught up in places and not eliminate completely. Once they fixed how the stool came through the small bowel and colon they were able to address the cause, which was the overgrowth of bacteria. I believe our conditions are multifaceted and often doctors don't want to look at what can be the true cause, which is why I love the docs up at Cedar Sinai. They never said, eat more fiber, drink more water or just do suppositories, laxatives, etc., what they said is "You should not be constipated so let's find out why". Take care.


I looked up the Cinai center and it really looks like they know what they are doing. I am really happy for you!!! Do you think it was the operation or the antibiotics that have helped you improve with the incomplete evaculation?





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