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Hi everyone, I just came back from my uro gynecologist who is sending me on to a colon surgeon next week. It seems that I have rectal prolapse and perineal descent that is causing this severe constipation. I need to have my sigmoid colon removed and he said that this would help significantly with having no more constipation. I am interested in hearing from any of you who have had this done. Needless to say I am scared out of my mind!!!!!!! I had a hysterectomy a year ago for uterine prolapse. Boy, things just keep getting better and better. Thanks for any help any of you can give me. Jody
 

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Jodys,Hi! A question. Does the Doc definitely mean all of your sigmoid colon (that would mean all of your large intestine)? If he does, then, yes, that would "cure" your constipation problem. But one thing to keep in mind is the fact that since you would only have your small intestines left, you would have very mushy to runny stool all of the time and you would probably "go" more often during the day.If he meant removing only some of the sigmoid colon (lg. intestine), then you may not have as many problems with constipation, but you would still have to be careful.I had a sigmoid resection 3 years ago, due to a large piece of the lg. intestine falling down and putting pressure on the pelvic floor---pushing the vagina and rectum off to the side. The piece that had fallen down (I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago) was full of diverticulosis and laying in an accordian shape fashion, which explained a lot of my on again/off again pooping schedule and some of the uncontrollable stooling. It had to be removed.The pelvic floor was very weak also and the sphincter muscle had only 1/2" of functioning muscle left---the rest had been damaged thru the years of constipation and giving birth to two children.Phase # 1: The sigmoid resection (bad part was removed), the vagina and rectum were straightened and tacked back in place--called a Vaginalpexy and a Rectopexy. And the intestines were tacked back up where they should be. I had to heal for 3 months.Phase # 2: The Levator muscles on the pelvic floor were tightened--called a Levatorplasty (like putting tucks or pleats in something) and the little bit of good sphincter muscle remaining was tightened in a snail type fashion--called a Sphincteroplasty. That took about 4 months to completely heal. It wasn't a "fun" operation, that's for sure, but it bought me 5 to 10 "good" years before I will need a Colostomy. And that's only because I have such a little bit of good sphincter muscle remaining. Hope that helps.
E-mail me if you would like.KarenYou're in Wisconsin? Me, too? Where is your Surgeon located? If you are close to Green Bay, I have a wonderful Surgeon to recommend to you. You would love him and he really knows his stuff. He's very kind, considerate and patient. And so is his staff of nurses.
 

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quote:Does the Doc definitely mean all of your sigmoid colon (that would mean all of your large intestine)?
No, the sigmoid is just a small portion of the large intestine. Presumably the problem is definable on x-ray where it can be pinpointed to a location and that is not a motility disorder.
quote:eek:ne thing to keep in mind is the fact that since you would only have your small intestines left, you would have very mushy to runny stool all of the time and you would probably "go" more often during the day.
Removing the whole large intestine would cure constipation from disordered motility, of course. However, some people who have it are also constipated in the small intestine as well and that could still be a problem.
 

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You are wrong Flux.I know of noone who has constipation problems when they only have the small intestine left.The large intestines main function is to absorb back into the body the fluids from the foods and drink that are ingested and digested. That's what firms up the waste as it passes through to be voided out.The small intestine only has minimal ability to absorb some fluids---most are past on out of the body as stool. Hence, the more liquidy stool that is passed.
 

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Flux,Unless you mean that the person has a serious "motility" problem; hence, the foods do not digest properly or pass through properly.
 

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Flux,You are right about the sigmoid being a section of the large intestine. Sorry.Sigmoid section is a piece of large intestine between the rectum and the upper part of the large intestine.Did I get that description right, Flux? Correct me if I'm wrong.In my case, approximately 18" to 20" had to be removed. But let's remembered---the average person has what? About 5 ft. or more of large intestine. Am I right, Flux?
 

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I've known two people who had some or almost all of their large intestines removed and I see a lot of the backs of their heads as they run to the bathroom. One had acute constipation and now has no problems since removing the colon, just a lot of loss stools. The other one has Crohn's and she is still very sick but no constipation. If I thought removing the colon would stop my IBS, I would do it in a second. I have not heard anything about this being a way to "cure" IBS yet.
 

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quote:I know of noone who has constipation problems when they only have the small intestine left.
quote:Unless you mean that the person has a serious "motility" problem; hence, the foods do not digest properly or pass through properly.
Well, of course for a serious motility problem. That is what this topic is about, no? Because otherwise, unless you managed to borrow the alien�s tracking device in Steven Spielberg�s Taken and implant it in the relatively few people on Earth who have severe constipation, how could you possibly know the people who in whom this problem has or has not continued after receiving colectomy for it? It turns out that about a third of them suffer after the surgery. This is mainly because the disease also affects the small intestine.
quote:The small intestine only has minimal ability to absorb some fluids
Big swing and miss. The small intestine normally absorbs way more fluid than the large intestine. The large intestine absorbs relatively little because it has already been absorbed by the small intestine. You are probably just fooled because you don�t get see just how much fluid you begin with.
quote:Sigmoid section is a piece of large intestine between the rectum and the upper part of the large intestine.
1 for 3.
quote:the average person has what? About 5 ft. or more of large intestine
2 for 4. Getting better, I guess
 

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Flux,I think you should spend an hour with my sons Gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic. You are wrong about the samll intestine absorbing way more liquid than the large.My son has an ileostomy. His stool is runny. He has all of his small intestine, but does not have any large intestine at all. He must be sure to drnk far more liquids, especially wter in one day than you or I do. His Gastro has explained the function of the small intestine to us many times. His stool is runny BECAUSE the small intestine only absorbs SOME of the fluids that the body passes through. The small intestines main function is to absorb the nurtrients from the foods. It's the large intestines job to absorb the rest of the fluids and expel the waste product. Slow motility is not the only reason why a person has constipation problems, Flux. I am not going to spend my energy arguing back and forth with you. Why don't you make an appointment with a Gastroenterologist and let him/her explain it to you? Time spent wisely.
 

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quote:You are wrong about the samll intestine absorbing way more liquid than the large.
quote:intestine only absorbs SOME of the fluids that the body passes through.
No, the small intestine most of the fluid that passes through the gut. The volume of fluid exiting the small intestine is just a small portion of the total.
 

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quote:the small intestine most of the fluid that passes through the gut.
Oops..that should say...the small intestine absorbs most of the fluid that passes through the gut. I wouldn't want to make a mistake, now
 

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JodyS,I apologize for the arguing back and forth with Flux. He tends to be quite a pain in the "arsh" to most of us. And he thinks he is always right, about everything; when, in fact, he doesn't suffer from any of these things pertaining to this BB. He loves to argue and make everyone else look small. Just ignore him. Like I said, he's a pain in the "arsh".
Flux, to prove you wrong, I phoned my sons Gastro today (we had several questions of our own that needed answering also) and asked him about the small intestine----and guess what?! YOU ARE WRONG. The small intestine absorbs SOME of the fluids and, of course, most of the nutrients from the foods that are ingested. The sole purpose of the large intestine is to absorb back into the body the fluids that were not absorbed in the small intestine and to expel the waste.By far, the large intestine absorbs most of the fluids the body has taken in. Naturally, there are some fluids that are absorbed by the small intestine, but things move through the small intestine at a faster rate than through the large intestine. Therefore, those people who have to have all of their large intestines removed for one reason or another, have to be sure to have 2 to 3 times more fluid intake daily then if they had their large intestines. Otherwise, they become dehydrated very fast.I wrote this info down as Dr. J. Perrault was giving it to me and I repeated it back to him, so I have the correct info. If you want to take this argument up with him, by all means give him a call and talk to him. He's at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.JodyS......Once again I apologize. Flux will probably post something back in response, so just ignore him.
Keep me post on your appointment next week with the surgeon, okay?
 

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quote:The small intestine absorbs SOME of the fluids and, of course,most of the nutrients from the foods that are ingested. The solepurpose of the large intestine is to absorb back into the body thefluids that were not absorbed in the small intestine and to expel thewaste.By far, the large intestine absorbs most of the fluids the body hastaken in. Naturally, there are some fluids that are absorbed by thesmall intestine, but things move through the small intestine at afaster rate than through the large intestine.
Perhaps the doctor misspoke or you misunderstood him or perhaps hejust really has his small and large intestine backward, butregardless, the above statements are
The small intestine absorbs MOST of the fluid in the gut.The large intestine absorbs most of the fluid that the smallintestine does not absorb.The small intestine normally absorbs about four times what the large intestine absorbs.
quote:those people who have to have all of their large intestinesremoved for one reason or another, have to be sure to have 2 to 3times more fluid intake daily then if they had their largeintestines. Otherwise, they become dehydrated very fast.
This is basically correct, but it doesn�t say anything but how much the small intestine absorbsrelative to the large intestine.
 

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I could have sworn I wrote down exactly what the Gastro said, but obviously I must have written it wrong. I do apologize for that.4WillieC---I appreciate the "subtle" way you presented the facts. Thank you!Flux---Perhaps you can learn something here from 4WillieC. Do you think you are so much better than everyone else that you feel you need to shove it in our faces? (I'm talking about the blinking "wrong" neon signs that you feel you need to post in order to make your point---it really isn't necessary.) Why not try a more subtle approach?! But then, you wouldn't know what that is, now would you Flux!?
JodyS----Again I apologize for the "twist" your thread has taken. It certainly wasn't my intention.
 
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As I see it, we are all in this together..to learn and to share information in a supportive way...anything else defeats and demeans the purpose of this site...willie
 

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Thanks 4WillieC, Fiesty, and Jody, I never thought about having my colon removed as a cure to my horrible IBS-C until recently. Just came from appt with gastro doc. I came out of there with "if we don't find anything from these next tests, the only thing left to cure your constipation, gas and pain is to remove your colon......... He is done the procedure before and said with a smile on his face.."oh well you look good with your clothes on so what does it matter if you have a colostomy bag... I am willing to try anything to get fixed, but I wasn't prepared for that... So now I have another reason to try, try and try again to find something to fix this before I go under the knife for this drastic procedure..***Even though he assured me that the patients he has done this to all are living active lives..Something I haven't done in a while..Oh well,keeping on keeping on.. Sue
 
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Hmmm...it is really hard to believe that they are serious about doing a total colectomy just to cure constipation. I can see removing maybe a foot or so...but not the whole thing.Last Spring I had a foot of my colon removed as part of a polypectomy...I had a stage 1 cancer in there as it turned out...the neat thing besides catching the cancer so early was that I havnt had any constipation at all since the procedure...I had experienced constipation most all of my life prior to the operation.
 

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I'm with you, 4WillieC. It does seem like a drastic procedure, but perhaps there is more to Sues constipation problem and that is why the Doc is considering this.I, also will need a Colostomy in a few years, but it is because I lack enough good Sphincter muscle. I don't have much control at all. Lots of accidents. It's better when I can keep things formed, but if I have a bout of looser stool for any reason, I can never make it to the bathroom in time---even if it's only 5 ft. away. I also lack "feeling" due to nerve damage, so a lot of the time, I don't feel much of an "urge" until it's too late. My Doc told me that when I loose the little bit of control he has given me back from the surgery 3 years ago, I will have to have the Colostomy.I do know of quite a few people who have Colostomies, and they are all active people and they say they don't mind it at all because they have their "Life back". And for a lot of people who need Colostomies, they can usually wear something similar to a "large bandaid" over their stoma when they are really active, like for swimming, etc. Some of them can go all day like that. Then they attach their pouch for nighttime and in the morning they irrigate to get things moving and then they are "on their way again. I know it's different for everyone, though. Different circumstances for different people.
 
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