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Colon surgery done. Started vomiting. Will it be safe to go for second operation?

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Oncologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 576 Questions
My Son 47 years old just went through colon surgery. They removed 18 inches of his colon, a valve and reattached his small intestine. All was good until he went home. 3 days later he started throwing up. Then back to hospital. He has been laying there 3 days with some type of restriction. Now they are talking of a second operation. I am very concerned. Please give me some advice. Thanks, XXXXXXX
Posted Mon, 1 Apr 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 2 hours later

Sorry to hear about you son's condition. What was the initial surgery done for? Was it cancer or IBD?
Majority of the cases of intestinal resection and anastomosis do well and have no/minor problems in the post-operative period but some patients can develop post-operative obstruction. This happens because loops of bowel get stuck to each other after surgery.
This type of obstruction usually settles with conservative management (naso-gastric tube, no food/water by mouth and IV fluids) within 72 hours. If this condition does not settle within this time, then a repeat surgery is required to remove the obstruction otherwise the intestines can give way and perforate or become gangrenous.
As it has been 3 days since this problem, it is better to get him operated again as the doctor is advising.

Hope he gets well soon.
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