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Had a bowel resection for a vaginal fistula. Had wound infection. On medication. How long will it last?

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Hello, I am a 63 yr old woman. A month ago I had a bowel resection for a vaginal fistula which was a complication of diverticulitis. The surgery was difficult as there was quite a mess in my pelvis from the months of diverticular flare up. I ended up with a temp ileostomy. I progressed reasonably well initially but then had a wound infection and break down of the lower part of my resection. The surgeon said it should heal. Have finished a course of antibiotics. Pain has almost gone but Im totally exhausted and wonder how long this will last. Blood tests were all normal last week.
Posted Sun, 12 Aug 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Neelam Ashish Vanjari 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

Infections are common after bowel resection surgery.

As per your history, you have finished antibiotic course for infection.
If pain and fever is not present then no need to worry about infection. In addition to that blood tests have come normal.
So do not worry, consult with surgeon during your follow up visit for CAT scan or ultrasound to make sure bowel fine.

It takes some time [at least 4 weeks] for body to recover from surgery. Let me explain few facts regarding recovery.

1] No heavy lifting for 4 weeks.
2] Bowel habits usually change, either constipation or diarrhea occurs. It takes months to return to normal in few people.
3] Appetite varies. Take 3-4 small meals instead of 2major meals to reduce stress on bowels.
4] Energy intake should be proper. Make sure you take vitamine supplement and yogurt which work as probiotic.
5] Follow routine exercise like walking without stressing too much.
6] Regarding ileostomy- Temporary ileostomies are also often made, so fecal material doesn't enter the newly-made pouch until it heals and has been tested for leaks – usually a period of eight to ten weeks. It is then "taken down" or reversed by surgically repairing the loop of intestine which made the temporary stoma and closing the skin incision.

I hope I have answered your query. In case of any doubt, I shall be happy to help you.
Best regards,
Dr. Neelam.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had a bowel resection for a vaginal fistula. Had wound infection. On medication. How long will it last? 3 hours later
Thank you for your advice. Im just wondering when to expect my energy to return as now, just over four weeks post-op, Im still extremely tired and not ready to return to work or even do any chores around the house.
I had expected to be feeling good by now. You have said that it takes the body at least four weeks to recover from surgery. I dont have pain anymore and the wound infection seems to be healing well but its just the extreme tiredness that concerns me.Im usually very active and didnt expect to take so long to recover.
Thanks for your help XXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Neelam Ashish Vanjari 28 minutes later

Thanks for writing in.
Body does take 4 weeks to recover from resection surgery, but in terms of pain and movement. Recovery varies as per individuals.

Bowel resection is considered major surgery. You should increase your energy intake in terms of vitamin supplements [iron supplements help a lot] - you can have protein shakes available in market.

Have yogurt which is probiotic which strengthen gut immunity.

One thing is good that you do not have pain and infection is getting cleared. 4 weeks is not too long period to recover. Give some more time to your body for recovery.
As you eat well and take rest to recover body; tiredness will go off and you can resume your daily routine.

Make sure that on ultrasound bowel condition is good.
I hope I have cleared your doubt. In case of other doubts, feel free to revert back.
Best regards,
Dr. Neelam.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had a bowel resection for a vaginal fistula. Had wound infection. On medication. How long will it last? 10 hours later
Thank you
Answered by Dr. Neelam Ashish Vanjari 11 hours later
You are welcome XXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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