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Reason for cramps and lower back pain after colectomy?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5372 Questions
Hello I am concerned about cramps I have been having off and on for sometime. I have had a total colectomy in the fall of 2008 along with an oopherectomy and appendectomy. Since then have had my left adrenal gland taken out in 2009, 2010 I had my uterus taken out due to tumors and cramping, and most recently last summer I had my gallbladder taken out. These cramps feel like premenstral cramps and my lower back hurts periodically. I would appreciate any info you can give me. Also I had stage 3B cancer of the colorectum and have been a survivor for 6 years. Thankyou. YYYY@YYYY
Posted Fri, 28 Feb 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 44 minutes later
Brief Answer: Partial bowels obstruction. Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you for the query. Most probable reason of such cramps is partial bowels obstruction due to adhesions and/or intestinal junction narrowing. Every surgery leaves adhesions in the abdominal cavity. And with every surgery the risk of bowels obstruction is higher. Bowels obstruction usually gives bloated abdomen, nausea, occasional gas and/or stool blockage. One of the obstruction complication is dehydration. Back pain seems to be a symptom of urinary tract infection which is quite coomon when dehydration appears. Please do not wait with it anymore. Consult your surgeon. Abadominal X-ray should be done at first. Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions. Regards.
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Follow-up: Reason for cramps and lower back pain after colectomy? 26 minutes later
Thank you for your response. I wanted to let you know that I have an ileostomy as well and am constantly emptying it. I dont think that I have an obstruction or blockage of any kind. Periodically I do have gas which can be very painful. It feels like an elephant trying to pass through my small intestine. I went to my gastroenterologist for it. He ran tests and thought I had a blockage. I then went to a surgeon who poopooed it and gave me pain pills. I still have the gas pain and just try to watch what I eat. Also when I had the gallbladder surgery, the surgeon repaired adhesions while in there. I think they were outside of the abdomen - in and around there, I suppose. Could they develop that soon after the gallbladder surgery again? Anyway, I will consult with my surgeon, and again, I appreciate your responce. Sincerely, YYYY@YYYY
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 15 minutes later
Brief Answer: . Detailed Answer: This just confirms that there is a partial obstruction somewhere in the small intestine. I do not think about complete blockage. Its more like a narrow place where the gas gets trapped and gives pain as long as it wont get through this narrow area. Such partial obstruction (it is called that way even if there is no real obstruction) can be invisible in the abdominal X-ray (I assume that was done when gastroenterologist tried to help you). Next step is enteroclysis (special abdominal CT with oral contrast). Adhesions can appear even in few days. Removing adhesions just can make it worse as new once appear. Regards.
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