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XLIF 3 weeks ago, and distended tummy

BillOregonBBillOregon Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I had a double fusion via XLIF three weeks ago involving L2-3 and L 3-4. In the week immediately following surgery My upper colon was obviously swollen and I was so constipated that I had to have X-Rays to rule out an intestinal blockage. Since then, my G.P. prescribed Lactulose, and this has pretty much resolved the constipation issue. However, I am still definitely swollen roughly from my navel laterally around to the incision site at the back of my left hip. This has also pushed my navel slightly toward the right of center.
Has anyone else experienced this? I find it uncomfortable to button the top button on my Levis, and the skin feels extra sensitive to pressure in this area as well.
By the way, I am also still numb in the left groin area because the surgeon had to stretch that nerve out of the way when he went in.


  • Finally had my first post-op with the surgeon. Spine looks great. He said the distended abdomen is an occasional side effect from pushing aside the retroperatoneum from the inside toward the intestines. Usually all is back to normal in a couple of months.
  • also 2 level and my stomach has destined too .i asked and was told this can happen after such a traumatic surgery and can take up to a year to normalise !
    PS i am still in a lot of ache {rather than pain ] dull ache {sharp pain] its driving me mad even pain killers dont help i dont know if i was better before the operation or not .all i kn ow is i thought i would be feeling a lot better by now
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Maybe I was just lucky. But of the fusions that I've had over the years, the XLIF went the smoothest and had the least amount of problems. And I've had 4. Some single level, some 2 level, 1, 3 Level.
    But I've heard some people have had problems. Maybe it's the surgeon, maybe it's luck. I don't know.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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