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Bowel issues after surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,550
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
HI. I had ALIF on 7/13. I did really well that first week. WEnt home after four days in hospital. I was handling solid food well and having regular BM's. 3am Sun morning I woke up with severe stomach pains and a couple hours later stared vomiting. I have never had such severe stomach pains. My hubby took me to the ER where they did a few tests and finally after 6 hrs there got the stomach pain to ease a bit. They admitted me back into the hospital that afternoon and I am still in. I am not able to tolerate even clear liquids at this point. I get super nauseated and end up with Diahhrea. I have had a ton of tests to check things out and so far everything shows just what they would expect after having my intestines shoved to the side during the surgery.
My questions are... has this happened to anyone else? How long did it take you to get regular again? Was it from meds? trauma from surgery?
I am about at my wits end here. My back feels pretty darn good for only being 9 days out. I just wish I could enjoy it. It is so frustrating that the docs have no answers or reasons for all of this suffering and really no treatment plan. I haven't had anything to eat or drink since Sat evening. (except my lovely IV fliuds of course) All they are doing is giving me anti-nausea meds and pain meds. I had a small bowel tracking test this morning and it's 10:30pm now and I haven't heard from any doc, any word about that test.
Any advise, encouragement or ideas on where to go from here would be greatly appreciated.


  • At what segment was your surgery?
  • I must say in all my years of hearing stories about fusion, I have not heard of your particular problem. It is not extremely unusual to have some "cauda equina" problems when the lower lumbar area is involved. A nerve can be damaged in surgery, a ligament can be cut, or some soft tissue damaged that relates to the bladder, the rectum or the genetalia...but this does not appear to be your problem.

    Could you be having an allergic reaction to either something used during surgery, or to the medications?
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  • i went in for a day procedure with my gallbladder and wound up in the hospital for a week. :''( i had my handy iv and went through lots of tests and ect.. ect... :''( anyway, keep your head up.. :D it is good you are connected to the net while you are in there.. keep us informed.. lots of luck and know you are in my prayers!! >:D< Jenny :)
  • Most people who have the ALIF report stomach/gastro problems after surgery. It's usually a varying degree of discomfort or continued problems.

    My system wasn't right until about 3 months after surgery. Good side - I lost a lot of weight, bad side was I couldn't eat meat or anything that would potentially cause constipation. Things eventually got better.

    I am still numb around most of my anterior incision. Thats a wierd feeling.

    And unfortunately, with moving around of my intestines, they moved some "other" things" that don't like to be moved and has left me with a significant "male performance issue" (trying to be gentle here!). Since having this surgery, they now report up 22% of all men have this issue after ALIF surgery.

    Im assuming they have checked for some type of perforation to your intestines. If not, I would ask about that. Any fever associated with this?

    In the meantime, Phenergan works well for the nausea. You can ask about using Zofran as well. Both drugs work well. There are less side effects with Zofran than there are with the Phenergan.

    Good luck and I hope you begin feeling better soon.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I had L5/S1 worked on.
    All of my tests, including stool tests for viruses, have all come back normal.
    I don't know what's going on. I am just chalking it up to my intestines paying me back for having them shifted and squished for a few hours. I am so ready to be home though. I miss my family. :(
    I have been on both Phenergan and Zofran since being admitted. They bpth work well for the nausea. The Phenergan knocks me out though so if I do get that, I only get it at night.
    They are goingto try and have me eat today and see how it goes. But since I have already had diarrhea this morning from eating crackers and ice chips. =\
    My plan of action is to try and get up out o f this bed and walk around more. My hope is that the extra blood flow/movement will help to heal my bowels.
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  • Oh as for the meds. I was on Dilaudid last week from Mon.-wed. they then switched me to percocet. Thuurs. Sat night/Sun is when I got sick.
    They are stopping the Dilaudid again today and putting me back on perc. I am a little nervous about this move. But, I feel I don't need Dilaudid. I am not in that much pain. We'll see how it goes.
  • I also am having bowel problems after 360 fusion, I think the ALIF part jiggled with my intestines too much. I am not constipated anymore and I go just about everyday but I walk around with the feeling that I have to go all the time. Even when I dont. So I never really know when I have ot have a bowel movement or not. This has been going on all along but I thought it woud go away, it's not and its been 3 weeks so when I see doc on WEd I will ask him about this, I also have tendernesss and pain around anterior incision
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