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Operation 1 of 3 – Two and a Half Week Update


Diagnosed with UC in 2009. After trying all medications, it was finally decided that surgery is the next step. First operation was done on 23 may 2013 (so this is my update 2.5weeks post op). Surgeon decided to do the surgeries in 3 stages due to me having been on so much medications

Some more about me:

From South Africa, 29 year old Clinical Psychologist



Operation 1 of 3 – 2 1/2 Week Update

My experience of surgery:

Firstly let me say that i am fortunate to have a great surgeon, not one of those cold clinical ones, but one that really spends time with a person and seems to care. That really made the decision of going through with the surgery a lot easier for me. He was open from the beginning about the pro’s and cons and reassured me that he plans on taking things very slowly so there wont be any rush.

I met with the Stoma Therapist and Dietician 3 days before surgery. Both i found very helpful and informative so i was confident when i finally went to hospital on 23 May 2013. Surgery followed the typical procedure of knocking me out and waking 3.5-4 hours later in ICU. I was kept in ICU for about 3 days then moved to High Care (this is standard procedure). Initially i had catheter in and had to have it reinserted after they removed it on day 2 due to a urinary infection. Physio is there from day 2, making you sit in chair first and then making you walk daily. Pain is surprisingly bearable with the morphine pump.

Its very disconcerting seeing your stoma for the first time, it looks awkward and out of place. I did become quite negative when after day 5 my stoma therapist hadnt been to see me and my bag started leaking. Nursing staff didnt have any bags or anything on site so they tried sticky taping bag together which obviously didnt last long so that evening was not a very pleasant one but other than that everything seemed to be going ok.

I was finally moved to normal ward after about 5-6 days in high care. My stoma was being very active and giving off way too much liquid so they were concerned about dehydration etc so i was kept on a drip. Once i got to normal ward, drip was removed and i was trying to eat soft foods despite not having any appetite. Within a day my stoma went from liquid to too solid causing severe cramps etc so i was put back on drip etc.

Eventually 2 weeks after surgery things started settling down and i was finally discharged from hospital. Im now at home and been booked off for a further 2.5 weeks in order to recouperate. Have to follow up with stoma therapist weekly for now and surgeon every 2 weeks. Feeling ok but cant walk long distances and the stitches hurt making movement and coughing/sneezing difficult. I dont have a great appetite at the moment but am focusing on staying hydrated.

Next step is to see how my boyfriend reacts to the stoma; i haven’t read of anyone being rejected cause of it but i must say i am hesitant since my self image has taken a bit of a knock. Also need to figure out what to do about birth control since apparently oral pills are no longer as effective so they aren’t recommended. Does anyone have any suggestions?


currently on no medication but surgeon planning to introduce immodium etc in the near future. Have to take supplements for B12, potassium and Magnesium

written by Aphrael

submitted in the colitis venting area

2 thoughts on “Operation 1 of 3 – Two and a Half Week Update”

  1. Glad you are done with the affects of UC. I lived in South Africa for a year when I was 18. I’m 45 now, so it was a long time ago. I lived in Durban and Greytown in the province of Natal. I live in Minnesota now, originally from Canada. Thanks for writing about what the surgery was like for you. It’s always in the back of my mind as something I may have to do one day and it is nice finding out what it is like. I appreciate it. I never took birth control and the height of my healthiness as it makes me very ill, so I’m no help there.

  2. HI I am also going through the 3 stage process. I’m sorry that you had a leak…I felt the same frustrations during my last hospital stay because a similar thing happened to me. I wish you well. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to normal activities. My boyfriend told me that he understands why I have the bag so everything is ok. I hope yours understands as well.

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