You had surgery to remove your large intestine. Your anus and rectum also may have been removed. You also may have had an ileostomy.
If your rectum or anus remains, you may still have the feeling that you need to move your bowels. You may also leak stool during the first few weeks.
If your rectum has been removed, you may feel the stitches in this area. It may feel tender when you sit.
You will probably have pain when you cough, sneeze, and make sudden movements. This will last for 1 to 5 days.
Your doctor will give you pain medicines to take at home.
Press a pillow over your incision when you need to cough or sneeze. This may ease pain. Ask your doctor when you should begin taking your regular medicines again after surgery.
You may have Steri-Strips (small pieces of tape) placed across your surgical incision after your staples are taken out.
Take sponge baths for the first 2 days after your staples are removed. You may shower after that. Ask your doctor or nurse when you can soak in a bathtub.
Your doctor will tell you how often to change your dressing.
Do not wear tight clothing that rubs against the site of the surgery while it is healing. Use thin gauze over the wound to protect it, if needed.
If you have a colostomy, follow your doctor’s care instructions.
Sitting on a pillow may help with pain if the surgery was in your rectum.
Eat small amounts of food 5 to 8 times a day. Do not eat 3 big meals.
Some foods may cause gas, loose stools, or constipation as you recover. Avoid foods that cause problems.
If you become sick to your stomach or have diarrhea, avoid solid foods and drinking only clear fluids and for a little while. Call your doctor.
Call your doctor if you have severe diarrhea.
Drink plenty of water or fruit juice to keep enough fluid in your body.
Return to work only when you feel ready to. These tips may help:
Call your doctor if:
End ileostomy - colectomy or proctolectomy - discharge; Continent ileostomy - discharge; Ostomy - colectomy or proctolectomy - discharge; Restorative proctocolectomy - discharge; Ileal-anal resection - discharge; Ileal-anal pouch - discharge; J-pouch - discharge; S-pouch - discharge; Pelvic pouch - discharge; Ileal-anal anastomosis - discharge; Ileal-anal pouch - discharge; Ileal pouch - anal anastomosis - discharge; IPAA- discharge; Ileal-anal reservoir surgery - discharge
Fry RD, Mahmoud N, Maron DJ, Ross HM, Rombeau J. Coln and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 52.
Updated by: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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