/ Calling colectomy collectors

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Andy Gamisou 06 Jun 2019

Due to have a partial colectomy next week, and was wondering if anyone who has had this procedure would like to share any information on how long after the op. it took them to get back into climbing, and whether it had any long term impact on their climbing. 

Happy to receive PMs if potential respondents would prefer not discuss on an open forum. 


jon 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

It's possible that the answer to this depends on which part of the colon is removed - in my case the sigmoid. I started to climb again very gently at four weeks post op and waited another month to start trying harder routes. My main concern was to not damage the abdominal incision, which for the sigmoidectomy is slightly lower than an appendix scar but on the other side. However, despite being cautious it did herniate slightly but the surgeon decided to leave it as long as there was no pain from it. This was back in Feb 2014 and the hernia remains the same size. The operation is quite a frightening prospect but in the event it was a complete success and has had no long term impact whatever on climbing. 

Andy Gamisou 06 Jun 2019
In reply to jon:

Good to hear.  Thanks for responding!

Geras 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

Hi Andy, I was back climbing about 4months after, as I was straight into chemo after surgery and that knocked me for a six. Also relevant is that my operation was too low/complex for a key hole procedre, so I had open surgery which takes longer to recover from - 6 to 8 weeks just for the scaring to get to the point that you can move around comfortably.

When I did go out climbing it was Indoor, then a bit of sport and top-rope only. The CR nurse also arranged a sort of short corset, to help support the stomach wall muscles that I wore at first, but I no longer need.

Key was when I went in for the pre surgery marking, I took my harness in and wore it so that the Stoma was placed out of the way of the hip belt.

jon 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

Having just read Geras post I should add that in my case the colon was just stapled back together with no need for a stoma etc. I'm sure this would have quite a bearing on recovery time. 

Andy Gamisou 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Geras:

Glad that you're back into it and hopefully clear after the chemo.

> Key was when I went in for the pre surgery marking, I took my harness in and wore it so that the Stoma was placed out of the way of the hip belt.

Ah - that's a super useful tip!  Getting a colonoscopy and cystoscopy shortly before the exact extent of the section is finalised.  Currently hopeful that can avoid a stoma, but if it becomes necessary then this is something I'll have to persuade them to take into account as this sort of lifestyle issue isn't likely to be high on their agenda. 

Tom V 06 Jun 2019
In reply to jon:

And are you still climbing with the hernia? I ask because I have suffered the same setback over nine months after the laparascopic nephrectomy I underwent last year.

I had already given up climbing and  drystone walling but now I am even neglecting certain gardening chores for fear of aggravating the damned thing.

Mike505 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

I had a total colectomy at 19 with a stoma for 3 months and then a reversal and j-pouch formed (I'm 10 years post op now) so different from you op. This was all before I started climbing, i was however pulling up into the loft a few weeks later (maybe 6 - 10). Long term impact of j-pouch (which I assume you won't need) is the need to go to the toilet more regularly. My scar was sensitive for quite a while afterwards but I dont imagine it'll be a problem for long of at all

You may find that until your bowel gets working properly again you experience some weight loss (I went from 10st 3 to about 9st for a few weeks). I had further complications from adhesions but that's not the norm. Keeping your diet easily digestible will also make life a little more comfortable in the first few post op days/weeks, fish, well cooked veg etc...

Best of luck, take it easy and enjoy the morphine!

Post edited at 17:30
Mick Fowler 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

If you do have a stoma the main risk seems to be of a hernia. My consultant told me that about 1 in 20 get hernias. I took it gently at first (but my op was much more than just a stoma) but was back to pulling as hard as I could after 6 months. I discussed positioning of the stoma with the nurses before the op and took in my harness etc. etc. But when it came to the op I got the impression that the view was taken that it minimises the risk of complications if the cut off end of the sigmoid colon comes through the abdomen wall without any kinking. Mine comes out right where my harness waistband crosses it but, rather to my surprise, it doesn't cause any significant problems. All in all i found the whole stoma thing causes me a lot less grief than I had imagined. Happy for you to PM me if you want more detail.

Andy Gamisou 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike505:

Thanks Mike.  The weight loss might be a positive ;-)

Andy Gamisou 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Mick Fowler:

Cheers Mick.  Hoping to avoid a (permanent) stoma, but good to know it might not be so bad if it does come to that.

Geras 06 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

Should add that just a couple of weeks ago, I was discharged from the consultant s care. So, yes all clear now. Thanks

IanNicBit 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

I had a right hemicolectomy just under four years ago. 

I wasn’t climbing at the time but was training and powerlifting. 

It took me ten days to be able to walk 400 metres but then was walking 10 k within another week. 

I wasn’t allowed to lift anything for 6 weeks due to the risk of incisional hernia, I did start working on my core and had fascial massage to minimise scar tissue. 

Sneezing hurt like hell.

I started training again at six weeks and within six weeks had a reasonable level of fitness and strength. 

I always thought I would never be able to deadlift again due to the forces involved but within a year was beating my previous bests. 

My advice would be don’t push it and your body will recover. 

The only effects I have now is that I, also go to the loo more frequently, generally I am more likely to have loose stools as less water is removed in the colon and spicer food is sometimes an irritant , although not enough to stop me eating it. The only effect from the operation itself seems to be I have one ab that aches a bit more than the others and occasionally pops forward but pushes back in place. 

jon 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> And are you still climbing with the hernia?

Well yes, sort of. It began to appear after just a couple of weeks of surgery. The surgeon said wait and see and said if it got substantially bigger or painful he'd repair it with a mesh. Well it got a little bigger but then seemed to stabilize (it's now oval approx 15cm x 8cm, projecting maybe 2cm, all centred around the incision). That was five years ago. My theory is that the muscles just healed around it (but I'm not a medical person...). Its only downside now is an aesthetic one  Can you not have yours repaired? I thought it was a reasonably standard procedure?

Post edited at 20:23
Mike505 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

Ah it won't last long! Admittedly I was very slim at 19 6' 1 and only just over 10 stone! I'm pushing on 12 now though I'm much more active. My dad gave me one bit advice before surgery, pick your first meal post op wisely as you'll be tasting it twice. Sure enough his prediction was true but it wasn't too bad at all, sneezing on the other hand! Keep a pillow to hand, hold it firmly to you abdomend and it takes the edge off.

If you end up with a NG tube try not to tug on it! In a opiate induced haze I was well on the way to removing mine, only to wake up and shove it back down before the nurse realised :D (my dad full on removed his whilst hallucinating a fishing trip)

You'll be fine, it's amazing how resilient and adaptable to change the human body is.

Post edited at 23:23
Tom V 08 Jun 2019
In reply to jon:

Mine sounds similar in dimension. As to having it repaired, the discussion went along the lines of "If it's not causing pain and there is no effect on your bowel movement, at your time in life, having just undergone a fairly major operation, do you really want to undergo more surgery?"

I'm glad to hear that yours has stabilised with a more physical regime than mine..maybe I'll dig those taties up after all.   

Andy Gamisou 08 Jun 2019
In reply to IanNicBit:

Cheers for sharing that.  Helps keep my hopes up!

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