My experience of having a proctectomy

My experience of having a proctectomy

After my initial surgery for a permanent ileostomy, I had a perineal proctectomy. I was unable to have the rectum removed at the same time because the rectum and anus was so severely diseased and I was nutritionally compromised so the healing process would not have worked well. As it happens I didn’t heal so well anyway. The rectum wasn’t strong enough to hold the stitches and I had a rectal stump blowout. This lead to pelvic sepsis which took quite a few months to overcome.

I had a rectal catheter inserted, which went up through the rectal stump into the pelvic cavity where all the nasty stuff was accumulating. This stopped me from being unwell because it drained the nasty stuff into the bag. After a few months the catheter was removed and the rest of the infection found it way out my stump. I had to use panty liners all the time but it was less painful than having the catheter in.

When I started to get better it was arranged for me to have the stump removed. I was lucky in some respects because I had a short stump and the surgeon could remove the rest through the bottom end without opening up my abdominal scar.

I remember waking up and being in quite a lot of pain momentarily until they sorted the pain meds out, they worked brilliantly. I had a bit of trouble passing urine because of all the injections and messing around in that area, so was given a catheter over night. I was amazed how much I could actually do the next day. Walking seemed ok, and getting in and out of bed was fine too. I could tentatively sit down but that was more uncomfortable as time went on, I assume because of bruising and the stitches tightening etc.

I staying in hospital for a couple of days and then went home to convalesce. We bought a couple of large squares of memory foam for me to sit on. It worked fairly well but I kept moving positions and laid down a lot of the time. I used to use really soft cloths to wash myself with and dab myself dry carefully. The stitches were dissolvable so I didn’t have to worry about them.

All in all it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, it is just unfortunate that I have now acquired a persistant perineal sinus with a cyst at the end, which means I need further surgery which could involve plastic surgery. I am seeing my surgeon soon to see what will be done for me.

You can also follow Clare on her blog.