So yesterday was my second appointment with the bowel surgeon at my hospital where my IBD is treated.
After a positive GI clinic appointment last week – which you can ready about here – I was in two minds to expect a date for said surgery – a limited bowel resection – so soon; at the very least I was hoping to be put on the waiting list. This consultant’s wait was roughly 3 months when I inquired at our last appointment in January; if this was still true – unlikely given the upcoming doctors strikes – that would put surgery around the July point. Some thing I was happy with; it would give me time.
I was the last on the morning schedule, so had the arduous task of waiting around after my appointment time, despite being taken into a second waiting room twenty minutes prior.
Once I was in his consulting room, he needed to examine my abdomen – which I haven’t had done in such a long time! – and boy did it hurt! My right side is quite tender these days – no meds and a messed up ileum I suppose will do that – and I was uncomfortable for a long while after the exam.
He then checked my scope results – a refresher no doubt – and then proceeded to check my last two MRI scan results – October 2014 and October 2015; a matter of weeks between them. I knew my 2014 scan shown a possible fistula in the end of my small bowel. This has now healed with my planned treatment plans of Infliximab, Methotrexate and Vedolizumab last year. That would good news. The cyst on my left ovary was not.
My GI did mention when giving me the 2015 scan results in December a cyst and did I want to explore GYN again. Given my known history of PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – I declined another referral and consult. The surgeon has recommended that given its location so close to my small bowel, it would do with removing. Brilliant! Luckily, they could do this whist I am under for my resection, providing I consent and there is an available GYN surgeon that day. Edit: this could explain some of the right sided pain I have been getting, maybe?
He then explained and showed me how he would do a resection, where this would take place and how much he was looking to take out. As it stands right now, it is 20-30cm of small bowel surrounding and including the terminal ileum and an inch or two of my colon to joint healthy bowel to healthy bowel. He advised that he would do the best he could to do it laparoscopically instead of open but he wouldn’t know for sure until the day and how much further into the small bowel was diseased. He also didn’t know if anything from the fistula had adhered to the rest of my bowel or anywhere else for that matter, so alot of it is down to what happens on the day.
“Are you taking the steroids any more?” he asked. I’ve been without them for just over a month, this he seemed to be particularly pleased about, nodding and smiling at me. I’m doing my best to do without them or anything else. Harder some days than others.
He has proposed Thursday 12th May for surgery. He has an opening that day and it could do with being done sooner rather than later. Failing that, he has one two weeks later on the 26th May. Expectation of being under for 4-5 hours with a hospital stay of 5-10 days, dependent on the type of incision he has to make. He was going to request an urgent GYN appointment to discuss my cyst – which has come back as next Tuesday; bloody quick, which I’m very thankful for! Getting in so quick might just mean both can be done on either date I get for the resection – and I would receive a letter for my pre-op appointment next week. All in all, a pretty decent appointment.
Since then, my boyfriend and I have come down to Cornwall for some much needed R&R before all this kicks off. Good job as well, seen as it could be quite soon. I’m not exceptionally worried about the bowel surgery, more about this cyst needing to be removed.