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Thread: Thinking About Asking My Doctor for a Colostomy & What Tests Besides Colonyoscopy ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Spring Hill , Florida

    Thinking About Asking My Doctor for a Colostomy & What Tests Besides Colonyoscopy ?

    I'm asking for advice about what questions I should ask the surgeon(s) when I go to surgical clinic before going for colostomy surgery?
    Also what tests besides a colonoscopy should be done before actually going for the colostomy surgery? I've heard of a test called a sitzmark study where you swallow something that has tiny rings in it & you wait for it to pass thru your intestinal tract then the rings are counted to see how fast they traveled thru your instestines. I have sluggish bowels should any other tests be done also first?
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Last edited by RAFS; 01-23-2009 at 07:16 PM.

  2. #2
    We don't routinely do colonoscopy prior to an elective colostomy. What would be the purpose of this? We used to do some transit time studies, but rarely do any more. Lots of Xray exposure, and if we already know you have a megacolon, it does not tell us a lot. Generally if you have a megacolon, you need a more proximal colostomy rather than a distal one because of the lack of effective peristalsis.

    Other than this, you should have a CBC, chem 20 panel, and if over 40, and EKG. If you have a history of heart disease, a pre-operative cardiac clearance and/or chemical stress test would also be commonly required.

    Some questions to ask:

    Where on the large intestine would you plan to do the colostomy?
    Am I a candidate for laprascopic colostomy vs. traditional surgery?
    How will you assure that I don't develop a pressure ulcer during this surgery?
    How long would you anticipate me being in the hospital?
    Will this require a full pre-operative bowel prep? If so, can that be done in the hospital vs. at home?
    Would you work with my SCI physician to plan needed orders and SCI related care for my hospitalization?
    How would you manage intraoperative and post-operative autonomic dysreflexia?
    Would you leave my distal colon in place or remove it?
    What aftercare would you anticipate I need to do for my distal colon long term if it is left in place?
    Do you work with a specific CWOCN (ostomy nurse)? When can I see him/her?
    How much time do I need to be off work after the surgery?
    How long and what types of post-op activity restrictions will I have for things like transfers or doing stressful ADLs (like dressing) or driving?


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