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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Colostomy
Answer: The colon's main function is to absorb water from your food. Failure to absorb the water leads to large volumes of loose stool and occasional dehydration. Agents to slow your colon may help. Fiber is the place to start. I'd discuss your problem with an Ostomy Nurse or a Colorectal Surgeon. They deal with these problems all the time. You shouldn't need additional Vitamins or calories if only your colon was removed. If any of your small intestine was removed, this alters things considerably.
Answer: It can be reversed if you still have an anus with enough colon to reanastamose the surgical stump. However, if your anus has been removed, or if there is insufficient stump to connect there is no way to reconnect the colon.
Answer:An adenoma of the colon is a relatively common finding. These are the usual cell type found in polpys of the colon. If left unchecked, these will eventually grow into cancers. Once an adenoma has progressed to the point that it is blocking the colon it will usually turn out to be a cancer of the colon as well. Surgery in an elderly patient should not he undertaken lightly. However, her other health problems are probably more important than the abdominal surgery. That is, if she is active and relatively healthy, I'd proceed with surgery. The reason for this is that obstruction of the colon or intestines is a painful and
grueling way to die. A rapid surgery should not be exceptionally risky. Also, there have been pioneering work in colon resection using laparascopic techniques. There are several research oriented surgical centers who could probably perform this type of surgery. Whether your grandma will need a colostomy depends on the size and position of the tumor/growth. More importantly, I'd leave this decision to your grandma-once she is in possession of the facts.