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Talk to the Beating Bowel Cancer Nurses

mj

Blood in stool after surgery...help!!

I had laparoscopic surgery for stage 2 bowel cancer 2 weeks ago (part of my colon removed and reconnected) and I was recovering well until this evening when I noticed blood in my stool and on the toilet paper. Is this normal? I'm a bit worried....

jobo

I had bleeding after surgery but it had stopped by the end of the first week. Ring your CNS. She'll know.

louisah

Hi mj,
this kind of bleeding is common straight after surgery, usually caused by blood left over from surgery, and would probably be fairly small amounts. It should gradually reduce and stop altogether. Do you have any other symptoms, of new pain around the operation site, feel unwell or have a fever? Are you opening your bowels ok, and eating and drinking ok?
It may be worth calling your colorectal nurse so that they can assess your condition over the 'phone, and either reassure you, or ask you to come in.
Let us know how you get on, Louisa

mj

Thank you both so much!
I rang the nurse and she said just to monitor it. If I keep getting blood or it gets heavy to go to the doctor or into hospital.
I am worried as it has only come now, I didn't have any after my surgery. My bowel movements have been fine prior to this. I did have to strain a little tonight which I thought might have caused it. I haven't noticed any new pains or anything but have had some bloating in the evenings. Could an ulcer be the cause? and are they dangerous?

louisah

It might just be that when you strained to go to the loo, one of the little blood vessels near your bottom bled- the skin there is very thin and easily damaged. It might also have been a little scab at the operation site, which has just come off (just like when we have a little scab on our skin on the outside of our body). If there was a little ulcer at the operation site, this might also be in response to the body healing, and is not of concern at this stage. It seems like good advice to monitor the situation, and if continues, or worsens to go along to the doctor or hospital.
Louisa

mj

Thank you so so much, Louisa! That makes lots of sense and has calmed me down a lot. Even though the nurse didn't seem worried, I was because she didn't really mention what could have caused it so I really appreciate you giving me that information. I will monitor it for sure though!

alisonhelen

Aren't the nurses on here just THE BEST!!!???

Hazel

I'll second that!

mj

Certainly are smile

mj

It has been a week since I first had blood in my stool. Over the past week I have been monitoring it as the nurse said but I don't know in what case to go see the doctor. Over the past week it has happened twice more. Small amounts of bright red blood on the toilet paper. I don't seem to have any extra pain or anything so I'm not too worried but if this continues on longer than another week would it be wise to see the doctor or should I give it more time to settle down?
Thanks again, you guys are so helpful smile

alisonhelen

I think I'd monitor it for another week and certainly if it gets worse or more frequent go back to your GP or phone your CNS (cancer nurse specialist) and ask her advice. Now I know this is going to sound a bit strange, but have you thought about taking a picture on your mobile each time it happens to compare it and to maybe show your GP/consultant?

I know how easy it is to worry about these things, and we are right to worry, if things had got picked up for us earlier, perhaps we'd not have had to go down the route of surgery, chemo etc and been given the all clear, so we want things sorted as of yesterday, you are certainly not alone in this, so don't worry.

Keep posting, it will help to keep you reassured, stress certainly won't help!

Best wishes, Alison