Vic has had 81 abdominal surgeries in her life. Vic’s first abdominal operation was at the age of 10 when she had her first batch of endometrioses surgically removed.
Endometriosis is a gynecological medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity, most commonly on the peritoneum which lines the abdominal cavity. The uterine cavity is lined with endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones.
Endometriosis is typically seen during the reproductive years and it has been estimated that endometriosis occurs in roughly 6–10% of women.
About 93%–100% of people undergoing abdominal or pelvic surgery will form adhesions, but luckily most do not have complications of the adhesions. Adhesions may also result from infectious processes, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
Abdominal adhesions are bands of fibrous scar tissue that form on organs in the abdomen, causing the organs to stick to one another or to the wall of the abdomen. Scar tissue most commonly develops after abdominal surgery, in which organs are handled by the surgical team and are shifted temporarily from their normal positions. It can also form in people who develop peritonitis, an infection that has spread to the membrane that covers the abdominal organs. Vic has developed peritonitis on numerous occasions. Peritonitis usually occurs after appendicitis or another abdominal infection such as Vic first developed after her blotched surgery when her small bowel was perforated. https://tersiaburger.com/2012/10/19/the-albatross/
There is no way to prevent adhesions. Abdominal adhesions can be treated, but they can be a recurring problem. Because surgery is both the cause and the treatment, the problem can keep returning. For example, when surgery is done to remove an intestinal obstruction caused by adhesions, adhesions form again and creates a new obstruction in 11% to 21% of cases. http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtPrint/WSIHW000/9339/9394.html?hide=t&k=basePrint#prognosis
In most patients, adhesions do not cause health problems. In a small number of people, like Vic, the fibrous bands of scar tissue block the intestines either completely or partially. This blockage is called a bowel obstruction, and it leads to death in about 5% of cases. Sometimes, an area of intestine that is affected by adhesions can keep becoming blocked then unblocked, causing symptoms to come and go. In about 10% of small-bowel obstructions, a portion of the bowel twists tightly around a band of adhesions. This cuts off the normal blood supply to the twisted bowel, causing what is called strangulation, and that section of bowel begins to die. When this emergency happens, the person must be taken to surgery immediately. The death rate is as high as 37% in people who develop strangulation.
Literally meters, of different parts of Vic’s intestines, has been removed. Every time Vic had an obstruction she had surgery. Vic has needed skin grafts to cover open wounds. Vic developed numerous gastrointestinal fistulas. Due to the extremely thin layer of skin covering her intestines the intestines have chaffed through. Vic would lose up to 7 liters of feces per day, through the fistula.
Now we cope with partial obstructions on a weekly basis. We battle with poor absorption because Vic has lost critical parts of her intestines. Vic will not have further surgery. My child has been to hell and back.
No more surgery.
12 thoughts on “Endometriosis, abdominal surgery, fistula and adhesions…..”
It is almost impossible to imagine the horror of this many surgeries – hell.
Julie I wish I had kept a record of the number of hours Vic has spent in theater.
my heart goes out to you both.
Thank you Sandra!
How terrible for you all. It is hard enough for someone else to look into her eyes in that photograph.
I often battle to find photos that are “less” expressive. I actually wanted to post a photo of how her abdomen looks after 81 surgeries but decided against it. The photos are just too horrific.
Again you stun me.
The courage and strength you two face everyday leaves me breathless. I can only say my prayers for less painful days and its seems so hollow.
Just know how much I admire you both while knowing it cannot be but helped to have down days. I do celebrate you both~
This I do know a tiny bit about. Chronic Endometriosis was the reason for my complete hysterectomy in the mid 80’s Not enough women and men know about this disease. It had also attached itself to other vital organs so i was blessed that it was causing me so much pain, it made me not give up for an answer.
I see I have missed many postings from you and apologize my friend. it had been my intent to keep up with you and to lend my prayers. The prayerful part has never been a problem, but because of my internet security breach a couple weeks ago I just found all my alerts were not alerting me at all. Now I should be back in the saddle again and when you post I will know
Welcome back!! Thank you for your prayers and kind words. So sorry to hear about your endometriosis. Is it better after the hysterectomy? I hope you escaped the adhesion problem!
Thank you for such a warm welcome back!
You are too kind to ask abut out me .I was one of the lucky ones who after 6 yrs of symptoms and less invasive treatments that the surgery did the trick Once my ovaries were removed and organs debris of all endo tissue I have not had any problems related to this. It in fact also solved a long time IBS issue too. So I am blessed in this respect. The post-surgical induced menopause issues were so worth it.
My gentle hugs for you both today my dear friend ~
What a nightmare this has been for Vic and your family. I cannot imagine enduring so many surgeries, Vic must have amazing inner strength. I continue to keep your family in my prayers.
Thank you Optie for your support and words of encouragement!
Oh those eyes. To have gone through so much. Love and prayers to you both, xoxo.
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