Share your top tops on diet + lifestyle for our new booklet.
Find out more here.

Wellness during and after treatment


worried about operation.

recently diagnosed with bowel cancer and need robotic rectal surgery. after this will need a permanent stoma bag. I am told I will be in the operating theatre virtually all day so it sounds a big op. find myself worrying about the operation itself and the chances of coming through it. has anyone had similar?


many thanks for your replies and kind comments.


Hi @hedonto, my husband was told that his operation was going to be open surgery, as the tumour was very close to a blood vessel, and it would be the only surgery booked into that theatre as it would take all day. He was also told he would have a permanent stoma. He was actually in surgery for just 5 hours and his stoma is temporary. I think they have to give you a worse case scenario, just in case. Hopefully it'll be easier than they think. Fingers crossed for you 🙂 :x::x:


Hi @hedonto . I had planned Bowel surgery in December due to rectal cancer and now have a permanent stoma. I was in theatre for nearly 8 hours. I was home after 6 days. It is nerve wracking but probably more worrying for family who are waiting for you to come back from theatre. You will be in great hands and very well looked after. I had keyhole surgery. Very best wishes. Feel free to message me with any queries as I found it very reassuring speaking to others who had been through the same experience. :x:

greyhound gal

Hi @hedonto, I had 2 tumours - one rectal and one bowel, which was blocking my intestine. I had open surgery, with a permanent ileostomy which ‘only’ took 4.5 hours. I must admit I didn’t even consider not coming through the operation, I wouldn’t be here without it! My surgeon was very positive about removing the cancers, and from the start said I would only need chemotherapy as ‘belt and braces ‘.
It is scary, I’ve never been in this situation before, but with the support of my husband, family, friends, this wonderful forum, the stoma and colorectal nurses, I’m trying to move forward one day at a time. Next step - chemo.
Have trust in your surgeon, and ask for help when you need it, you’ll get there!
Best wishes , Wendy :x::x:


thanks to everyone, apart from a hernia op have never had surgery so just a bit concerned about the outcome. I know the surgeons would have done this many times before and are on top of their job. thanks for trying to boost my confidence.


Dear @hedonto, we are here to help having trod the path before you. I think there are quite a number of us like you, never having had anything done before and it all comes as such a huge shock. I hope you will keep in touch and also, tell us your surgery date when the time comes as we'll all be right behind you!:x:


Hey @hedonto i had the op two and a half weeks ago and am surprised by how well i feel already.....though still taking it slow, but painkillers are sorting pain and Stoma is actually fine when you get the hang of it. Sadly it's an op that is done lots of surgeons are very confident. As has been said before, thus is the place to come to find people who have come through it. Many have had several ops.....this is still my first.
Peace to you


I had surgery last year was on table for 10. 1/2 hours before surgery spoke to consultant and could see I was upset told me this is a plannef operation and I am safer in theatre than having emergency surgery.
Its second to then your be fine.

George XX

Think of a name for your baby stoma.

Quote from @hedonto:
thanks to everyone, apart from a hernia op have never had surgery so just a bit concerned about the outcome. I know the surgeons would have done this many times before and are on top of their job. thanks for trying to boost my confidence.

Seriously- don't worry about surviving the op. The op survival stat is a load of cr@p!
When I had my 9 hour HIPEC op I was told the same but when I pushed the surgeon a bit further he told me that they had only had one death on the operating table in 9 years and this was due to a pre-existing problem that the patient had.
Like someone else has also said... if you don't have the op the tumour will definitely kill you earlier than it would without the op.


@hedonto I have chronic asthma and there were concerns about my lungs under general anesthetic (I had lung function tests on the day of my op) and I was fine, up and home within a week 🙂 so be reassured.
Very best wishes to you for your op :x:


thanks chas and bettebette, youre comments make me feel better about the whole thing. quite right without the op the future would be bleak. thanks again.


many thanks chelts, I know youre right.


Hi there I was in theatre last year for 10.1/2 hours facing the floor and ceiling I had no problem apart from the drugs gave me psychotic episodes but that me. These surgeons operate day in day out and specialise in what your having done.
The recovery will be challenging as you're need to listen to.your body keeping it ticking over getting it back to normal.
In the end everything will work out fine so good luck

George :x::x:


thanks George, I appreciate your reply.


Hi @hedonto I had robotic surgery for a rectostigmoyd tumour on the 30th may 2018. I too was scared about getting through the op but I'm still here and you will be too, you will be okay! I'm no expert but happy to answer any questions you have. Sending hugs :x::x::x:


thanks kitti, never had any big surgery and the length of the op just worried me. I feel a bit better after reading the messages on here. got to have the op otherwise the future wouldn't be good. thanks kitti. :x:


Hi @hedonto remember to put the@ symbol at the front of forum names and you will be sure they are notified about the message. With best wishes :x::x:


Hello @hedonto John walked down for his op ( APR/ ELAP) at 9:30 am and our Specialist Surgeon actually rang me from the theatre at 7pm to say the operation was done John was very well heading for the recovery room He was well sedated and had an epidural in I went straight down to see him He was in the HDU Awake and hungry ! I only sat with him a short while as he was very well sedated Sleepy and not in any pain at all
He recovered very quickly ...he did eat too much before his bowel had reawakened so he was sick
As everyone on here advises us to get up and walking about as soon as as soon as his morphine pump was removed I got him up and we walked up and down the corridor
He was home within the week and he was told not to sit on his bottom.... so he could walk or lie on his side His bottom still is uncomfortable if he sits for too long
It is a challenge to put yourself totally into someone elses care ....but these Specialists are very experienced They train for many extra years to become experts in Colo-Rectal Surgery
You will never be in safer hands ..So just relax and enjoy the rest you will be fine
Cath :x::x:


@KatieR many thanks for the message. starting to feel a bit more confident about the op. :x::x: