Moving on from bowel cancer

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Six week update and advice requested

I had ELAPE surgery for lower rectal cancer on 28th March. I was discharged from hospital on 4th April by which time I could change my stoma bag without a problem. Sitting down was extremely difficult and the most painful part was the taxi journey home from hospital. Urinating was very painful and my Stoma Nurse suggested self catheterising which I have done for about three weeks which has helped but I now manage without. Initially the plaster on my surgical wound would fall off after a couple of hours due to the heavy discharge and I used sanitary pads (heavy) for two weeks and eventually moved to a “normal” and now just about five weeks on I have stopped using them. There is still some leakage but I cope with changing underpants twice a day. I have washed the area with a salt water solution twice a day and that has helped to keep the wound clean. The lingering issue is the tenderness in my scrotum which seems to have been bashed about a bit with signs of bruising and I am a little surprised that it is taking time to recover. Has anyone else experienced this discomfort? Any advice on managing the issue?


Good morning @David49, a very warm welcome to the forum, although I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis.

It sounds as if you are making good progress and rolling up your sleeves where necessary to problem solve - that’s a great attitude!

I am the wrong gender to have experienced the pain you presently have, but with any unexplained post surgery symptom I would run it past your CNS so that s/he can advise.

Hopefully somebody will be along who has experienced the same as you. Meanwhile take very good care and please let us know how you get on, Kim :x::x:


Hi @David49
I am over four months post the same op. I was fortunate that my scar sealed quite well and had minimal discharge. Am still having some problems with the bladder giving me some surprise leaks every now and then mainly caused by the pelvic floor recovering which I am told could take six months or more.

As for the scrotum, I know exactly what you mean. (Excuse me ladies while I do some man talk!). The back end of my scrotum near where the start of the scar is still quite tender and can be painful if I sit in a certain way for too long and then when I "adjust" things I feel it exactly like you describe. I was advised tight boxers shorts for support and these seem to help.

I am sure you have heard the term "It's still early days" but it does seem that it does take a while but I would like someone to tell me when the early days finish. ;)



Thank you divvykev. Glad to hear that I am not the only one. I guess patienece is a virtue!!

Amanda Sandham

As a woman, I don't share all of your discomforts. However, the bit about painful peeing is familiar. I explained it as having a full bladder but nothing wanting to come out, then when it did trickle out, it felt like my insides were coming out. My surgeon explained that during my robotic LAR operation, my bladder had got shoved around and was almost certainly bruised. The problems sorted themselves out within a short time with no intervention other than paracetamol when needed. I've recently had my stoma reversal and although my bladder wasn't anywhere near the operation site, it once again became sluggish for a week or so.


The bladder is a blooming sensitive thing isnt it and sulks at the smallest thing :)

That's how my surgeon described it anyway :)