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Bruce E. Freedman, M.D., F.A.C.S.
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Following colon surgery, how long is my recuperation time?
It is important to remember people may recover at different rates. Most patients will be able to go home after 5-7 days of hospitalization. No heavy lifting (over 10 lbs.) for about 6-8 weeks to allow the incision to heal and prevent an incisional hernia. Most often, activities are comfort related, that is, do what you are comfortable doing.


How much pain will I experience after colon surgery?
With open abdominal surgery there will certainly be post-operative pain. Your physician will want you to be walking very soon after surgery. Therefore, they will provide enough pain medication so you can accomplish that task. This is usually administered through the IV until taking food. As you begin to eat, this medication would be switched to an oral route.


I need surgery for colon cancer. How long will I be in the hospital?
Most patients are able to be safely discharged in 5-7 days. Prior to going home, a patient should be up and around, eating regular food, and having bowel movements. It may take 3-6 months for your bowel movements to normalize. Initially they may be loose, but with time they will become more formed.


I need surgery for colon cancer. Will I need to wear a bag (colostomy)?
Most patients requiring colon surgery do not need a colostomy. The exception would be obstructing cancers, perforated cancers, or cancers lying very low or distal in the rectum.

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