Post-operative loss of appetite.

Follow
Share

My mother (age 72) recently (3 days ago) was released from the hospital after a 5-week and three day stay. She was initially hospitalized for a colon-resection due to acute diverticulitis. Five days post-op she began vomiting and had severe abdominal pain. Tests were done but nothing was found to be out of the ordinary. Her doctor however did not feel comfortable releasing her. Three weeks to the day of her original surgery she had developed peritonitis and went through a second surgery. During this second surgery the doctor decided to also do an ostomy and she now has a colostomy. She was given morphine for pain and a barage of antibiotics and fluids including a feeding solution through a central IV. This entire ordeal has left her 20 pounds lighter. It has now been 4 days since she was completely removed from all of her medications, antibiotics, and fluids via an IV. She still says she does not have an appetite and won't eat. The doctor says this is normal but I fear she will continue to lose weight and develop other issues. I have always been weary of doctors and maybe I am just being paranoid. Does anyone have any related stories? How long is "normal" before her apetite returns and she begins eating again?

Find Care & Housing
20

Comments

Show:
I really encourage juicing with addition of plant-based protein powder and chia seeds can add flax as well. I juice handful of following: broccoli, half cucumber, carrot, small beet, parsley or cilantro, red grapes, half lemon plus lime, inch of ginger root, half green apple, pineapple core or wedge, whatever fruit n fresh veggies you have. The nutrition will enter bloodstream quickly and offer powerhouse of nutrients. Adjust to taste but it’s fabuloys taste and makes enough for 2 8-ounce glasses taken an hour apart. Hope this helps 🙏😊
(0)
Report

I am going through the exact the situation with my husband right now. He had a colon resection due to a cancerous polyp. A week after his surgery a leak developed and he had peritonitis and had to undergo another surgery followed by 5 days in ICU. A few days later he experienced severe pain again which turned out to be a couple pockets of remaining bacteria from the initial leak. They tried antibiotics for a few days to no avail and ultimately ended up aspirating them with a needle under general anesthesia. Finally, after a month in the hospital he came home but not for long as he became dehydrated with no appetite for food or drinks. We 1st went to the doctor who sent us to the hospital 1 week later for fluids and bloodwork (all normal) and then we returned home. But the following weekend after a few bouts of nausea and vomiting, we ended up at the ER and eventually admitted into the hospital again where every test that could be run was run and all normal. Defeated....
(0)
Report

Hello all, I'm curious about what I can do or how can I find a way to help my aunt get her appetite back.
My aunt is 73 years old and in January she had surgery because of no bowl movement. Then in February she had another surgery on her intestines due to Diverticulitis. I stayed with her and heard her beginning to scream out in pain so I called 911and back to the hospital we went. She had a small opening in her intestines and they had to cut her in about the same place and repair some twisted intestines (which were wrapped around one another). After leaving the hospital with a week's stay everything looks good.
Not so I went back to sleeping at my aunt's house at night until she is feeling stronger. Two days later I heard my aunt screaming in pain again. This time was different because she couldn't stop vomiting and it was a black/green color and she was balled up in a fetus position. I called 911 and back to the hospital we go. Doctor's rushed her into emergency surgery and doctors and nurses came out to have prayer with the family. We knew then this was very serious. Poison was in her blood stream and they had to re close the intestines again getting a drain for the poison to drip.
They also had to place a colostomy bag for about 5 weeks. They kept her in the hospital for 2 weeks and then sent her to rehab for 1 month.
After that 1 month of rehabilitation, they sent her home and after 2 months they have reversed the colostomy bag. This was very hard for her because she has never been sick or hospitalized. She's always been very active in the community and church.
Now she has loss so much weight because she can't eat. Food and drinks for her taste either sour or salty. We are very worried about her. Doctor's say her taste buds should return now that the colostomy bag is gone. Well it hasn't.
Does anyone have any ideas as to what I can do for her. This is so hard on us to watch her cry and be hungry but can't eat. Thank you for listening
(0)
Report

What you are experiencing is not unusual especially for someone who is older. (I am 78) and recently had a terrible experience different from yours but similar effects. I would say don't be afraid of returning to the hospital for artificial feeding either by IV or feeding tube. It will help you get your strength up ond once you begin to feel better you will be able to eat more. The feeding tube is really not a problem and I manage it myself by using it overnight. It is really quite simple You fill a bag with cans of feed hang it up on an IV pole turn on the pump and go to sleep. Medications can also be crushed and given this way. Much simpler and less messy than dealing with your illeostomy. My appetite varies considerably and I have cravings for different things. It started with melon which the hospital refused because of swallowing difficulties. Hubby smuggled that in. Next it was smoked salmon and I love pickled herring in moderation. I am not allowed alcohol but actually don't fancy it anymore. I could have yogurt but it had to be plain and unsweetened Yuck! Hubby provided the sort I like. He even brought in a mini fridge so I could store my forbidden goodies. After another surgery I only wanted turkey sandwiches on soft white bread for weeks. Carnation Instant breakfast, Ensure and Boost are also good choices. I personally will only drink the chocolate Boost. Any kind of smoothies are excellent but you probably can't be bothered making them. Prepare yourself for a long convalescence it is inevitable but Spring is here and sunshine helps. Do you have someone helping you? You may feel you can manage but the truth is you can't right now. Do what you can and rest as soon as tired, Just take everything slowly there is no fast track but it will come.
(1)
Report

Henry1943, so sorry to read the ordeals you had to go through. No wonder you are not hungry, who would be after all of that. Plus your mind is on over drive thinking food might cause another surgery issue. To think that way is quite normal.

Of course you are fatigued, without food you can become very tired, not to mention all the surgeries have their own side effects. Recovery will take time, so don't rush it. I would recommend your primary doctor check your Vitamin B12 level, as sometimes those levels can drop with surgery. I know when I got my Vit B12 shot, I felt soooo much better.

If you can get to the grocery store, buy some Ensure or Boost and give them a try. I remember I had lost weight after having bowel blockage surgery decades ago, and the Carnation Instant Breakfast helped me. Back then Ensure/Boost I don't think was around and popular as it is today. It's worth a try. See if you can find a coupon on Coupon . com.
(0)
Report

I am a 73 yr old woman who was as active as any 40 yrs old. In January I found out I had a malignant tumor at end of colon near rectum. On February 6, 2017 I had an operation to remove it. Turns out the cancer had been sitting there for (estimated) 7 to 8 years. Dormant & had never spread to any lymph nodes or any vital organs. Great news! About 3 weeks after being home I noticed some very disturbing changes. Could not control my bowels & had a disgusting discharge coming from my vaginal area. I call surgeon & he was absolutely no help at all. I was going through at least 12 depend a day. Surgeons nurse told me to buy Monostat or Vagasil which I finally found out after sending someone to get it for me. I really did not know what that was. She told me they were for yeast infection which I never had in my life. So when I got it home I read instructions it said unless you have been diagnosed or are prone to yeast infections, do not use this product. Well turns it the nurse was wrong. Now don't get me wrong, Nurses are wonderful, but do not think she should have been so nonchalant when giving me this advise. You n March 4th I was rushed to a nearby hospital & after testing they determined I had a very serious bacterial vaginal infection with bowel involvement. Put me on Flagl & Cipro. Sent me home. After a couple of weeks it started to clear up. Was feeling better. I'm a small women & was maintaining weight at about 104 lbs. I now weigh 89 lbs. I became after taking the Cipro allergic, so could not finish the last dose. A few days later I woke up in severe pain that actually made me scream. 911 back to hospital & found out the original surgery patch where they removed the cancer had come apart. I had an abcess & was sepsis & needed emergency surgery later that day. Spent 5 days in ICU where I was pumped up with scores of antibiotics & nourishment. 9 days went home with an illeostomy for small intestines, which I hope will be reversed at some point. Appetite is zero. I feel hungry but whatever I put in my mouth turns me off. I like be food & to cook as well. I have extreme fatigue as well. I'm scared & my follow up with my new surgeon was if I don't force myself to eat. I will be back in hospital for IV nutrition. I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories. All info helps. Thank you & God Bless each & everyone of you! ❤. Sorry for the long dissertation!
(0)
Report

For every hour one is "under" for surgery, it takes a month to get back to normal. Three hour surgery equals 3 months to recover. Thus it isn't unusual to have no appetite. Plus one is recouping and not running marathons, thus wouldn't be eating as much.

If one likes eggs, they are good for protein. If one likes chocolate milk, use white milk and Carnation Instant Breakfast.
(0)
Report

Im just wondering if its normal for my brother to have no appetite after emergency surgery he had a stranglated hernia & because he has a colostomy bag they had to relocate his stoma surgery was 7 1/2 hrs that was almost 8 wks...he also still seems to tire easy as well as no appetite...he lives alone but has someone check on him each as well as the district nurse 3 times a week
(0)
Report

My brother had emergency surgery 8 wks ago for a stranglated hernia & he also needed to have his stoma relocated to the opposite side of his tummy...he still hasnt regained his appetite is this normal
(0)
Report

I had major surgery back on Dec. 22nd to repair a very large hiatal hernia. Still having lots of problems with my appetite. Am at the point where I am "climbing the walls" over this situation. Surgeon told me that I would experience this... but I thought by now I would be doing much better. Time for a good cry, I guess!
(0)
Report

Related
Questions