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Remarkable Relief: Colorectal Surgery Proves Life-Changing

By |2024-05-10T08:43:04-04:00April 11th, 2018|Categories: Health A-Z, Patient Stories|Tags: , , |

colorectal surgeryFor years, Margaret Sharkey suffered from on-and-off constipation and abdominal discomfort that made daily life a struggle. In May 2017, a bout of sharp pain led doctors to order a CT scan that found her colon was almost completely blocked.

“I was in bad shape—I was doubled over, rocking back and forth in pain,” says Margaret, a 53-year-old dental office manager from Manalapan.

Margaret needed surgery to remove the blockage, but CentraState physicians first decided to perform colonic stenting—a minimally invasive, endoscopic procedure to reopen an obstructed section of the bowel. Stenting allows doctors to delay surgery in order to allow the bowel to empty. It also eliminates the need for a temporary colostomy, a procedure in which an opening is surgically created in the abdomen to drain fecal matter.

One Surgery Versus Two
Colon cancer is usually the first suspected concern when a patient has a blockage, says Kunal Gupta, MD, MBA, a board-certified and fellowship-trained gastroenterologist and chief of gastroenterology at CentraState. Colon blockages are traditionally treated using two surgical procedures, three to six months apart—a colostomy, followed by a procedure to remove the diseased section of colon and reconnect two healthy sections to allow normal bowel movements.

“In Margaret’s case, we were able to avoid that first surgery by inserting a self-expanding metal stent that reopened the colon and relieved the obstruction,” Dr. Gupta says. “She went home the following day and was able to schedule her colon surgery a few weeks later.”

A Positive Diagnosis
At the time of Margaret’s stenting procedure, it didn’t appear that she had cancer, which was confirmed during her colon surgery by Thomas Kayal, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained colorectal surgeon on staff at CentraState. Her problem turned out to be diverticular disease, an abnormality of the colon that can cause bleeding, recurrent infections, or blockages.

“This blockage contributed to some of the problems she had been having for years,” Dr. Kayal says. “We were able to remove the diseased section of her colon with the obstruction and reconnect her colon, allowing her to have normal bowel function again.”

Margaret, a mother of two adult children, says the relief she experienced after the stenting and colon surgery was immediate and remarkable. She has more energy and she’s back to enjoying being active with her dogs, a Rottweiler named Monty, and Kiara, a Shiba Inu.

“I eat, I go to the bathroom, I do everything like a normal person,” Margaret says. “It feels great to have my life back.”

For more information about CentraState’s colorectal surgical services, call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).

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