At the age of 54 I discovered I had a mobile cecum - my ascending colon was not attached to my abdomen - apparently since birth as it is a congenital problem. I have spent years battling with intermittant constipation and could never figure out why as I ate an incredibly healthy diet full of fruit, veggies and fibre. Some days the constipation was very bad it felt like getting rid of bricks and other days I could be quite normal - no change in diet so I was at a loss to know why.
A few months ago I was offered a colonoscopy to investigate the problem and the specialist discovered what he thought was a cyst on the outside of the end of the colon (next to the cecum) As he was on the inside of the colon he could only see this as an impression pressing through into the colon and requested that I go for a CT scan to investigate the cyst. During the CT Scan they found no cyst, but instead found that the whole of my ascending colon was freely floating around my abdomen - at the time of the scan my cecum was in the upper left quadrant of my abdomen insteady of in the lower right. So the "cyst" according to the specialist was probably one of my kidneys pressing into my colon on the day of the colonoscopy.
As my ascending colon had been going where it pleased for 54 years it was elongated and a bit floppy!! I was then sent for a barium enema to find out exactly was going on (I wish they hadn't done this one as it took two hours for them to eventually locate the cecum as it was "hiding"!!)
I went back to see the gastroenterologist who recommended that I go and talk with a surgeon - two options - have the whole of the ascending colon removed through re-section or have the ascending colon tacked down to my abdomen. To do nothing was to risk a twisted colon at some point in the future.
The surgeon recommended cecopexy (stitching and securing the colon to the abdomen wall). My gastroenterologist recommended the re-section and removal of the ascending colon. I went to a second surgeon for a second opinion and he agreed with the first surgeon that cecopexy was the best option.
I went for surgery 10 days ago and asked the surgeon to make the decision once he was inside (using laprascopic surgery). If the colon was viable to attach to the abdomen then to do so, if not do the re-section.
He was able to stich the ascending colon to the abdomen wall although he said it was a long arduous process due to the length of the ascending colon - he started as high as just below my liver and ended up near my pubic bone - my cecum is still unattached as he ran out of space to stitch it to, but he hopes that it will not give me any problems. He showed me pictures of what he had done during surgery which were fascinating - a long row of tacking stitches plus adhesive was used with the hope that scarring tissue will develop and keep the colon in place. There is a rate of failure to this kind of operation if the colon becomes mobile again - and I need regular scans to make sure it stays in place. I am believing that it will stay there!!
The surgery took three hours and it was sore to walk for almost a week - however I refused painkillers as they can cause constipation! It took a few days for the bowel to work properly but by the 5th day post op I was having normal bowel movements several times a day and the bloating that I have had for years has all but gone.
The constipation I was having was probably due to the colon kinking and was later relieved when the colon floated off to a more accommodating position! I know that I have not been getting rid of waste efficiently for years.
Another strange symptom I had was movement in my abdomen - it felt the same as I felt when I was pregnant! I kept taking stuff to get rid of parasites over the past few years convinced that I had an alien invasion!! Instead it was my colon settling down to find a comfortable position as I lay in bed at night!!
I feel blessed that this rather rare condition was found (it is normally found in childhood - I vomited daily until I was 10 years old which should have been a signal if you knew what you were looking for!). The other way it is normally found is when you present yourself to the emergency room with a twisted colon by which time it is very dangerous.
So had it not been for the colon floating towards my kidney on the day of the colonoscopy I would never have been sent for a CT scan. The colonoscopy did not give any other clues that anything was amiss!!
So I just thought there might be others out there who have found out that they have this strange problem - I searched the internet to find out if anyone had gone through the operation but didn't have much success - would love to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience!!
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