I had a balloon dilation of a stricture by my old stoma site a few days ago. A lot of the symptoms I was having were impacting my upper G.I. functions, like feeling full very quickly, occasional vomiting, and excessive belching. I’m still belching a bit, and my pouch output is still pretty watery.  My surgeon didn’t give me a lot to go on in terms of post procedure care, and even though the meds in my IV we’re supposed to have a half life of a few hours I feel like I’m still feeling off from them.  Just wondering if other folks that have had this done took a little time before returning to normal? I’ve seen the scope photos, and they definitely dilated the area significantly so I’m hoping my body just needs a little time to settle.

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Hi J9pouch, I hesitated to answer, because my experiences (2xs) with balloon dilation were not good. Both times done under sedation by GI doctors. They were only able to get my stricture to a 10. (My stricture is at the beginning of my pouch) Both times in a matter of weeks it started to get smaller again. After those failed my Colorectal Surgeon did a dilation with Hegar dilators. They look pretty archaic, but they did the trick. He had me also doing daily home dilations for several months. I am now going to every other day for two weeks then every three days etc...  I'm not quite sure what you mean by returning to normal. I didn't return to normal after my balloon dilations. The stricture kept wanting to close back up. For me it meant a lot of hospital time with an NG tube down the nose. I dealt with this for a good bit of time before my surgeon got involved. Sometimes it takes more than one dilation to do keep a stricture open. Sometimes a different method, sometimes home dilation. If you have anymore questions, feel free to pm me or just ask. Hope things get better for you.

Aimee

 Thanks for the reply Amy, I’m sorry you’ve had a tough go of it! When you say at the beginning of your pouch, do you mean your anus? I don’t think home dilation would be an option given the location of where my narrowing was. Normal for me means I’m not belching excessively, or feeling full after eating not that much food and only feeling relief after vomiting.    I’m four years out from surgery, and while I’ve had a few experiences that I felt were blockages, they’ve always passed and I’ve been fine after a day or two. This issue, however, has been giving me trouble for the last few months and my surgeon was disappointingly slow in responding to me about it. For a while I thought I might have mild pancreatitis or a food allergy, but when he finally got back to me he said my symptoms did sound like I was in need of a scope and possible dilation to fix things.  He didn’t really give me aftercare instructions though, so I’m not sure if I should be eating lighter, or going full speed into a normal diet, if there’s internal healing to be careful about, etc...

I’ve been eating pretty well, save for something that made me very gassy on Friday. A heating pad and a lot of burping/farting throughout the night cleared most of it up. At this point I’m mostly wondering if the gassiness esp. belching is something other people experienced from a stricture, and if so did it resolve post-dilation and when?  It’s certainly possible that a food trigger is also in the mix so I’m trying to figure out what the continued belching is associated with. (I’ve had blood work done and my pancreas is fine, so I can at least rule that out of the equation.)

I should maybe specify that I’m not completely sure it was a stricture, maybe it was caused by an adhesion? He said he’d be blowing out scar tissue with the balloon at any rate. When I try to read up on these things I get a little confused because I think of them as being interchangeable terms, but I suppose they’re different?

They did a sigmoidoscopy under sedation, I had to go to the endoscopy suite in the hospital, whereas my bi-annual scope is done in his office with a tinier/shorter instrument and no sedation needed. I’m looking back at my post visit notes and it was specifically an anistamotic stricture at the old ileostomy site.

 I did take an Ativan before the first in office scope, you’re not a wimp at all! I will say if you want to save yourself the trouble of being hooked up to an IV, which is something I’m incredibly squeamish about, my experience with the in office scopes is that they are over quick, and not really any more uncomfortable than the average anal exam performed with a finger.  I’d suggest giving it a try with something similar to Ativan, whatever you tolerate, to take the edge off and see what if you prefer it.  The important thing either way is you do what feels best for you!

You obtain a set of dilators. Believe it or not you can get them from Amazon. Basically you start one number (size) under whatever number your surgeon  dilated to, then go to the number they used. Simple as that. You do that until the surgeon tells you the stricture will stay opened. This should not be done unless you are first dilated by your surgeon or a GI doc. The reason being your spincter muscle is right around the area you are trying to open up. 

Aimee

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