Medical Questions > Cancer > Colon Cancer Forum

Large and hard belly post colon cancer surgery

My mother had colon cancer 3yrs ago. She had immediate surgery, they took out about a foot of her colon. She developed an infection at the surgery site a few days later and had to stay in the hospital another week, then hospice another couple of weeks. She had a "packed wound" that had to be changed 2x/day until the wound healed (months later). She was 78 at the time of surgery. She was overweight, by about 45lbs, but never had this "baby belly" she calls it. I agree, it is shaped round and hard, not like a regular fat belly. And she says it gurgles and rumbles so loud that even others can hear it. It is like the belly isnt even a part of her, she says, shes always bumping it into things, has anyone ever experience this?? She swears they left a towel or something inside there! She is cancer clear, never had to have Chemo or anything, but this new belly is driving her crazy. Drs say its nothing. Please help if you know anything about this! Thank you, concerned daughter, Elaine Hewatt
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied March 20th, 2010
She may have developed significant scarring within her abdomen, and in her abdominal wall, as a result of surgery and the resulting infection.

A simple x-ray of teh abdomen would rule-out a "retained" sponge or towel or surgical instrument.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

A landmark, evidence-based guide to a healthy cancer-prevention lifestyle, based on cutting-edge cancer research.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 7th, 2010
Pot belly
I had colon cancer surgery 3 months ago, easter 2010, aged 43. My belly was so flat before the doctors could feel my tumor as I weighed under 8 stone,112 pounds. My belly is now huge like I'm 5 months pregnant and rumbles so noisy I think my neighbors can hear it!! My nurse told me to reduce the amount of fiber I was told to eat and this helped the gurgling a bit. The nurse told me it would probably always be a round pot belly shape and would get bigger as I put on weight. It has! But it is a small price to pay considering how ill I was before surgery and I am kinda getting to be greatful for my scar and my pot belly as it reminds me of how lucky I am to be alive and well. I hope your mum feels well now and can focus on the positive Wink
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 16th, 2012
Pot belly after colon cancer surgery can be sorted out without m
I have the same "pot belly" as you call it, but there are ways to get it sorted. I have found that abdominal massage works wonders, for consitipation, the muscles, flattening stomach, and the gurgling also reduced. I had my surgery 7 months ago and then 2 weeks after that also. Muscles were dying, nerves were dying, body tissue was dead, bladder side was infected with cancer and almost a foot of colon was removed. Doctors thought I will not make it or be paralysed, but today I am walking. Sometimes a bit crippled, but that is ok. I can not do the exercises they tell you to do on these sites as it involves laying on your stomach, which is painful and then you can not get up. Or on the floor, and then you can not get up. I have been through it all. The sad thing is that the doctors never bothered with physiotherapy or given me any form of exercises to do. But by the sheer will to stay alive and get better I researched and never stop researching. TRY MASSAGE, SERIOUSLY... IT WORKS Smile))
Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
Colorectal cancer is serious and life-threatening. This section outline types of colorectal cancers, causes and risk factors for development. Get the facts here...
Although most colon cancers begin slowly, there are some people who are more at risk of developing colorectal cancer than others. But who? And why?...
As symptoms of colorectal cancer appear, they typically vary upon location and size. Learn to identify signs and symptoms early. Know when to seek help....
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Colon Cancer , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.