Question: Seeking Medical Advice for Severe Bloating and Pain Post-Legionella Diagnosis

I have recently been diagnosed with Legionella and underwent intubation. During this time, I couldn’t take my regular medications for Crohn’s disease and my ostomy. Since then, I’ve been experiencing consistent bloating and severe stomach aches, resembling blockage symptoms. I am concerned and want to know if I need surgery to address this issue.

Response: Comprehensive Evaluation Before Considering Surgery

Your symptoms of bloating and severe pain warrant careful evaluation, especially given your recent health challenges. Here are some steps and considerations:

  1. Diverse Causes: Bloating can result from various factors, some more severe than others. It’s crucial to consider that your recent illness could be influencing these symptoms.
  2. Need for Thorough Investigation: Before considering surgery, it’s essential to undergo a comprehensive medical investigation. This may include stool analysis, ultrasound, plain x-ray, CT scan, and various blood tests (including liver function and alkaline phosphatase levels).
  3. Coordination with Healthcare Providers: Your primary physician and the doctors managing your Legionella diagnosis should coordinate these investigations. They are best equipped to understand the complexities of your case.
  4. Emergency Situations: If your condition deteriorates, do not hesitate to seek emergency medical attention. It’s better to err on the side of caution.
  5. Surgery as a Last Resort: While surgery is a possibility, it should be considered only after thorough investigation and if other treatment modalities are deemed ineffective.

Consulting with your healthcare team and ensuring a holistic approach to your symptoms is crucial for the best outcome.

Best Regards,

Tim Sproule, MD FRCSC Acting Chief of Plastic Surgery, Scarborough Health Network

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