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Radiotherapy Planning CT Scan : failed

User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 19:51

Following my Radiotherapy “chat” last Friday I had the “Planning CT Scan” session today. From my arrival at hospital and with the initial success of my enema, the measured 500ml of water, the cannula, the bladder scan and finally the scanner positioning with pen markings applied ready for my tattoos I naturally assumed all was proceeding 100%. Unfortunately the radiographers halted the session having left me in the machine for less than 5 minutes !! Apparently my bowel was pronounced “too full of wind” with a visible “big air pocket too big to proceed today” even if they’d let me walk around for an hour “it wasn’t worth trying again today”.  

My question is has anyone else experienced this disappointment ? Thought I’d done everything right, no beans, no fizzy drinks, no coffee etc etc.  I’m booked to repeat it all again next Friday and want to get it right next time. Any advice anyone please if this has happened to you.

User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 23:44
There may have been one or more reported but fairly unusual. What you have to establish is what is causing wind and how you can significantly reduce it. As well as certain foods giving rise to a lot of wind, it can be produced by swallowing insufficiently masticated food and eating too quickly as you then tend to swallow too much air. May not be a factor in your case but consider it. It is important that you don't have to defer RT fractions when started and try to present in the same condition each time, so better reasons established now before treatment starts while reference parameters are being established.
Barry
User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 23:49

I would suggest adding in no excess sugars (even fruit), as they can enable some fermentation in the gut.

I had to redo the planning scan, although on my case, not wind, but solid matter in bowel. It takes 2-3 hours to go around again (which I did) because you have to wait until all the excess water has gone, and then prime yourself again. However, if this happens much after lunchtime, there isn't time to repeat it the same day.

User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 07:36
I had three goes before they got a satisfactory CT at the planning session, though was thankfully completed on the day (I was about the last person to leave the clinic). Also a few issues during the RT sessions early on, but once I had got the bladder and bowel procedure sorted it was fine. Very common problem.
User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 10:30

Worth chatting with a pharmacist to see if there's something you could take for a few weeks (eg charcoal!). I'd speak to a pharmacist for expert advice, especially if you are on any other meds, which may be causing the problem and/or may affect what you can take to alleviate it.

But the dietary/eating advice given above is probably key to moving forward. As I'm sure you understand, it's not wind per se that's the issue - just the fact that the presence of wind can move internal organs around, possibly making radiotherapy inconsistent.

But above all, don't let it worry you - these things happen - I was sent back to the toilet before my first session, and two other guys also had to sit on the naughty stair on the same day.

.

-- Andrew --

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 11:25
I bet the medics call you an Old Fart!

Best of luck with your next attempt.

Cheers, John.

User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 16:27
I remember this situation well , while having my rt, I got yellow card by having to much wind !! I was told hour before before treatment drink peppermint tea that brings wind to the fore , also whilst drinking water before rt, walk around don’t sit down all this helps with less wind ! And it worked !
User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 16:28
The ideal scenario before treatment is full bladder , no wind , empty bowel
User
Posted 20 Oct 2019 at 22:26

On a low fibre diet, we were told the following were OK:

peeled apples
peeled pairs
bananas
clear fruit juices

peeled potatos
pasta (not brown)
white rice
white bread

This wasn't specifically geared to low wind though.
The sugars in the fruit might contribute to wind when mixed with some other foods.

User
Posted 22 Oct 2019 at 13:39

I had the six and half weeks external beam radiotherapy.   Trapped wind was a problem on 2-3 occasions.  The nurses just said,  walk up and down stairs a few times ( the hospital had 5 floors), do a few squats and come back when you are ready.  The most inconvenient part was having to repeat the "water torture" -- drink  3-5 cups and wait 30 minutes.   I guess it all depends if you have a taxi or chauffeur waiting.

(p.s. I never changed my eating habits or amount of day to day exercise)

Just get on with it - it's all worth it in the end !

User
Posted 28 Oct 2019 at 11:33
Are you diabetic and taking metformin? In some people this has an unfortunate side effect - gale force farting! Probably not the case with you, but worth mentioning for others?
User
Posted 28 Oct 2019 at 15:55
It took me 3 attempts and even on the last attempt they said it was touch and go.

However with their expertise they found a way to make it ok.

They told me I was very “gassy” and even though I followed dietary advice, it didn’t make much difference.

I subsequently had 33 sessions of RT and before each session I was asked to do about a dozen squats to hopefully expel the gas.

We got there in the end.

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User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 23:44
There may have been one or more reported but fairly unusual. What you have to establish is what is causing wind and how you can significantly reduce it. As well as certain foods giving rise to a lot of wind, it can be produced by swallowing insufficiently masticated food and eating too quickly as you then tend to swallow too much air. May not be a factor in your case but consider it. It is important that you don't have to defer RT fractions when started and try to present in the same condition each time, so better reasons established now before treatment starts while reference parameters are being established.
Barry
User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 23:49

I would suggest adding in no excess sugars (even fruit), as they can enable some fermentation in the gut.

I had to redo the planning scan, although on my case, not wind, but solid matter in bowel. It takes 2-3 hours to go around again (which I did) because you have to wait until all the excess water has gone, and then prime yourself again. However, if this happens much after lunchtime, there isn't time to repeat it the same day.

User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 07:36
I had three goes before they got a satisfactory CT at the planning session, though was thankfully completed on the day (I was about the last person to leave the clinic). Also a few issues during the RT sessions early on, but once I had got the bladder and bowel procedure sorted it was fine. Very common problem.
User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 10:30

Worth chatting with a pharmacist to see if there's something you could take for a few weeks (eg charcoal!). I'd speak to a pharmacist for expert advice, especially if you are on any other meds, which may be causing the problem and/or may affect what you can take to alleviate it.

But the dietary/eating advice given above is probably key to moving forward. As I'm sure you understand, it's not wind per se that's the issue - just the fact that the presence of wind can move internal organs around, possibly making radiotherapy inconsistent.

But above all, don't let it worry you - these things happen - I was sent back to the toilet before my first session, and two other guys also had to sit on the naughty stair on the same day.

.

-- Andrew --

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 11:25
I bet the medics call you an Old Fart!

Best of luck with your next attempt.

Cheers, John.

User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 16:27
I remember this situation well , while having my rt, I got yellow card by having to much wind !! I was told hour before before treatment drink peppermint tea that brings wind to the fore , also whilst drinking water before rt, walk around don’t sit down all this helps with less wind ! And it worked !
User
Posted 19 Oct 2019 at 16:28
The ideal scenario before treatment is full bladder , no wind , empty bowel
User
Posted 20 Oct 2019 at 19:45

Thanks for all your replies, it’s good to know I’m not on my own.  Sooo I’m now trying to cut out ‘gassy/windy/farty food and drink so that I have the ‘near perfect’ bowel and bladder ready for my CT scan next Friday, no beer, no beans/lentils, broccoli, cauliflower etc.  I’m going to miss my fresh fruit and veg so if anyone can point me in the right direction of the fruit and veg I can eat I would be very grateful  

User
Posted 20 Oct 2019 at 22:26

On a low fibre diet, we were told the following were OK:

peeled apples
peeled pairs
bananas
clear fruit juices

peeled potatos
pasta (not brown)
white rice
white bread

This wasn't specifically geared to low wind though.
The sugars in the fruit might contribute to wind when mixed with some other foods.

User
Posted 22 Oct 2019 at 13:39

I had the six and half weeks external beam radiotherapy.   Trapped wind was a problem on 2-3 occasions.  The nurses just said,  walk up and down stairs a few times ( the hospital had 5 floors), do a few squats and come back when you are ready.  The most inconvenient part was having to repeat the "water torture" -- drink  3-5 cups and wait 30 minutes.   I guess it all depends if you have a taxi or chauffeur waiting.

(p.s. I never changed my eating habits or amount of day to day exercise)

Just get on with it - it's all worth it in the end !

User
Posted 28 Oct 2019 at 08:41
SUCCESS !! I went back for my second attempt to get prepared for RT on Friday, no wind this time, bowel and bladder were ok too !! It was a breath holding moment but I’ve now got my tattoos and will start my Radiotherapy on the 18th November for 7weeks. Thank you for your replies. It’s so good to know I’m not on my own with this journey, last week I felt that I’d not done something right , as my wife says - I don’t usually have a problem at being an ‘old fart’ !! Many Thanks everyone
User
Posted 28 Oct 2019 at 11:33
Are you diabetic and taking metformin? In some people this has an unfortunate side effect - gale force farting! Probably not the case with you, but worth mentioning for others?
User
Posted 28 Oct 2019 at 15:55
It took me 3 attempts and even on the last attempt they said it was touch and go.

However with their expertise they found a way to make it ok.

They told me I was very “gassy” and even though I followed dietary advice, it didn’t make much difference.

I subsequently had 33 sessions of RT and before each session I was asked to do about a dozen squats to hopefully expel the gas.

We got there in the end.

 
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