Boy, my answer will sound boring after Summer's!!
I had a Proctocolectomy because my Crohn's in my rectum was out of control (fistulas, strictures and pain). I've had an ileo for many years and decided to have it all taken out...the reason for that was that the disease doesn't stop just because you have an ileo. I never realized how bad things were until I didn't have them anymore!! I'll add that meds weren't working well anymore.
They remove the rectum and either leave it to close or sew it closed. The problem is that there usually is some kind on issue at some point!! For me, mine closed just fine (sewn) after the removal, but about 6 months later I had an abscess and had to have it surgically cleaned out. That one closed with the help of a Wound Vac...just what you think, a vacuum on your butt...and it has been fine since. *knock on wood*
It wasn't really a big deal for me...I was worried about the phantom feeling of having to go poo, but I don't have any of that. I, too, did the same thing as Summer and tried to see if I could still move the muscles...great minds...and they will still do all the things they did before, just no hole:) I have a scare, but no fake hole!
I had Crohn's in the rectum, so that's why I had it removed. It was also in my large intestine, so out it went, too!
The surgeon did not sew my butt wound shut. She left it open, so it could heal from the inside out. To keep it from getting infected, I packed it with saline-filled gauze every day until it healed, which took about 9 months. It was not a big deal, but I sure was happy when it finally closed up.
My butt looks the same, except it doesn't have a hole anymore, which is fine with me, because having Crohn's in the rectum was a real pain in the butt! I don't have any pain or phantom feelings either.