Nancy1--I had a proctocolectomy at the Cleveland Clinic in Feb 08...my diagnosis is Crohn's. I am not familiar with your husband's situation...what is his diagnosis? Does he have an ileo? Why did they keep the rectum?
My recovery took a few months, but I had everything done at once. The rectum being the least painful...but it can come with complications just like any surgery.
I had mine done with my ileostomy. You wouldn't believe how shocked I was to find out they took it too! They were supposed to repair that area and leave my rectum but there was just too much damage from the fistulas.
As for recovery... it wasn't that bad for me. The drain was annoying and the first day I went home I sat on the toilet and had a little tear. That scared me but doctor said it was nothing.
Tell him to take his pain meds and be careful. Don't over do it.