AllieR, Is your surgeon going to include a J or K pouch or has that even been discussed? I had my colon taken in October '05 and in February they did the reconnect. They wanted to wait 6 months actually, however my gallbladder was acting up and they didn't want to open me up twice. In April they did my final take down on my ileostomy, so I am now recouping from that.
So how do they reconnect? My understanding is, and what they did with me, was they removed the rectum, then took the end of the ileostomy and pulled it down. They connected that to where my rectum was, and then pulled the small intestine back over to where the ileostomy use to be and opened up a new one. I remained with the second ileostomy for three months while the connection down where the rectum use to be healed. During the final take down, they just took the second ileostomy, cut it loose and sutured it up. Put it back inside and put two sutures over where the ileostomy came out of my stomach. Within 4 weeks it filled in with scar tissue and "Poof", I'm done. Now when they went in to do the reconnect, they went back in through the original scar/opening from October when they originally took my colon.
Overall the first surgery was the worst because it was not scheduled and an emergency surgery so I didn't know what to expect. The second one (the reconnect) wasn't as bad because I was more prepared for it and about half the problems than the first surgery. Recovery time was quicker and hospital time was shorter, 4 days. The final take down was a cake walk in comparison. It was done on a Friday afternoon and I was home by Sunday afternoon. Hope that helps. Let me know if you need more info. Phil