Take down surgery

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/18/2008 6:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Can someone tell me about take down surgery.
I had my colon removed 6 months ago due to c dif. I was seriously ill and not expected to survive -
I was moved to a second hospital where I had a wonderful surgeon . I currently have an ostomy - and I am scheduled to have take down surgery in October.
I know it will never be like it was before since I have a large portion of me missing but can someone who had been through this tell me what it really like. (Don't scare me to death>) smhair

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 420
   Posted 9/18/2008 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I won't scare you to death, because I have been blessed by having the world's easiest takedown!!! I had my colon removed due to UC, in three steps, I had my end ileo about ten months, and my temp ileo about two months. I was so scared and paranoid going into takedown. The surgery itself felt like old habit - I mean, I had already had two abdominal surgeries, so what was another??? It actually was a bit easier, since they did not have to make a huge incision like they did for the first two. I did have pain at first when I walked the first day - the internal stiches were pulling and that was a bit painful. The second day I got clear liquids. I tolerated those fine, so the next day I got a full diet. I was so worried about that first BM! But, at like 2 that morning I was awake (in the hospital, they're always poking you, right?), Anyway, I felt the urge to go. so I got up, unhooked all my IVs and such, and went to the bathroom!!! I could hold it fine I discovered.
So, at first I went often, and woke up probably twice a night. But, I could definitely hold it, and did not have pain. Now I am about 6 weeks out, and I sleep through the night. I've been to a concert, on road trips, and am heading to Disneyland next week. I had one partial obstruction, that was no fun, but it cleared up on it's own.
Keep in mind, my experience is probably the really, really, really good end of the spectrum, but I wanted to share it anyway, so you know that it can work out well. I have heard that some of the complications that can occur are night time leakage, and frequency. But I also have heard many people say that even those things get better with time.
If you have any questions, let me know. It was a very recent experience for me, so it's fresh in my mind! :)
I can also say that I am so happy to have my life back. while my ostomy wasn't horrible, I am am even less chained to the loo than I was then. For me, things have worked out well.
If at first you do not succeed, then skydiving is surely not meant for you.
Jo - UC, total colectomy and ileostomy on August 24, 2008.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/18/2008 8:48 PM (GMT -7)   
My takedown surgery went well too. I was feeling almost normal in about 2 weeks. The first week was rough for me with gas pains and trying to eat again, but going to the bathroom was not big deal. Don't stress - you have already gone through the worse part! Good luck.
Living UC free!
J-pouch surgery Mar'07 & Apr'08
Diagnosed with UC in 2002

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/19/2008 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
sfgiantsjo and CNCrystal

Thank you both so much for your quick reply - both of you made me feel better about my soon to be surgery.

I will probably be asking more questions as the time gets nearer - I am very anxious about the procedure probably because I was so sick when I had to have the orginal surgery. It was very unexpected and at the time I had never heard about c dif. I was in the hospital almost three months - Even though when I came home I as in a wheel chair and learning to use a walker - home had never looked better to me in my entire life. Wheel chair, walker and cane are now either donated, returned or in our basement... I am walking fine (not running!!)
Thank you both for your encouraging words and good wishes.

Bionic B
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 9/19/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
hi i am having my j-pouch surgery in one step in less than a month so i dont know what to expect....the surgeon said i might have it done in two steps though.
i had most of my colon removed 2 years ago and was also very, very ill (spent 2 months in hospital) and almost a year off work....Many people also thought i wouldnt make it, but here i am today, looking like my old self, although i dont always feel like my old self due to uc, but i believe its through Gods grace and prayer.
Littletwo, i pray that all will go well with you and it's already amazing just the fact that you have recovered so well. Same with me, i thought i would never get my voice back to normal (long story) or get my appetite back and gain weight or my wound to heal or my infection to clear up, believe you me i went through a lot whilst so sick, that's why i am grateful of what God did in my life.


bIaNcAcHaRlEnE aGe 29
DiAgNoSeD sEpTeMbEr 2006
AsAcOl TaBlEts 2x DaIlY
aSaCoL sUpPoSiToRiEs 2x dAiLy

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/20/2008 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I will keep you in my prayers for your upcoming surgery.
I know that you probably feel the same way, but I feel so blessed for having a very good doctor but more blessed and thankful for the prayers that were offered on my behalf when I could not offer any on my own.
Going through something like that really makes you realize what things are really important.

Thank You!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 10/12/2008 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I havnt been on in awhile but came back to check out Take Downs, my take down is this Friday Oct 17 and I have had my illio for 11 years.
I am 42 and look to living 40+ more with out my pouch.
I will be back asking questions during my recovery for 6 weeks...looking to be back to work Dec 1st.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 7/30/2010 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I am 42 yrs old and am scheduled for a take down at the end of Oct. I had Breast Cancer and took one dose of chemo and it melted my entire colon and part of my small intestine as well as stopping my heart and kidneys and putting me in a coma for a couple of months. My insides were so infected that they could not give me a proper ileostomy. They kept me open for the maximum allowed time and finally had to close me up. So alls I have is an incision with a drain tube coming out of it and into a catheter bag. I can't eat anything that won't go through the tube, which is most things. I live on Milk, yogurt, pudding, scrambled eggs and instant breakfast. I have TPN every night which is ruining my liver. So I have to have something done soon. My surgeon wants to do a full take down. My local surgeon keeps warning me that I should not do it too soon. It's been a year since the start and 7 months since my last surgery. He thinks that I should wait till January as he says the longer I heal the better it will be. He keeps warning me of the things that can go wrong, yet won't discuss what they are...so I'm kind of in the dark and therefore can't decide whether to go through with it or not. Medical books say 6 months - 1 year, but my surgeon says that they should not even publish the '6 months'...so I'm scared too. I trust my surgeon, he is a specialist in a world renoun hospital. However I read things on the internet that makes me afraid. I've tried to get answers here about when is too soon, but so far have not gotten any useful information...maybe we can just go through this together...root each other on, if nothing else!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 7/30/2010 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
My takedown surgery (1 hour long) was fairly easy to recover from (pain wise). Compared to my resection for cancer, which was 4 and a half hours long and extremely painful (pain lasted 4 weeks). I knew what to do post-op for the takedown to speed healing, get back on my feet sooner, etc. I did the breathing exercises each hour while awake, walked numerous times per day, tried to remain in my hospital bed only for sleeping purposes, etc. My recovery from the actual takedown surgery was faster and less painful than my resection. However, I began to have multiple bm's as soon as my gut started working again and I eventually had to go on a low residue diet. I should point out though that my cancer was located in the lowest part of the colon, the sigmoid area, where stool collects and is released 1 or 2 times a day (normal colon). So my multiple bm's (which will be forever), are mainly because I have nowhere inside for stool to back up. I know of people who have had sections removed from their colon and after takedown, went back to normal bowel activity. I do think I'm in a small percentage of post-op people who have ongoing bm trouble. For what it's worth.
- Rectal CA 4/29/99, Stage I, 90% sigmoid/15" of colon/GB removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 6-26-99
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Colace 50 mg, twice daily + Renew Life/Ultimate Flora/Critical Care/80 Billion daily

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/17/2012 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I had my surgery 17 years ago. It was all done at the same time. I had severe UC and couldnt take the pain and suffering anymore. I had talked to other patients that
had the same surgery and they needed to have it on an emergency basis. I orginally wanted to just have the colon taken out and where an ileostomy bag. I was 25 years old and my doctor said, the ileostomy bag should be your last choice. You are young and I specialize in this surgery and you will be ok. I was afraid that if i had a BM thru my anus, I would still be in tremendous pain. I couldnt understand how I could have regular BM like everyone else and not be in pain. I thought If i had the ileostomy, then I would have no more pain. Anyways, Im glad I talked to the other patients that had the same surgery as me, as they convinced me. Once you have the diseased intestine taken out, you will not have any pain anymore. So I had the surgery, and am so thankful that I did. It was tough at first, your body has to adjust and its not used taking the place of your large intestine. A few times at nite I stopped my fluid intake thinking that would slow down my bowel movements at nite. That was a mistake it was dehydrating me more. Anyways, it took a few weeks to feel better, but it was amazing to have BMs and not have any pain. Of course your insides are sore after surgery when your trying to have a BM, so it feels different, but your not dying on the toilet ready to pass out in pain. I have had my moments at times with Pouchitis and took Cipro on and off for years, I also take Imodium and Metamucil wafers which really help to slow it down. Unfortunately I cant eat alot of salads, raw veggies and fruits, which I love to eat. Its just too much fiber for me. But Im so happy I had the surgery. I actually had my surgeon video it for me because I was dying to see what they were going to take out of me that was causing me years of pain and suffering. It was amazingly fascinating to watch. Unfortunately they can no longer video any type of surgery for Liability purposes. I couldnt even have the C section birth of my child on video which broke my heart. But I am glad I have that video from all those years ago. Good luck with your surgery and God bless.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 938
   Posted 5/18/2012 4:41 AM (GMT -7)   
My experience was very similar to Jo's as I've had a very easy time of it since my takedown. No leakage issues, minimal "butt burn" (really none now that I have the bidet seat!), sleep pretty much all night (might wake up once if I ate a big dinner or something), and I'm living life! I just ran a half marathon on Saturday not quite four months after surgery. Out in the woods with no bathrooms for multiple hours....no problem! :-)
UC dx 2/08

Done with the drugs. Step 1 (of 3) J-pouch surgery 3/22/11, Step 2 10/20/2011, Step 3 1/24/12
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