Tips for Your Ostomy Reversal

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Blossom28
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/11/2008 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Forum Friends, 
 
I have just had my ileostomy reversal on November 3rd and I thought I would post a few tips that really helped me through the surgery and the days in the hospital.  I am now home recovering and each day is a little better, but it's always up and down.  This is especially for 2RisK and others who have posted that they are facing the reversal surgery soon.
 
1.  I would highly recommend the CD "Meditation for Successful Surgery" by BelleRuth Naperstek.  It's a 2 CD set with visualizations, calming music and affirmations . . . one CD is just the most calming music immaginable.  I listened to the set several times before surgery and especially on the night before surgery . . . then I listened in the hospital.  I found that it not only calmed my nerves, it really helped to manage my pain and let me drift off to sleep even in the chaos that is a university hospital.
 
2.  The Dr. never told me what to expect, but I woke up with an NG tube (the worst!) and IV . . . I had to have the NG tube for three days due to some complications with my surgery.  As long as the NG tube was in, I could not eat.  As long as I could not eat, I was not getting my bowels moving.  Without bowel movement, I would not be able to get the NG tube out (sort of a catch 22).  Anyway, on election day, my bowels moved!!  (I'm a Dem., so I am convinced it was a powerful positive energy thing). 
 
So, the good news is that your bowels will move, the bad news is that they will move uncontrollably for the first few days . . . so more tips . . .
 
3.  Bring your own Depends diapers to the hospital.  The diapers provided to me could cover a horse, and they had to be thrown out each time because they were not "pull ups".  I bought a box of Depends that could be pulled up and used again (if not soiled) and they fit!!
 
4.  I used ConvaTec Protective Ointment 3 - Aloe Vesta each time I went to the bathroom.  Your butt will be sore as can be, but by putting the ointment on each time, it will be bearable.
 
5.  Ask for Immodium if the bowels are still uncontrollable after a day or two.  They gave me one immodium and it really helped.
 
6.  I'm on a low residue diet for now and it seems to be doing OK, I am still too loose, but I am only going about 8-10 times a day now and I think it will get better.
 
I hope that these tips might be useful and I hope that you all have successful surgeries and complete healing!!!

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 11/11/2008 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Excellent tips and suggestions!

Do you mind if I add two?

7. Walk, walk, walk. When told it's time to get moving again - ie, sitting up in bed, swinging your legs over the side of the bed, sitting upright in a recliner, etc. - do it. It will be painful but the sooner you begin walking, even at a slow pace, the faster you will heal and get back on the road to complete healing. I didn't walk much after my 5 hour colon resection (cancer) so for my takedown, I walked. No one had to come in my room to remind me each hour. I just did it. By the time I was discharged I was up to two full laps around the entire surgical floor. Very slow laps but walking laps nonetheless. A nurse saw me one evening and she knew - ah, you've had surgery before!

8. Do the breathing exercises - the device you blow into each hour, moving the small blue ball up to the top in the chamber. Not sure what this is called either, but doing these exercises keep your lungs open and your temp down.

I agree about the depends. At the very least, Stayfree makes an ultra thin maxi pad that is overnight size (meaning it goes way up in the back of your underwear, under where your rectum sits). These pads are just enough to catch drips or minor accidents.

Mary/Marsky

MDdave
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 11/11/2008 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Very good tips, sound like the same things I went through. I used the hospt dippers as I could move fast enoughf with the NG (I had a set back and mine went in awake), the nurse got me some aloe cream like for dipper rash and it helped.

Good Luck it gets better each day.

spongebabe2pants
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/11/2008 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Blossom, I'm gald to hear that you're home, recovery seemed to start speeding up after my first surgery once I got back to my comfort zone. My reversal is on Friday, so these tips are just in time :)
Ulcerative Colitis since December 2001 (age 15)
in remission for 6 months in 2002 followed by severely active disease
1st j-pouch surgery done on July 30, 2008


2 RIS K
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 367
   Posted 11/12/2008 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow! Thanks for the tips. Those are awesome! I made a list and I am going to be ready. I have a question though. Don't the Depends hurt your stomach at the incision site? I have an incision from my navel to my pubic bone and the dr. said she will use that same incision. That hurt so bad during the first surgery and I couldn't stand to have anything touch it. I didn't even wear panties!
Amanda
35 years old
Chronic Lifetime Constipation
Diagnosed IBS - 1995
Rectal Prolapse - February 2007
Rectosigmoid Colectomy w/low anterior Anastomosis - 3/13/07
Diagnosed with Colonic Inertia - June 08
Total Colectomy - September 22, 2008
Take Down Surgery Scheduled - December 15, 2008
 
The whole world is at your feet; so paint your toenails Red!
 


Blossom28
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/12/2008 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   

Amanda,  right after surgery they will have you on heavy-duty pain meds (I was on morphine) and I could not feel ANY pain   :-)

I just now got back from having all of my staples pulled out (the incision was from the breastbone to the pubic area) and I still have no pain at the incision site, and I am now off of pain meds. 

I am hoping that you have a very easy and complete recovery.  Best of luck!!! Blossom (Peggy)

 


2 RIS K
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 367
   Posted 11/13/2008 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Great info, Thanks so much!!
Amanda
35 years old
Chronic Lifetime Constipation
Diagnosed IBS - 1995
Rectal Prolapse - February 2007
Rectosigmoid Colectomy w/low anterior Anastomosis - 3/13/07
Diagnosed with Colonic Inertia - June 08
Total Colectomy - September 22, 2008
Take Down Surgery Scheduled - December 15, 2008
 
The whole world is at your feet; so paint your toenails Red!
 


jmrn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/24/2008 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there, I was reading some different posts and found a comment that you had made. If I read it correctly you had an ileostomy for 10 months and then had it reverse. I also understood that you still had most of your colon. Do you still have trouble with diarrhea? How many stools /day? Are you young/middle aged/ older? My dad is 77 and the big fear is that he will not be able to control his bowels. That would be so much worse than his ileostomy.

Blossom28
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/24/2008 5:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jmm,  This is Blossom (Peggy).  I am a 59 year old woman who has had crohns disease for over 30 years.  I have about one-third of my colon left (I don't know how many feet that would be).  The reversal went really well for me, but everyone is different.  The biggest problem with the ileostomy for me was that I was having to empty the bag every two hours, and the contents were mostly pure liquid.  It was very difficult, since I could not get a full night's sleep.  After the reversal, the first week was hard because I had diarreah as my body was getting used to being hooked back up  . . . . on the fourth day of diarreah, the Dr. gave me an immodium, which really helped.  I also added back foods gradually, to see what settled well.  I am now three weeks out from surgery, eating everything and doing great.  I am only having about 5 BMs per day and no diarreah and no immodium needed.  I hope that your dad will consult more than one Dr., as that is a key to getting as much information as possible to make the decision.  Best of luck!!

jmrn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/25/2008 5:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Peggy, thank you for all of your information. My name is Jackie and I am a RN in Canada. I have been the main caregiver for my Dad since his illness 1 yr. ago. He had a blood clot to his Superiour mesentaric venous system of his bowel. Five months in Hosp. ICU on 5 different occassions, Intubated 4 times, code blue etc. He would have never made it through all of this if it were not for me and my connections to the hosp, and the great Dr.s that I work with. Since home we have been battling dehydration (also a very long story, I'll make it short and sweet. He eats well but is also fed through a PEG tube. IV's in the home were being done to keep him hydrated while we got him off of the feeding tube, all was well until about 2 weeks after IV's and tube feedings had stopped. Stool was a bit thicker but would loose wt, weakness, short of breath voice and hearing changes. All determined to be dehydration and low magnesium levels. We are now looking at anastomosis, He has approx 8-12 ft of small bowel lost and also part of his assending colon.
I have asked his Dr. to order an anal manometer reading to see if his anal sphincter in good. By the way is ostomy was like yours, very high output, I would guess at least 4 liter /day, he also empties every 2hrs or more and wakes up 3 times a night to empty. Imodium and lomitil have not worked at all ( did you try these when you had your ostomy) I was told these meds work mainly in the large bowel, not so well in the sm bowel. Also after your surgery were you able to control your bowels or were you incontinent? Looking forward to hearing how you are doing, I hope you don't mind, I might be your new best friend for a while.
Thanks again for everything

Blossom28
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/26/2008 4:26 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi jmm,  Gosh, it does sound like your Dad has been through the wringer this year!  He is SO fortunate to have you as a care-giver and advocate.  My husband is a RN and he was totally indispensible when I was so sick in the hospital . . . he could "talk turkey" with my nurses and the Dr.

I had never tried immodium while I had the ostomy, since we knew that it was temporary.  When the reversal was done, I was semi-incontinent for about 2 days, I would have to wear the Depends diapers to be sure, and RUN to the hospital room bathroom (dragging my IV pole!) . . . on the 4th day, they gave me immodium and it worked like a charm!  I only took that one pill, and it seemed to give my colon a chance to remember what it was there for!  :-) I still have occasional diarreah (but not incontinence).  I also do Kegel excercises, just like many moons ago when I was pregnant.

Just BTW, my husband and I have a summer house in Newfoundland . . . where in Canada are you located?

Best of luck!!! Peggy


jmrn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/26/2008 2:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Peggy, Your information is so valuable to me at this time that we are trying to make a decision. I am a nurse in Windsor, on. and we live in a small town outside of the Windsor area. It is so funny that you have a summer home in NFLD. My son who is 19 is currently in school to become a captain (Ships) He will finish his 3rd year this June and then he will be going to Memorial University in St John's NFLD to obtain his BA in Mariners studies. We are planning a trip at the end of next summer to take him up there, that is if time allows.
P.S. I already explained the Kegel exercises to Dad, not sure if he is doing them, I'll have to remind him of that again. I'm glad that you are feeling well Post op and will stay in touch with you. You are also very lucky to have a nurse at your side. I'm really not sure how others do without someone with medical experience. By the way what area of nursing is your husband in.

Blossom28
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/26/2008 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey jmm,  I'm glad that my experiences might help with your dad.  This forum has been great for me also, in terms of knowing that there are others out there who are going through similar health issues. 

On a happier topic, your son will love Memorial . . . we have several friends who are professors there.  And, Newfoundland is a magical place . . . you guys will have a great time.  Go to Trinity (site of the filming of "The Shipping News") and whale watch.  My husband has 25 years of experience with pediatric nursing (ER, ICU, Neonatal, rehabilitation, etc.) but now (this is ironic) he is working for my gastroenterology group . . . they have their own endoscopy center and do over 30 procedures a day (colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, etc.), so he's a nurse at the endoscopy center.  It's terrific in that it is four days a week with no weekends, no holidays and no night shifts!!  After 30 years of working in hospitals, with little control over schedules, he's a happy camper.


jmrn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/27/2008 3:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Peggy, We have never been to NFLD, but looking forward to it. We heard it was beautiful. Your husband has the same nursing background a me: ER, ICU, OR, and now run an urgent Neurosurgical program for urgent referrals. Finally Days with weekends and holidays off. Believe me I have done my time with shift work. Also work with a great group of Neurosurgeons, that helps.
I spoke with the pathologist today, it sounds as though most of Dad's small bowel is there. They removed about 42 cm of ileum, also took the ileo/cecal valve and the cecum. Really not sure why such huge outputs and dehydration but we have to keep going. Maybe we are missing something. I have seen on this site that people are taking opium drops? Is there another names for this or is is just any narcotic ie codeine or what?
Have to take Dad into Dr. tomorrow as he is just not right. Getting weaker by the day, even after IV on Wed. Also Wt has gone from 140lbs to 135lbs. Five pounds in 2 weeks is just to much. Before this happened he was 180lbs. Certainly malnurished at this point.
Keep in touch
Jackie

Blossom28
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/28/2008 4:23 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Jackie, I will keep your dad in my prayers . . . I know how hard it is to be going through a "bad patch", but I am sure that the Dr. will be able to get it under control.  Post anytime, and let us know how he does after the Dr. visit.

Peggy

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