Colostomy reversal

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 2/1/2009 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I've read the other recent posts on reversals, and some of the complications and success stories.  I just received my date (Apr 1) for my colostomy reversal, and have a few questions.  Like others, when I really think about the surgery, I start to freak out, I am sure my anxiety level will increase as the date gets nearer--not sure what I will do about that.  I posted awhile ago about my story, ruptured diverticula in Oct, 1st surgery resected the colon but leaked 4 days later, transferred by ambulance in middle of night to Cleveland Clinic and had 2nd surgery to repair which resulted in colostomy.  I've also now developed a large parastomal hernia, which hopefully will be repaired when surgery is done.  The doctor didn't seem too concerned about it, said they are very common.  Measured me for a belt to wear, but really didn't even give me weight restrictions on lifting or anything.  Easy for him, he doesn't look like he's 10 months pregnant!  I'm worried about it getting worse, as it seems to be doing.  Hopefully the belt will help?
My doctor insists on waiting 6 months to reverse.  Also said, which surprised me, that I may need a temporary loop ileostomy for 3 months if he thinks there is any chance the repair will leak.  Is this a common thing to be told?  And, there will be catheters inserted into my ureters to help identify them during the surgery, I think he said this is in addition to the foley catheter that will be used, there was some risk involved, but the benefits outweighed the risks in his opinion.  Again, is this common?  I didn't really have a chance to think about my last surgeries, they were both unexpected and emergent, so, I just had to do it.  Can't think of any other questions I had, but, I know there are more.  I really appreciate reading the advice and experiences of everyone, it is somewhat helpful to know of others who are experiencing similar things.  Thanks

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/1/2009 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   

I had to have my surgery done in three parts because of the amount of steriods I was on.  The loop illiostomy is just like you current one, except a bit bigger.  Personally I've had some problems with it because it empties directly onto my skin, but just talk to your surgeon about how he contructs it.

As for the stints-cathaders-in you ureters (sp?) I had that with my hysteromecty (sp?) (spelling was straight F's through school).  They are put in while you are asleep and help the doctor not to cut them (very good thing) when he is moving other things around. Apparently they are very helpful if you have a bit of scar tissue.


UC diagnosed in 2002
total collectomy in 8/2008
j-pouch 11/2008
awaiting reconnection

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 2/3/2009 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I haven't experienced what you are going through, but I would speculate that the temp ileo is a precaution if the ruptured area is questionable. Trust me, that would be better than having them connect it, close you up and have a leak in 5 days...that second surgery is always harder (which you probably already know!). The important thing is that you'll be healthly when all is said and done:)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 498
   Posted 2/11/2009 3:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Well I faced all the problems which you have faced. I have incisional hernia and look like a pregnant lady. The hernia goes on increasing in size if you do not take precautions. Please wear a binder/abdominal belt all the time and particularly when you go to washroom since any pressure on the abdominal wall would aggravate the incisional hernia. It is quite common in all abdominal surgeries. How do you intend to deal with it. My doctors have refused to repair it saying it may be dangerous for me. My fistula is also creating lot of problem and always leaking. It communicates with the J pouch - horse shoe fistula. Let's hope the things get fine with all of us who face post surgical complications. Cheers. Don't life heavy weights.

45 years Male
Diagnosed UC October 1989
Had two stage J Pouch Surgery Nov 2005 March 2006
Complications after surgery - Incisional Hernia and Ano Fistulas
on Combiflam, Multivitamins and restricted diet.
Tried Sallaki/Turmeric/Homoepathy/Allopathy/Chinese/Unani/Ayuvedic/Yoga before going for surgery

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 2/13/2009 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, thanks for the responses.  I have a parastomal hernia, not an incisional-if that matters, but, yes, I have ordered a belt from Nu-Hope, and am awaiting its arrival.  Nu-Hope said I need a special order because of the bags that I use, Hollister New Image, apparently their flange measures slightly different, and requires a special cut?  It should've come today, but I don't see it yet.  I am trying not to do anything that strains it, as it does seem to be enlarging.  That is easier said than done, though, the doctor didn't give me a weight restriction, but even lifting a bag of potatoes off of the floor I can feel it straining the hernia area.  So, I try not to do too much, but---now, I'm trying not to freak out about my upcoming surgery.

A Friend
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/1/2010 7:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone have any suggestions for a friend who had a reversal and is dealing with frequently not being able to complete a bm and is very irritated in more ways than one with all the wiping. Does he need more fiber. He goes frequently but not diarrhea. Thanks, a friend

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/12/2011 7:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, my surgeon has me on OTC Phillips stool softners every day and that works great.  No one should or make themself strain and mostly not after a Reversal.  It's great not having an Ostomy anymore, but I wear a Post surgery body girdle with openings in it to go to the restroom and anything else I do, you can buy these online at Dr. Reys website.  That and the Post surgery body girdle and not lifting anything over twenty pounds and I feel really good.  I even found a Post girdle in Black to go under my swimsuit.  I dont eat fried food and I watch how many peanuts I eat, plus when I eat chili or something that could irritate me, I eat small amounts of it.  Always remember oatmeal is really easy to digest in the morning or anytime and it also keeps you regular.  I wish everyone who had this surgery knew they needed those stool softners.  I hope I helped.  Cwody :-)
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