Welcome to the site! There is so much information here from phenomenal people who have experienced the same things you are.
I am 24, and had a total colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis back in 2007. My diagnosis was colonic inertia, and they're currently testing for rectal inertia.
You're right, each patient is different- everyone recovers differently, everyone has unique foods that they can and can't eat, etc. Don't hesitate to vent or throw out tons of questions on the forums- we have all been there, and we've all done some serious venting at one point or another.
I did not have a temporary stoma. My surgeon said that he usually only has to do a temporary stoma when there is significant damage to the intestines, either from colitis, or radiation therapy. They did draw a bullseye on my abdomen prior to surgery in case they did need to do a stoma.
I did have a little anal leakage following surgery, but it stopped before I went home. That's just a result of the anesthesia. The GI tract really goes to sleep during surgery, and it does take awhile to wake up and regain full control of all the sphincters. When I say a little leakage, I do mean a little! Just a few drips here and there. As you're recovering, they will keep listening for gut sounds...do not let them send you home until you have good gut sounds and you're passing some stool.
Like Cecilia said, come check out the "Total Colectomy" thread. I think we're on part 35 now.
Have a great day!
Life-long GI problems.
- 2004: Motility problems took over my life (I was 18). Tons of doctors later...
- July 2007: Diagnosed with colonic inertia at the Mayo Clinic
- November 2007: Total colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis; IV lipids, PICC TPN
- Post-op: Better, initially. Motility slowed again 8 months after surgery. I currently have chronic debilitating pain due to a small intestine dysmotility.
- May 2010: Doctors suspect rectal dysmotility; another manometry scheduled for the 18th; sigmoidoscopy scheduled for the 26th (checking for strictures around the anastomosis).
Currently trying to figure out what my physical abilities will allow me to do career-wise. Psalm 73:26 - My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.