Ileostomy reversal

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/23/2010 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I have just registered. Was very impressed by this site.
Towards the end of the year I will be having my ileostomy reversal operation.
I had bowel cancer and the first operation which removed half of my bowel was unsuccesful, there was a tiny hole in the joining of the bowel and after a day and a half at home I became septic and was rushed to hospital.  I was put in an induced coma for three days.  I woke up with an ileostomy bag.  It was most frightening at 64 years of age.  When I was discharged in the first month or more staples kept emerging from the wound.  No one could tell me where these staples were coming from.  The frustration and depression were terrible.  Finally the wound healed and I have just completed 6 months of chemotherapy and my general health seems good.  No weight loss since the second operation.  I am apprehensive as it is the same surgeon who did the initial bowel removal who will perform the reversal operation.  Needless to say I am very apprehensive about the third stage of surgery.  There are many questions that I need ask the surgeon, even to the point of saying I have no confidence in his doing the operation again after the first one was not successful.  I wonder if anyone has suggestions about questions I should be asking the surgeon prior to the operation.
Many thanks for reading my story and I do look forward to healing well.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 8/24/2010 6:59 AM (GMT -6)   
WOW, this is most different than anything I have encountered and believe me, I am having my problems too.  My surgeon is head of colorectal surgery at the Univ of Pa Hospital in Philly and that is the reason I chose him.  He seems to be very good but most of the people who have had the same operation as I had their anus sewn shut, where my surgeon left mine intact.  I've had vaginal problems since I've been home.  At my post op visit my surgeon said the discharge was most likely coming out of my anus, but I know my anus from my vagina and I KNOW it is coming out of my vagina.  Now I am bleeding from my vagina.  Seeing a gyn doctor today and my surgeon again tomorrow.  I also have pressure in the anus (want to say rectum, but I have no rectum).
     Since you have little confidence in your surgeon, and I don't blame you.  Is there another surgeon you could consult with?  I sure would.  If you absolutely have to go to this surgeon I would level with him and tell him how apprehensive (and rightly so) you are about him performing this surgery.
     By the way...I am the same age as you...64 and it takes us longer to recover from these major surgeries.  Good luck and God bless.  Chris
Ulcerative Proctitis since Sept of 1998. Hospitalized for eight days. Prednisone, Asacol, Rowasa enemas. Two year remission. Flare..switched from Asacol to Colazal. Two year remission. Started 6MP in 2002. Flared yearly from 2003 to May of 08. Hospitalized for ten days in May of 08. Flaring more often since. Off 6MP. Remicade failed. Humira failed. Total colectomy with perm. ileo .

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/24/2010 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Many thanks Chris for your words of support

Yes I must see about changing my surgeon as I do not have any confidence.

Heal well

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 827
   Posted 8/25/2010 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   

I am sorry you have had such a rough time. I have spent the last year going through these operations with my son who had his colon removed due to UC. To me, it is imperative that you have complete confidence in your surgeon. Make an appointment to sit down with him/her and ask ALL your questions and don't leave until you feel they have all been answered. If your are still uncertain about him/her.....FIND ANOTHER. Talk to your GP to find the best possible surgeon that you have access to.

All that being said, the take down operation is very minor compared to everything else you have been through. All they do is rejoin the intestine and close the ileostomy site. You should be out of the hospital in 4-5 days and recovery is fairly quick.

Wishing you all the best,

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/25/2010 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Cathy thank you for your kindness...this is why I joined the site, people like you make it easier.   Yes compared to the previous nightmare I guess the reversal is a lot less can talk to friends but they do not know in the way you do...I do not have confidence due to the surgeon who removed the bowel, and then discharged from hospital far too early and rushed back after one and a half days at home...he said it was unfortunate I fell into the one percentage of people who have a hole in the resectioning of the bowel..can I then be in another percentage with this third operation in less than twelve months...Many thanks Lloyd

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 8/25/2010 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I was one of the lucky 10% who also had a hole from surgery...probably an adhesion that pulled the was so small they couldn't see it in any scan:( Personally, I didn't hold it against my surgeon and would still have them do surgery on me (and they have) and recommend them to friends and family BUT that is only because I still have confidence with them.

When you second guess their ability it is time to find another one:(

Yes, reversal is easier, and usually only 3-5 days in the hospital. You can usually get back to life sooner, too:)

Welcome to the forum Lloyd!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/25/2010 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for a warm welcome to the helps..
Yes my hole was also so small they could not find it thus an ileostomy....the surgeon is skilled and renowned in the public hospital but I keep thinking if this went wrong the firs time what are my chances with this man the second time...A friend of mine said ask them:"Who is you indemnity Insurance company?"...he said this will be a red flag to them...of course here we do not pay for any of the surgery so I guess we are at their mercy as it were...there is little holistic approach, they are body mechanics in my humble opinion...if I was paying in a Private Hosptial I think things may be different..they will NEVER use the word negilgence BUT comlications is their mantra......I need to have a list of questions but do not know where to begin, the appointment with colorectal surgeon is October 10th...I am not looking forward to it which you probably understand...Lloyd
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