Bowel movements after reversal

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/25/2010 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I had my colon removed four weeks ago and I've decided I want my reversal early next year (don't want anything getting in the way of my birthday and Christmas). I've read various stories on the internet and was just wondering what bowel control is like after the reversal - I seem to be imagining pooing myself in the days after the operation because I won't be able to control it - does that happen to many people, or can you usually hold it okay and get to the toilet on time? And does having it done mean I'll be having runny movements and going to the toilet more than once or twice a day for the rest of my life? Does any of the reccovery process depend on how good the surgeon is, or how young I am? (I'm 22.) I'm just really scared of either making a mess, or having to go to the toilet all the time and not being able to do anything. Thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 985
   Posted 8/25/2010 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I think the norm after you are all healed is still 5-6 a day. I still go at least 12 times a day, but I do have control and never had an issue with that after takedown
27/F Diagnosed with unspecified UC 11/08 (symptoms for over a year before)
Asacol, Prednisone, Remicade with no success--no remission for over 2 years
8/09 colonoscopy shows that the whole colon is affected
12/18/09 Removal of colon, creation of J-Pouch and ostomy; recessed stoma; 12/30/09 Takedown too soon; RV fistula;1/9/10 Second Ileostomy Surgery;
1/25/10 Stoma Revision Surgery; 3/30/10 Takedown again; 6/9/10 Scope and Biopsy--Diagnosed with Crohns Disease (maybe...)
Tried gluten free and dairy free with no noticeable improvement; Was on TPN and IV fluids 2/10-6/10. Currently:Prednisone 25 mg (tapering 5mg/week), D, B12, Iron, Prenatal vitamin, Lortab, Humira, Rowasa

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 8/25/2010 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been wondering the same thing and it is still part of the reason I'm iffy about the reversal. Going to call my nurse at the surgeons office to see if I can work anything out with having the second surgery :/
21 y/o male livin' in Georgia. Diagnosed with Left-Sided Colitis in 2002; re-diagnosed with Pancolitis in Nov. 2009.
June 2010 I beat UC by having surgery.
Drugs tried: Just about every 5ASA medicine, enemas, prednisone, turmeric, fish oil, Remicade, psyllium seed powder, Metamucil.
Unable to take 6MP.
Temp Ileostomy and colon removal surgery - 6/2/2010
Readmitted back to hospital because of blockage (my fault cause I ate Steak n Shake 3 days after being released from surgery) - 6/10/2010
Takedown surgery - 8/?/2010

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 827
   Posted 8/25/2010 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
The "average" for one year post reversal is 4-6 BMs a day and usually about 1 at night. And yes that is for the rest of your life. At the very beginning you can have some incontinence, especially at night, but for most people this goes away over a week or so as the intestine inflammation from surgery decreases and as the stool starts to thicken up. My son had this problem the first couple of nights while still in the hospital. It really was not a big deal....a little leakage that just meant a change of underwear and a change of bed pad. It really was very minor.

It still amazes me, but after the pouch has adjusted you do not have "runny movements". My son has formed, although thinner and smaller than before) BMs with no urgency or pain. The pouch starts to learn to absorb water. It really is amazing!

I believe that the most important aspect is your surgeon. You should be finding the best colorectal surgeon that you have access to. There are a lot of judgement calls that need to be made during surgery and in treatment of any complications that arise and you want someone who has done hundreds of these surgeries.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/25/2010 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your replies! I feel a bit better about it now. And yeah, my surgeon is really good, people are always singing his praises, so hopefully everything will go okay. He is great at what he does but I don't really like him, I suppose because every time I see him, he's giving me bad news, lol. I'm seeing him tomorrow and I'm dreading it a bit, even though I think it's just a routine post-op appointment four weeks after my operation. Paranoia!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 8/25/2010 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I just had my takedown almost two months ago. I vary anywhere from 4-8 BM's a day. I think I got lucky, but don't want to jinx it. The key thing is no urgency and pain which is mostly associated with UC. Some of my BM's were solid which I haven't seen in like 10 years. I almost pissed my pants when I saw that. The do come out smaller ... it is like building a small rock quarry in the toilet when you go ... I know TMI, but whatever. A lot of my strength has come back, and I will be back in the Fire Department in another month. 3 years ago this month is when symptoms starting showing. From then everything was a blur.
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