Ileostomy reversal

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 8/29/2007 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Group:
I am a new member. I am a 51 year old husband and father of three boys. I have had an ileostomy for just over two years. I came about it after developing necrotising pancreatitis and raging infections. I ended up having a "modified whipple" surgery. Parts of my large & small intestines were removed as well as my gall bladder & 2/3 of my pancreas. I spent 6-7 months in ICU, 1 month on a step=down unit and two months in rehab. I was admitted several times for dehydration and infections, resulting from fistulas. I had a second surgery to close the fistulas and I spent another month in the hospital and a week in rehab. I have now been home since Feb. '07. I'm feeling stronger everyday but after the 2nd operation I was down to 115lbs. I'm now 170lbs. (I am 6'3" & was 210lbs. before). I still need a liter of IV water everyday to help me keep hydrated, I have a PICC line. I'm sure others have similar tales to tell but I could sure use some advice.
The time has come to decide to see about reversing the ileostomy. I am debating whether, first should I do it and second should I wait. The surgeon is supportive but he said it's my choice. Any thoughts?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 8/29/2007 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   

You have been through heck! Are you up for another surgery? What were your bowel habits like before your ileostomy? Did you have frequent BMs or infrequent (which was my case)? I also have the option to having a reversal in the future; however, I cannot imagine going back to where I was before.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 8/29/2007 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgeon also left the decision up to me. I have opted to wait. In my case, there is no harm in waiting. You have seriously been through a lot, it might behoove you to regain stamina, not only physically, but this stuff takes a toll on us mentally as well. It sounds like you have only been "well" for six home at least. It's such a personal decision of what you are willing to put up with.

I had complications with my surgery, had the picc line, etc. etc. and there is no way I want to go through that nonsense anytime soon. However, you might get some good input from people who have had the reversal. Best Wishes, whatever you decide.
Diagnosed Crohn's/Colitis 2003.  
Subtotal Colectomy w/ Ileostomy May 16, 2007.
I'm off the meds!!  

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 8/29/2007 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I am getting my ileostomy reversed September 13th. I had my subtotal colectomy and was fine for a week. The day I was supposed to be released from the hospital I had major complications. So I ended up with a temporary emergency ileostomy. Two major surgeries in less then a week. I was only supposed to have it for a month. But I kept putting off the reversal because physically and emotionally I had nothing left to give. The last thing I wanted was more surgery. Especially so soon.

So now it's 4 months later. Scheduling the reversal was a tough choice and I'm not sure I am making the right decision. It's annoying wearing a bag but it's better then what came before. My doctor let me make the decision. He said I could wait as long as I wanted for the reversal. It's tough because some days I am so ready to get rid of it. But other days I'm glad I have it. At this moment I want to cancel the surgery. But when I wake up in the morning I'll change my mind about canceling. It's so frustrating.

I have had 30 years of torture and these 4 months that I have had my ileostomy have physically been the best I have felt in years.

I think that no matter what you decide you will probably still have doubts. But I wish you the very best of luck in whatever you decide. Just remember not to rush it. Take your time.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 9/1/2007 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the input all. Good luck on the surgery Taurus, I can relate to your anxiety, but, I'm also leaning strongly to going ahead with it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 10/29/2007 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know about the rest of ya'll, but i plan on getting mine reversed asap. My doc said it would only temp anyway. I drive a truck and not being able to is so frustrating. I miss the road. I got my ileostomy due too a near complete blockage of the large intestine and a slight perforation as well. I got the blockage cleared out and had the ileostomy to give time for healing.
I totally plan on the reversal so I can get back to work.

Good luck on your though!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 10/29/2007 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
why are you unable to drive your truck with a bag? i am just curious.
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