reversal of ileostomy

Parla Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I'm about to have the reversal of my ileostomy and have a couple of complications. First, I am told the area of the colon that was radiated is "narrowed" so I would have to eat no starches and no raw fruits/veggies/seeds/skins,etc. Second, I am told that same area has "radiation irritation" that could wind up causing me incontinence. Nonetheless, the surgeon (my 2nd opinion doctor) said that if he were me, he'd do the reversal. For that reason, I've decided to try it since I'm a 34 year old female with a whole life ahead of me. Has anyone had any of these problems and had a reversal? Any suggestions as to what I could eat that wouldn't bulk me up? I'm very nervous about this ordeal but I'm told that if it's not successful, I could just get the ileostomy back. It's a much better outcome than I previously thought when I had stage 4 colorectal cancer since I am now in remission. Thanks in advance for any replies.


  • VonnieKai
    VonnieKai Member Posts: 30
    Hi Parla
    There is a nurse on the MD Anderson website that has a regimen for people trying to regain bowel control after cancer surgery. Please visit that site - I wish I could remember her name, but she mailed me a packet of information that helped my husband. It involved building up doses of psyllium (metamucil) to add fiber to bulk up the stool and sphicter exercises to improve control. My husband's surgeon explained that when colon is used to replace the rectum, it has to learn how to act like a rectum and it takes awhile. Also,the sphincter muscles haven't been in use and need to be strengthened. He has improved a lot, but we've learned to have an extra pair of disposable underwear and a big package of baby wipes handy at all times.
    Take care & good luck!
  • StacyGleaso
    StacyGleaso Member Posts: 1,233 Member
    Hi Parla,

    I had my ileostomy reversed, as I was in the same boat as otherwise healthy 34 yr old female. I have had no problems whatsoever. My surgeon told me that you can have changes in movements up to three years after the surgery. I haven't had any complications, and after my 1 yr visit following the surgeon, he advised me that I no longer have to see him, only follow up with my oncologist.

    I agree with your doctor...have the reversal, and you could always go back if necessary.

    Let me know if I can help more,