ileostomy reversal done

steved Member Posts: 834 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Well, I'm back after a few nights in hospital (they really are grimplaces to spend much time aren't they!) having my ileostomy reversed (Dx stage 3 March 2004, preop chemorad, surgery, post op chemo and reversal 8 months post op).

Wasn't too bad esp as the only other experience I have to compare it to is the initial bowel resection. Bowels going a bit mad now- frequency and urgency - but was well warned so expected this. Wierd to be sitting on the loo again after all this time.

Eating well again but unsure what to avoid- guess it is mainly trial and error. What are people's experience of reintroducing fibre after the reversal? It is early days yet as teh bowel needs to recolonise with bacteria and get its motility back but overall am pleased to have had it done.

I know I asked for general advise preop but if any one has any further advise (esp rediet and bowel control) I would welcome it gladly.

Nice to be back,


  • tkd3g
    tkd3g Member Posts: 767
    Sorry Steve, I don't have any advice.

    Just wanted to welcome you back and wish you well with the reversal. I managed to get away with out one. ( was marked and ready for it).

    Glad you are home. A hospital is no where to be, if you don't have to be. ( does that make sense?)

  • scouty
    scouty Member Posts: 1,965 Member
    Thanks for letting us know Steve!!!!

    I'm happy for you. I'm curious if they mention anything about probiotic foods or taking supplements for them (promotes the good bacteria in the colon like a nice lube). I looked it up in my books, but there really wasn't any reference about them after surgery. I hope to have your same questions one day soon so I will be following this thread.

    Again, congrats and keep us posted.

    Lisa P.
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952 Member
    Hi Steve. No advice, I'm afraid but just to say I was thinking of you on the day of your surgery -- glad it went well and welcome home (I know myself how great it is to get out of hospital and back home). Best of luck with the reversal and adjustment.
    ps Happy Birthday to that one-year old!
  • Shandle
    Shandle Member Posts: 204
    scouty said:

    Thanks for letting us know Steve!!!!

    I'm happy for you. I'm curious if they mention anything about probiotic foods or taking supplements for them (promotes the good bacteria in the colon like a nice lube). I looked it up in my books, but there really wasn't any reference about them after surgery. I hope to have your same questions one day soon so I will be following this thread.

    Again, congrats and keep us posted.

    Lisa P.

    Hey Steve, congratulations! I agree with Lisa! Get some supplements that would promote good bacteria. I haven't had to deal with a colostomy but I would go slow and easy on the fiber until you get adjusted better. I'm no expert so better to check with your Dr. I'm really happy for you!
    Keep us posted! Hugggs ~ wanda....xcw
  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723 Member
    Hi Steve,
    Glad the op went ok wishing you a speedy recovery and a rapid return to normality , good luck for the future Ron.
  • Glv49
    Glv49 Member Posts: 206 Member
    Congrats on your reversal. I had a colostomy reversal in Jan. it was on of the best things that ever happened to me!!! Trust me, I know what you are going thru. My docs didn't tell me what or what not to eat. But I do avoid corn, and nuts. So far nothing has bothered me. It took me about 4 wks for things to return to normal, but I has my colostomy for 18 mos. It might not take you as long. Good Luck, and keep me posted.
  • rejoyous
    rejoyous Member Posts: 259
    Congratulations on a successful surgery and welcome back to the throne. I don't have any first-hand advice on this, but it does seem that gravity is the best friend of all things bowel, so keep walking. Happy birthday to your one year old. Thanks for letting us know you're out.
  • VonnieKai
    VonnieKai Member Posts: 30
    Hi Steve
    It's great that you're doing well. My husband did not get a lot of advice or information from his surgeon after his ileostomy reversal. I found some bowel management information on the internet from an MD Anderson nurse, Annette K. Bisanz. She works in the Department of Practice Outcomes. Isn't that a great name? I called her and she sent me a packet of information about fiber therapy, sphincter exercises, and bowel management in general. You can contact her at MD Anderson Cancer Center Patient Education Office 713.792.7375. If she or the information packet is no longer available, I would be happy to send you a copy of what she sent to us. To answer your immediate questions, she recommends not drinking hot liquids. Eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones. Avoid spicy food and fried or fatty foods. Here is the summary from "Bowel Management for Frequent Stooling" by Annette Bisanz: "The key to bowel management after treatment for colorectal cancer is adjusting (titrating) the following components: Drink eight 8 oz. glasses of fluid per day. Increase or decrease fluid intake as needed. Minimize fluid intake with meals. Avoid hot liquids except for during bowel training. Eat your normal amount of food. Write down evertying you eat and determine what foods are causing problems. Adjust fiber from 1 teaspoon per day, adding another dose every 5 days until you get good results. Adjust you antidiarrhea medicine up or down as needed." Like everything else, everyone's experience will be different. With my husband, the fiber therapy worked at first, but then he got tired of taking fiber and refused it. Hope this helps.
  • Networks
    Networks Member Posts: 13
    Hi Steve, congrats on having the ileostomy takendown. I went through the procedure 3 1/2 weeks ago so I have some perspective on what to expect. I was told the first two weeks would be tough and they were. From that point on things are starting to improve for me. The two main factors with me have been learning to know when I have gas versus a partial BM and planning meals around what I'm doing that day. If I take my time in the mornings and lay on my side to help relieve gas while still in bed things go much better (less false alarms)throughout the day. As you probably know by now a complete BM is not going to happen for a while if ever. I have not missed one day of work since I was releasesd from the hospital but I'm fortunate to have a job that is close to a bathroom. I travel 25 miles to and from work and at times I'm forced to "hold it" while working and driving. At times I still will place a pad in my underwear for protection and confidence but I have not had that many accidents so far. Seems like I take two steps forward and one backwards for the most part but again overall I'm seeing an improvement. The frequency and urgency is improving most of the time and the type of foods as you know impact this more that anything else plus imodium may be needed depending on your situation. I'm finally seeing more firm BM than initially. Good luck to you and hang in there. The first two weeks were hell and my surgeon said I will probably wish I had the bag back and I did mention that I did during one of my fustrated moments, but not now, I'm glad it's gone!

  • livin
    livin Member Posts: 318 Member
    Congratulations on your reversal, I hope things work out well. I have to wait another year before I can have a reversal of my Colostomy due to a reacurrance of cancer in my liver. Can't wait to experience the throne again.-smile.
  • spongebob
    spongebob Member Posts: 2,565 Member
    Congratulations, Steve on losing you "leedle frehn" (as Scarface would say)!

    I hear that the recommended diet after a reversal is Guiness supplemented by pistachios with an occassional chocolate chip cookie or four or six to help with your blood sugar levels.

    Seriously, if you don't want to do the macrobiotic pill thing, you might consider whole culture yogurt. I would stay away from seeded varities for now. But that should help reintroduce some beneficial flora & fauna for you.

    Congrats again, Steve!

    - SpongeBob
  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072 Member
    Good luck with your recovery.
    My advice: Invest in the softest toilet paper you can find. And tub baths and good old vaseline to help with the sore bottom.

  • cal79
    cal79 Member Posts: 57
    Congratulations on your reversal, glad it went well. I can't offer any personal advice as I just had my ileostomy created, but there is a whole discussion page dedicated to reversals on the message board of "Shaz's Ostomy Pages" ( You might find some practical advice there. Good luck :)