Illeostomy reversal success rate

JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member

I'm on the list to have it reversed but it wiill be months before it would be done, possibly not until the fall. At first I thought I didn't want to do it because I've had IBS my whole life and it's been nice not to have to deal with the pain from that as well as having to live my life around it. My surgeon says that I'm a good candidate for having the reversal because I'm young and healthy. But he also said the IBS would be worse after. So I thought keping the stoma might be the lesser evil. But more and more I'm thinking that Id like to have it gone.

I've been trying to find studies and numbers regarding the success rate of reversals. I've heard too many times about people who still have leakage or many trips to the bathroom every day or even during the night including sleeping on puppy pads. But of course you mostly hear the bad stories. I wonder how many times it does work well and how often people do end up badly off afterwards. So I've been trying to find statistics but can't seem to find any. Does anybody on here have a link to any articles like that? I want to be educated about this before I do it. I do not want to regret it afterwards. 

Thank you!!



  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122 Member
    To reverse or not…..

    To reverse or not…..

    Go here:

    The “general ostomy discussion” has the most contributors. You’ll find the individuals there are like they are here. Everyone has an opinion, right or wrong, and everyone sincerely wants to be of help. Use the same attitude you use here, and the same security measures.

    I wanted my Ileostomy reversed. They left a “rectal stump” (1’ of colon stapled shut and left in place) to accommodate a future reversal. Due to intestinal obstructions and a large loss of small intestine due to adhesions from each previous surgery, a reversal would be near impossible.

    Each time they go inside your abdomen some damage and bruising occurs. That bruised area often ends up healing together (“adhering”) to something else, or forming a healing “ring” around the damaged/bruised section of intestine. As the healing process continues, the section becomes narrowed, or stuck together becoming inflexible and won’t pass food product easily…. eventually becoming obstructed.

    Surgery to resolve an intestinal adhesion (or hernia) usually results in the creation of more adhesions and hernias. I cringe at the thought of any more abdominal surgery for that reason.

    Since you already have had intestinal problems and having a stoma has alleviated those problems, why go back? If the present stoma is in a good place and has been fairly easy to maintain, you’ll have to consider the fact that a reversal will mean that a future stoma will be in a different place, and may not be as easy to maintain.

    In my opinion, you should consider the ramifications of a “reversal” and how it will be if you need future operations, chemo, etc.

    We have to be careful of what we wish for…..

    The UOAA website might offer you some more insight…

    Good luck, and better health!




  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member

    I had my reversal as soon as my surgeon would let me, about 6 weeks after the resection.  Even though I acquired a fistula which required a bag for 5 more weeks, it was worth it!  The fistula healed itself.  So I have been bag free and NED for more than 5 years now.  Not a bad outcome!!!  Good luck to you shold you decide to