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colostomy reversal recovery time?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2005

I'm an Irish girl caring for my Mum here in Dublin. Shes had colostomy, chemo and radiotherpy followed by a reversal in October last year. She has no quality of life since reversal surgery, severe weight loss and erratic bowel movements. Is this long enough to merit return to a colostomy or should we hope that she can still make progress? lack of info here at home so hoping someone out there can help

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I know just what your mom is going through. I had chemo and radiation, surgery with a temp. ileostomy, ileostomy reversal and more chemo. I had diarrhea so bad, I never finished all my chemo. I had stage 3 rectal cancer with 2 positive nodes. I spent the next 18 months trying to decrease my bathroom trips with meds and diet. Nothing worked and I was miserable. My bottom was so sore that I spent about 3 hours a day in the tub. Finally in Jan. I had surgery for a colostomy. While I certainly wouldn't have picked any of this terrible journey, my life is better. I am no longer searching for a bathroom or afraid to go somewhere because of fearing that I would have an accident. I have my life back. If you have any more specific questions that i can help you with, feel free to email me.


Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Sorry, one more thing I want to say. Apparently I have alot of damage from radiation. Last week i had a scope because of rectal bleeding. i have colitis. Go figure, just my luck, I don't even use my rectal part and I get colitis. But, i am soooo glad that it was not the cancer returning.


goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

It certainly seems like she's given it enough time. I would talk to the surgeon about a reversal. I had an ileostomy reversed and, like Maureen I am having difficulty with it. My life revolves around the bathroom. I am seriously considering getting a colostomy, but I am currently undergoing chemo for stage 4 rectal cancer and don't feel confortable putting it off for the surgery.

Quality of life should be good. Talk to the surgeon.


Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi there,

I am so sorry to hear about your Mum and the frustration you must feel trying to find her help. Know my thoughts are with you ans I haope that you will find answers here. Have you tried England too?
Please keep us posted.

Wishing you the best,

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2005

I'm very new to this site,and I may be covering old ground but, 9 months ago I underwent an abdominal resection for a very low lying 5 cm tumor(T3N1. It was so low that the doctors were not sure if they would be able to spare the sphincter. They also equipped me with a temporary illeostomy. Last month (May) the doctors performed a reversal of my illeostomy. Initially, my new plumbing didn't work very well and I wasn't totally convinced that it was going to work out for me. Since then I've gained more control everyday. The accidents that I have experienced have been smaller and less frequent with time.

For what it's worth:

Each morning I take a least one immodium AD per day and drink a glass of metamucil. During the day I will only have a "Cup O' Noodles" for lunch and I have trained my colon to practice a morning and evening BM ritual. I eat small meals and do daily kegal exercises. Additionally, even if I am near a restroom when I get the urge, I try to hold as long as possible before giving in (this can be rather uncomfortable). I've also began to compile a list of foods that help and hurt. For example,I recently paid dearly for enjoying a mexican dinner.

Undoubtedly, there many others on this site that have been doing this far longer than I and can give much more in-depth help. In fact, I personally would be most appreciative if someone could enlighten me as to how long it should take to achieve the maximum potential and what percentage of normal that would be? Right now, I would say that I'm at about 40% of normal.

Best of luck to your mother in making progress with her new plumbing.

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