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Reversal Surgery

Posts: 12
Joined: May 2005

Hi everyone. I'm actually Ron's wife, logging in on his computer. I have some questions about his "reversal surgery" coming up. Last summer he was put on a temporary iliostomy bag, and we go back to the Mayo in two weeks to get it reversed back. We can't wait! Has anyone had this done, and if so, can you tell us what to expect? How long is recovery? Is it painful? How does the abdomen feel afterwards, where they make the incision(s)? Will air travel be difficult?

Thanks so much, and God bless all :-)

Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi Tracey, My name is Fran(FRANTIC). I have had an illeostomy since August 2003. I still have part of my colon still in me but it is currently disconeected draining into a another small bag. As far as the reversals go you can try SHAZ's OSTOMY PAGE its on the internet. There is a section all about reversals and they are all very friendly and knowledeable like this group. I am also awaiting a reversal. The Dr.in Manhattan where I had the surgery would have to do a double connection. I did have pelvic radiation along with chemo in 2004. The Dr. told me they can do a double connection but they would not know how much scar tissue I had from the radiation until they go in. So I am holding off for now as I have an ongoing blood problem and need transfusions.
Good Luck to your husband. And try that website.

Posts: 758
Joined: Jul 2004

hey guys,

i had same surgery i sept 04. i was alot easier than the surgery to take out tumor.the incision is where the bag was. bowels take a few days to wake up. the first bm is very watery and it comes fast, so if ron feels like passing gas he better sit on the toilet. i had a accident the first time. air travel should be no problem. only thing that is giving me trouble is the area is very weak and he can get hernias very easily i had 1 and now i have 2 to get repaired. i do a lot of lifting at work.
hope this helped
all the best

Posts: 37
Joined: Apr 2004

My husband had a temp ileostomy. He had his reversal in June 04. It was so much easier than the surgery for him. It took a few days before the bowels wake up. It took him a while to "train" them. Our dr recommended taking Metamucil. It helps to keep you from going 10 times a day. Here it is a year and a half later, and my husband still takes the metamucil. It he doesn't then he goes to the bathroom alot during the day with only a little coming out. I wouldn't worry much about the surgery. Tell your husband to be patient while his body gets back to some normalcy.
Take Care

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Tracy,

My Mother-in-law had an illiostomy bag and had it reversed. She has chrones disease. It seemed to go without a snap. She was so happy to not have it any more that I think that helped through some of the pain. She also had to take Lamodil (?spelling) for the longest time. She now has to watch what she eats since some things don't stay "in" as well as others. I am sure your husband will have to find out by experience what works. She is doing great though and she is hard to keep still. She would tell you she is great without the bag which was a trial to take care of and when out. She has quite a few funny stories about it making noises when she was out. Good luck!


goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

Hi Tracy,
I had my reversal nov 2004 when i THOUGHT i was done with chemo. I wasn't. That created some problems since the diarrhea was difficult for my new "rectum". I had to have my rectum removed as part of the initial surgery. However, once I had a 3 month break from chemo I was able to train myself. I now go to the bathroom anywhere from 2-6 times a day and it's not urgent like it was initially.
I agree with Fran about Shaz's ostomy site. The United Ostomy Assoc also has a site that is very helpful. Also, mdanderson.org has a section called "quality of life after colorectal surgery" that discusses bowel training after reversal. Make sure you check with his MD before you try those suggestions.
The recovery from the actual surgery is a breeze compared to the initial surgery that left him with the bag.

goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

Oops! United Ostomy Assoc site closed down.
J-Pouch.org is another site that's helpful.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010

I had rectal cancer surgery in Sept. 2009, then 4 months of Chemo. 1 month rest, then 1st part of March this year they removed my bag and hooked me back up. But I don't feel the urge to go, and can't seem to go no matter how hard I use my muscles , so every day, or every other day I have to give myself an Enema, which is a big nusance as I have a bad time with that, I usually have to do it a couple of times to clean out good, and have accidents ( goes too quickly ) for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours after the Enema ,so I spend a lot of time on bathroom floor, and can't leave town for very long as I feel better about things when I am home, my temporary bag was a piece of cake I could dump it and rinse it out easily annyplace. The Chemo. might have screwed up the nerves or whatever run my rectak areaas my feet and hands are assleep due to Chemo. plus my gut and rear end feel kind of numb ( like after they work on your teeth ), I am going to try to hold out longer to see if it ever works, but I am sick of the Enemas and get weird anziety attacks due to all my madical problems, virtually nothing works right or at all. Help ! John H.

mommyof2kds's picture
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

HI john, sounds familiar. I am post-op reversal 10 mths. And now things are pretty much back to normal. I do take 2 senakot dauly, one in the am and one at bedtime. Make sure I get in fruits and veggies. For a while when I wasn't haven the urge to go, I used metamucial daily along with the senakot and that helped alot. If I felt I wasn't going enough, I would take a gentle laxative and that would work fine. My doc told me, that the muscles have to learn how to work again. That can take awhile. I would recomend trying a laxative rather than a enema , it is much more tollerble and is gentle. Hang in there, it will get better. I am so happy now that I can go to the bathroom normally(whatever that is). It is a struggle but you will get there. I have also been told that the longer you have the ostomy, the longer it could take for things to start working. I had mine for 3 mths.. Hope that gives you some positive outlool. Take care. Petrina

RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

I would suggest looking into the MD Anderson Bowel Management Protocols. I call them the Poop Protocols. There are two that I think you might find helpful.

http://www2.mdanderson.org/app/pe/index.cfm?pageName=opendoc&docid=31for constipation and bowel management and
http://www2.mdanderson.org/app/pe/index.cfm?pageName=opendoc&docid=34 for frequent stooling.

http://www2.mdanderson.org/app/pe/index.cfm?pageName=opendoc&docid=28 is a good overview of things post surgery.

Good luck with that, and be patient!

Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi.. I had colorectal surgery in Nov 2007 and Radiation and chemo in 2008 and chemo 2009. I have a colostomy bag and hope to have a reversal.It is a closed end. As its almost three years sinse the surgery i wonder if this will be a problem.Has anyone out there had a reversal after this length of time ?..

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

The UOAA (www.uoaa.org) web site is chock full of info.

If the ileostomy was a "loop type", it's a fairly easy reversal.
If it's like mine, a "closed end" ileostomy, it's a major operation.

If you look at the stoma, and it has what looks like two stomas
poking out, then it's a loop type. If it's only one hunk of intestine
sticking out, instead of two, it's a "closed end" type.

Aside from the (hopefully) temporary bought of incontinence
after reconnection, there can be some problems of adhesions
and hernias. But those are typical problems of any abdominal
surgery of any nature.

Don't worry about it, he'll do just dandy. I wish I could get
my "temporary" ileostomy reversed easily....

Good luck; better health!


Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

never mind

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