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Colostomy post-op nightmares

Akroger's picture
Posts: 88
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi everyone,

I am re-posting something that I asked on the United Ostomy Association board, because this has been a great and supportive community so perhaps I will get good answers here too. So instead of a ileostomy, my mom got a colostomy. The operation was last Thursday, without the removal of the rectum and anus, so her body is still egesting what was left in that area. She is in pretty awful pain, almost as much as she was before the operation. The stoma seems to be working great, but the pain in her recctal area kind of overwhelms everything else right now. So my question is - how long does this last? Right now it's not phantom BM, since she actually has very small amounts of feces still coming out, but when that's all gone? Will it still contract and hurt like this when the rest of her digestive system is actually doing a BM? Right now she doesn't want to even think about more sorgery, but is the removal of those end organs the only way to make this pain go away? 

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Akroger –



“The operation was last Thursday”

“how long does this last?”


Longer than a week.


This is major surgery; it takes time to heal! My surgery was in 2006, I have an Ileostomy, my colon was disconnected from the rest of my body in 2006, and I still occasionally pass some waste through the rectum.

It’s amazing what gets stored in that thing!


She’s better off with rectum/anus, etc intact, than without, but as long as the sphincter muscle is left in, she will do better than if that was taken out.


That “other” board is where you should really be asking the questions, since almost everyone there has a permanent Ostomy, where here….. most have endured a temporary Ostomy, and many have had reversals.


It takes time to adjust to the “new you”, and the Ostomy takes between 6 months to a year to “settle in”. There really isn’t any way to rush this; it takes time.


There’s medications to deal with the pain, and perhaps she needs some help in that area.


A “total removal” isn’t the answer, unless she has cancer tumors still growing in the rectum and balance of her large intestine. If that’s the case, then it should all be removed (with exception to the sphincter muscle).


If she’s in a rush to get over all this, then you’ll have to work harder to convince her that it takes time to heal and get better. Anyone that has a permanent Ostomy will tell you the same thing….it takes time. And it will get better over time. She needs to have patience, and come to an understanding that there wasn’t any serious alternative to it.


Best wishes to you both!





Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5460
Joined: Jan 2013

Can't put it better than that. Thanks John!

Akroger's picture
Posts: 88
Joined: Mar 2013

John, thank you so much. As always, your response is incredibly informative and helpful. Surprisingly, even though I posted on the UOAA board before this one, I haven't gotten a single response answering my questions, other than a couple of "welcome to the forum" answers.

While my mom probably won't be ecstatic to hear that the recovery period is not the shortest, I hope she will be able to take some comfort in the fact that although this won't be a fun and easy process, that the discomfort is normal and comes with an expiration date (undefined though that may be).

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