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32% chance something will go wrong?

Posted by ChuckL, on Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:39 pm

As some of you know from my last post, my doctor is wanting me to get a urostomy and colostomy. Someone told me that there is a 32% chance that something could go wrong. I'm not a doctor, but that seems really high to me? Is it high or am I exaggerating? Has anyone on here had their surgery go wrong/not get the outcome they wanted?

Reply by Bill, on Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:49 am

Hello ChuckL.

There is an apt quotation from Mark Twain which goes: "There are three kinds of lies - lies, damned lies and statistics". My own favourite retort is much the same but short: "DAMNED STATISTICS".
32% is a relatively meaningless figure unless it is accompanied by an explanation of precisely what it relates to. There have been many posts on here which act as a caution about choosing your surgeon wisely. I suspect that some surgeons have a percentage of cases that go wrong in some way which will be far higher than others. A general figure of 32% will average out the good and the bad. There are of course, many reasons why things can go wrong during surgery, just as there can be things going wrong before and after.
In my own case, I had successful surgery twice for haemorrhoids and was quite confident and happy to submit myself for the same procedure again. This confidence proved to be completely misplaced in the third surgeon who was utterly incompetent and what I would call a ‘butcher’. He obviously did not have a clue as to what was needed. I ended up at death’s door and needing further emergency operations to try to rectify what had been done. A whole series of operations after that led me to where I am today.
The statistics for successful haemorrhoid operations are very good in this country, but I suspect that if that butcher was to be singled out for scrutiny, then his stats would show a much larger percentage of failures.
The moral of the tale being that we should do some background scrutiny on those we are about to trust with cutting up our bodies.
Best wishes


Reply by Pirrip, on Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:11 am

Dude, I was told always look out for a teaching hospital. All that peer-reviewing keeps them, 'caring'....

Also, I wish they would invent a cheap little tablet that makes your shit smell nice.                        .

Reply by Pirrip, on Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:13 am
Pirrip wrote:

        so here is a painting i made of our local PO...

Reply by warrior, on Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:31 am

I agree with bill. I only have an ilio... So can't really comment. I mean I wish I had time to research it before getting it. But no time. Definitely research the doctor. Google his ass. Google what's in store for you. Depending on yur age and current health, 32% means nothing. Its like if the glass is half full or half empty. But as u research, you can get more confident about the doctor, the procedure and after care. Recommend it highly. Best of luck.

Reply by looking forward, on Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:11 am

hi  just get the best dr around  maybe not even in your state--i had to go to tampa general  best dr there

Reply by Tickpol , on Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:31 am

For my 2 cents...

I've never had an abdominal surgery where all or part of Plan B wasn't used.  Did it make a difference?  Sometimes yeah but mostly hell no.

This is why surgeons get paid the big bucks.  On 99% of people their appendix presents on the right side of the intestine.  My son's appendectomy to an hour longer because he was one of the 1% where it presented on the posterior side.  So it was a *** for the doc having to manipulate the bowel with the laproscopic instruments so he could get it to present where he could get to it.  So to some peoples way of thinking something wrong happened.  Did it matter? Not really.


My first ostomy my gut was a mess.  From the xray the fistulas made it look like I'd been hit by a shotgun blast.  They went with an ostomy because my bowel still had a leak after 2 surgeries and they thought if they could let that piece of bowel rest it would heal on its own.  The bad news was that they did the ostomy after the hole!!!  Oh well.  So in six months we took down the ostomy and resected the section of bowel since now we knew exactly where it was.  I put weight back on.  I got to go back to working out and playing sports (I was 21 then).


32% chance of something going wrong.  I'd take those odds.  You've got a 68% chance of walking away having eliminated problems that necessitated the surgery (although you didn't say why).


ALWAYS talk the whole thing through with your surgeon (and I mean spend a lot of time on what if something goes wrong) and then Google the heck out of it. 


The more you study it and understand it the less likely any change in outcome comes as a shock.  My recovery plan always has a Plan A and a Plan B.



Reply by ChuckL, on Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:05 pm

I was born with Spina Bifida, and I'm wheelchair-bound. For the majority of my life, I relied on only depends on bowel and bladder management. 3 years ago, they added a Foley catheter after I went into kidney failure. The urologist I'm talking to is on a transplant team. She recommended it because she said that I would have less chance of infection and more independence.

Reply by Tickpol , on Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:11 pm

I get the infection part however I don't know enough to say how it would change your independence.



Reply by iMacG5, on Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:06 pm

Hi Chuck.  I'm not at all familiar with urostomies and I thought it wouldn't be a whole lot different from a Foley except for reduced chance of infection like Dave suggests.  Now, for the statistics part of your post, I think Bill's replies are always around 100% accurate and meaningful.  I can only attempt to relate to your level of inconvenience.  I did lots of bitching and moaning (only to myself) about handling my colostomy and now I thank the Supreme Commander for allowing me to be alive and so reasonably well.  My advice is to investigate, as others suggested, to find the very best surgeon you can and get it done!  My guess is your life will be over 100% easier.

Please let us know how it goes.



Reply by ChuckL, on Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:31 am
Tickpol wrote:

I get the infection part however I don't know enough to say how it would change your independence.



I have to rely on a caregiver to help me when I have bowel movements.

Reply by Tickpol , on Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:25 pm

I would hope that'd be a MAJOR improvement to your independence.



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