Struggling with Food and Digestion After Surgery


I just started today. I have gone through a very bad surgery in November. My hernia mesh cut through my bowel. They didn't take the mesh out, so after surgery, it cut through my bowel again. I got septic and had another surgery. I woke up a week later in ICU and was in the hospital for almost 3 months. I almost died. I have to wear a bag, but they put it through my belly button. I am in pain all the time. I am supposed to have my reversal surgery in April, but I don't know if that's going to happen. So I am so stressed. My bag fills up so much. I try to watch what I eat, but it seems like I have to empty all the time. Everything I eat goes straight into my bag. I still can't poop.


Sounds like you have been through a lot, sorry for all your problems. I know you will be glad to get a reversal. I am sure more people will chime in. You can also find a lot of information online. Hang in there. Best wishes.

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Hi CK, said a lot there. Let's make sure I got this have a stoma in your belly button? I'm no doctor, but from what I think I know....they can't put a bowel stoma through a belly button. The backside of your belly button is a thick fibrous cord (your old umbilical cord), called the urachus, which is anchored at your bladder. So trying to cram a large bowel (larger in diameter than your old hardened shriveled up umbilical cord and your belly button hole) into that umbilical and out through your belly button really wouldn't work well (or so I was believing before reading your post). I'm not saying they didn't do that........just that I've never heard of it. What I have heard of is something called a "Mitrofanoff stoma", which does go through your belly button, but it's not your bowel, it's a small tube made from either your appendix or a piece of your bowel, that connects to your bladder, not your intestines. It's a procedure done when there's an issue with one of your ureters (we have two, one goes to each kidney). So I'm thinking you have one of two possibilities........either you have had the Mitrofanoff procedure done because the mesh cut into a ureter........or your stoma is placed very close, but not actually through your belly button. I know from my own stoma being close to my belly button that you'd be hard pressed to find my belly button.....but it is there. I've never heard of an intestinal stoma being placed in the direct center of your's almost always in one of the lower quadrants, otherwise every time you bent at the waist you'd be strangling your stoma......and no barrier is flexible enough to do that. So first, help me understand a little better what you have. Are you sure your stoma is THROUGH your belly button? Any chance you got a copy of the surgical report from your operation? Folks should always get a copy of that each time they are operated on to keep in their records. Your next surgeon will really appreciate it. So CK, shout back and help me out here.




Yes, I have to wear a bag. I can still go to the bathroom, but my bag gets poop in it too. Plus, anything I drink or eat goes in it. I have to empty it all the time. I have very bad scar adhesions. My bowel kinked when they did my second surgery, that's how they put it.


Yes, I have to wear a bag. I can still go to the bathroom, but my bag gets poop in it too. Plus, anything I drink or eat goes in it. I have to empty it all the time. I have very bad scar adhesions. My bowel kinked when they did my second surgery, that's how they put it.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister

So they said when I have my reversal surgery they have to cut through a lot of scar adhesions then cut the bad bowel out, connect it back together. But it's right there on the inside of my belly button. It catches bile, poop, and what I eat, but it's there and I have pain all the time - burning pain from the bile. So that's why I am scared to have the surgery. They have to cut me straight up and down, but my stoma sticks out my belly button. I wish it would have been on the side, but that's how it was when I woke up and I hate it.


I'm sorry you're going through that, Ck. I had my entire large intestine and rectum removed, so there is no possibility of any kind of reversal surgery. So, I find that I have to empty my pouch up to ten times a day, which really is a pain in the ass, no pun intended. And since I no longer have a large intestine, I find that after eating a meal, I start having to empty the pouch less than twenty minutes or so right after eating. It's difficult when I used to eat out at restaurants or if I was at work and have to go to the bathroom a number of times more than non-ostomates. It's one of those difficult adjustments we have to make. I didn't have any other alternative in my case. Good luck! I'm rooting for you.


So sorry.

Past Member

Are you taking any meds to slow output down? They trialled in the early 1980's bringing stomas out through the belly button as the hole was already there from the umbilical cord so there was less chance of developing hernias. It was very successful in hernia prevention, but there were so many problems getting bags to stay on in that position that they stopped doing it that way in the mid 80's. Most people had more surgery to re-sit their stoma. Expect as yours is temporary, they did it that way to prevent hernias in the future. Hope your reversal goes ahead soon. Best of luck.


I know it was an emergency. That was the only way they could do it, and I do have a hard time with my bag," she said. "I didn't need that medicine. I had it in the hospital. It helped."