Colostomy Reversal - My Complications and Advice


Hello all,
Well, I had my colostomy reversed 2+ weeks ago after a partial colon resection with colostomy due to ruptured diverticulitis on Easter Sunday. The first 2-3 days went well with expected pain. That's when the wheels started to fall off. I developed an ileus (GI tract not moving, causing fluid build-up). My doctor and I discussed not using an NG tube unless necessary (bad choice on my part). By day 3-4, the pain was unbearable and I could not sit up or roll from side to side. It was required to place an NG tube, and I puked the entire process. I filled three 2-liter containers within 10 minutes. I was NPO for 11 days and in ICU for 6 days. I was delusional for 3-4 days (due to sepsis and lactic acid build-up) and would not identify myself because I thought I was in a secretive ICU that you had to be "picked" by a doctor to be in. I am a physician at that hospital, and the part of the ICU that I was in was brand new, and I had never been in there before. It took me 8 days to have the first BM. Then I would have 2-3 a day until the 9th night when I woke up having an uncontrollable BM. Luckily, my nursing staff collected a sample and sent it to the lab for C. diff. I turned out to be positive for C. diff. My surgeon says that he sees quite a bit of C. diff with multiple abdominal surgery patients. I have been home for 3 days now.

My best advice for anyone who is thinking of reversal or any abdominal surgery is:
#1- Get up and walk frequently post-op, even if it's short. Do it as many times a day as possible.
#2- We are all going to have a lot of BMs, but if you are having cramping with diarrhea, consider being tested for C. diff.
#3- I did not post this to be negative about this process, but to point out that complications arise and can be dealt with. This is a major surgery!

Many thanks to all who have posted before me. I have learned a lot from you all!


Best wishes for a speedy return to normal... Sounds like the worst is behind you now!

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Hi Footie97, thanks for the information. There have been several people with questions about it. I am sure they can use this information. Let us know how it goes as you continue to progress. Best wishes and stay safe.


Hello Footie

NG Tube, huh? My throat etc. doesn't like that one at all. Very, very miserable experience for me.

As for walking, or should I say shuffling, I was always up and about 2-4 hours after waking up. Not sure why... maybe a defiance sort of thing, who knows.

Where I had all my ops, the wards are sort of oval-shaped. Just go around and around. Not many others were walking, but seeing me go by all day, some tacked on behind.

Whenever I looked behind, it was like a scene from The Walking Dead. Looked like a herd of zombies following me, hunched over in a slow and painful shuffle. Made me laugh during difficult times.

Been delirious in ICU too. Apparently, I was in Hawaii for a while, amongst other things.

Get well soon.



Thank you, Super Hero. Every day is a new adventure for sure!  

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
ron in mich

Hi Footie, good luck with your recovery. As for walking 2 years ago, I had resection surgery for my atrophied ileo. And the surgeon left the bottom inch of my incision open for drainage. But things don't drain when lying on your back. So when the nurse said it was time to get up and walk, well, there was a trail of bloody ooze from my ICU bed out into the hallway. You should have seen the nurses rushing around, trying to get me back into the room and in bed. They thought my incision had opened up and were relieved when they lifted the bandage and saw it wasn't open. Oh yeah, I hate NG tubes also.


Thanks for the chuckles Axl. I still walk like a zombie! I wish I had better delusions. Hawaii would have been nice to visit! I have a huge hole in my nose from pressure from the NG tube, hopefully it heals soon!



Very informative and wish you the best.