Scary Recovery After Ileostomy Takedown - Seeking Support & Advice


Hello all! I am a close friend of an ostomate that is in recovery from an ileostomy takedown and currently it is not going well, or perhaps it is and what they are experiencing is normal. I am here to gain perspective and to pass on what I learn.

My friend became an ostomate after getting Cdiff from a general surgery but has also suffered from GI issues his whole life. He is 8 days post-op from the ileostomy takedown surgery and experiencing severe severe severe bloat with minimal BMs and gas. The bloat is a big concern as it is starting to rip the staples from surgery and his stomach is becoming increasingly taut. He looks 9 months pregnant, the distention is so bad.

All other vitals are normal, no fevers, is on a liquid diet, had an NG tube for a few days and was successful and is passing gas but it's not enough. The midline wound is starting to leak and staples are stretched to the point of ripping the skin.

Has been going on multiple walks, can do light squats, marching in place, and yoga poses for movement.

Was in ICU for four days, is on regular floor now, and went for an X-ray this evening.

Anyone else have a similar experience? Any suggestions to help this one? Due to COVID restrictions, my friend is also spending much of his time in the hospital alone, and so I worry about his mental health. Any perspective to pass along would be greatly appreciated!

UPDATE: X-ray came back normal. Labs came back normal. Is now on a magnesium drip and getting abdominal shots of Relistor.

He is still walking and moving as best he can, but is also experiencing a lot of fatigue. The head surgeon says that his bowels are still asleep and only partially responding and since the X-ray and labs are normal, all we can do is wait. This angers me though, I also feel there is something missing and not right about this.

Will continue to update, thank you all so much. This is really scary. Please PM or respond anytime.


Hi Durrday,

It sounds a bit odd that your friend is having issues like you describe and they're not on top of it. Without scope or CT scan info, it's hard to say what's going on, but the things that come to mind are either an obstruction from a twisted or kinked bowel, or from a hernia......or a stricture from scar tissue where the pouch is connected. It should be fairly easy for your friend's doc to figure out which it is, so if they're not on top of this I'd suggest your friend start screaming at them. I don't need to tell you how serious it will be if a leak occurs in the bowel itself or at a surgical do whatever it takes to get his docs or surgical team (whomever is monitoring him now) to take some action!




Durrday... I totally agree with Bob on this. If your friend is having that much difficulty, there has to be something they are missing. The surgeon needs to be first in this one and get to an MRI and find out what's happening. This is not normal. Yes... yell...

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Absolutely ask for a second and third opinion consult immediately. Their lack of concern and action is troubling!
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Hopefully your friend can make enough noise, if not, help him!
I have never had these problems so not sure but I agree with Bob's thinking. Those are the most common and easy to detect given the correct test being done.
Hope all works out for your friend! Keep us posted.


This is something I read online. It seems that just an X-ray may not be enough. A CT scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional images. These images are more detailed than a standard X-ray and are more likely to show an intestinal obstruction. I would suggest if the problem continues, ask for more tests. Hope everything gets better soon. Best wishes and stay safe.

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Three days, maybe four, I would agree is not serious, as the anaesthetic from the surgery basically paralyzes your colon and nothing moves. But 8 days is way too long! It does sound like some kind of obstruction or kink in the intestine.

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