Advice on Ostomy Revision Surgery Recovery & Expectations?


Hey, I had my ostomy surgery on 7/28/21. My colostomy is permanent due to cancer. My stoma is an innie and flush to my skin, which has made things difficult for me (leaking, blowouts, consistently stool on skin, burning/painful skin). Has anyone had an ostomy revision surgery and can share their experience? Time in the hospital? Recovery time? And just generally what to expect. Thank you.



Have you tried a convex appliance, a seal, and a spray-on/wipe-on barrier liquid yet? My first stoma was like yours. I also cut the hole in the bag smaller than the actual stoma perimeter to get a good seal to the skin around the stoma. My experience with a revision is the stoma gets larger in diameter and isn't necessarily a permanent fix. Use a belt with the convex appliance too if you haven't tried these options yet.


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Reply to Axl

Hi Axl, I am using a convex wafer and convex barrier, they have been very helpful. I ordered Skin Tac and it will be arriving soon. Is that considered a barrier liquid? What barrier do you recommend? I haven't tried a belt but I will (my ostomy nurse has told me to try it and I haven't yet) haha. Thank you!!


Hi J.

A quick Google and Skin Tac looks like a similar product. Most ostomy product manufacturers make a specific barrier product to protect the skin. I used to use one as a precaution.

This is what I used:

They also come as a wipe, which can be easier to apply as the spray hits a larger area. Some wipes are called "sheets" as the liquid is impregnated into a small sheet of fabric, which can be wiped or squeezed then discarded to apply more precisely.

I'm not sure if one of the two convex products you describe is, in fact, a moldable seal to go between the spray/wipe-on barrier and your appliance.

Most manufacturers make moldable seals in various sizes as well.

All of this should be the basics from your ostomy nurse, and there really isn't much more to it other than finding which product you feel works best for you.

I always use the elastic belt, maybe for function, maybe for peace of mind. It's just the way I do it.



If you have a colostomy and enough large intestine left, you should look into irrigation. It takes about an hour every day, but then you don't have to empty a bag ever.

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Reply to Franke

Hey, I have almost all of my intestines. What exactly is irrigation? How does it work? Pros and cons? Thank you.


Hi Just Peachy! I have had an ostomy revision for the same reason as you, where my stoma was almost flush with my skin. It was the best decision I ever made as far as ostomies go. What they did was pull out the stoma and restitch it. It is perfectly safe and not too painful. The surgery was short and requires a one full day in the hospital. I opted not to stay in the hospital and went home that night. My doctor would not sign my release, so if anything happened, he would not be responsible because I opted to go home. I never had a problem after that revision. Mike

Reply to JustPeachy728

Irrigation is just giving yourself an enema through your stoma. So I go into the bathroom and have an irrigation kit (bag to fill with water, on/off valve and rubber cone to insert into stoma). I fill the bag with warm water and hang it shoulder height, I then feed water into my stoma and it cleans all of your waste out. They make irrigation sleeves for the waste to go into, it's just a long ostomy bag with an opening at the top. I don't use the sleeves, I prefer just a small container. I have to use quite a bit of water and it takes me approximately 1 hour. I shower right after and still put a bag on because I have so many extras. You should be able to go 24 hours with zero output. Some people can even go 48 hours and they only irrigate every other day. But you can essentially stop wearing a bag and just wear a stoma patch/cap. I'm not sure if I'm good at explaining this but Google it and there are some videos. Also, I'm in a great and helpful Facebook group. I'm not sure I'm allowed to post a link though.


I have had an ileostomy for 48 years. After the first couple of years, my stoma was retracting, so my surgeon did a revision to pull it out more. I don't remember it being painful, and it helped for a while. Unfortunately, my stoma has a mind of its own and occasionally retracts so much that I think it's going to retract inside of me. Thankfully, it hasn't. I think sometimes, I don't drink enough water. Now before I change, I drink at least a cup of water so that it doesn't retract while I'm changing. It helps. I also wear a belt on the first day I change and sometimes other days if I feel there is a lot of activity.

Best of luck to you.

Reply to Superme

Hi Mike - When you went home, what was the recovery time like after the revision surgery? Were you able to resume normal activity after a few days? Thank you!!


Peachy, all I can say is everyone is different and has different body strength. I was able to resume working in the office about 3 days after, but I was careful with how I handled myself and what I ate. It took me about one to two weeks to start physical activities like running and exercises. - Mike


I have had 3 revisions. They need to bring the stoma out a bit. Also, try using honeydew washer. You can use your fingers to make the hole round. I use a 2-piece convex slightly. I just put the base on, then clip my bag. I like the 2-piece as you just take the bag off. I have a wee stoma as well, so 2 to look after.

I have had revisions and 2 others reassigned.

I suffer with granulars. They eat away the stoma. I have got to have a new stoma site, a big operation as they are going to put the new colostomy above my wee stoma on the right side. I suffered with a cauda equine back surgery. I was left in compression for 6 days. I suffered so much damage. I lost my bladder and bowel use. I have had 13 operations in 13 years, all big. My bladder was removed as it went septic. I have had a neck op, a 2nd back op, 3 hernias, plus the revisions and the ileal conduit wee stoma. Use those washers, they help, plus you won't get sore. Yours, Keith.


I had a stoma revision in 2015 and it didn't make any difference. My stoma was inverted and tried to repair itself constantly so my stool had to push through and tear my stoma sometimes.

The surgery was easy. I stayed overnight and it healed well. I had limited activity for several weeks but I was back to normal in 2 weeks. Even the wound care was easy because there were no sutures.

The surgeon wanted to produce a kind of lip my bag could fit over and secure to but as I said, it didn't work. I had a complete reversal ten months after the bowel blockage that caused me to get the colostomy.

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