Constipation Concerns After Ostomy Reversal?

Dec 10, 2021 11:40 pm

Hello all,

I am happy to say I am one week post-op from a successful colostomy reversal. I spent five nights in the hospital. My surgeon uses an epidural for pain control.

Surgery was a Friday afternoon. I was on ice chips only until Sunday morning when I was put on clear liquids. My gut constantly felt like there was a party going on in there! Painful, but I was also glad it woke up so quickly after surgery. I was able to pass gas by Saturday. On Monday, the doc started me on a regular diet at noon. I ate carefully and definitely didn't overeat or eat anything I thought would be gassy. Keep in mind I STILL had the epidural. Almost every attempt to sit up on the side of the bed resulted in my BP dropping, so the doc first lowered the dose of the epidural medicine, then removed it on Tuesday afternoon around 2 pm. Foley catheter out at 10:30 pm and was able to get up to pee about four or five hours later. Terrible gas pains the whole time which I was finally able to get relief from by propping myself on my left side. By that time, I had passed a little bloody liquid with the gas.

I progressed really fast after that, getting up and walking easily. Still no stool passed, but the doc was not concerned. He released me Wednesday afternoon. The best night of sleep ever after being in that awful hospital bed.

I am taking pain meds (Norco) not quite every six hours. Not a huge amount of pain, but more "discomfort" than anything. Yesterday (Thursday) I passed some blood-streaked mucus and maybe a tiny pea-sized piece of stool. Last night I took a dose of Miralax. Today I've passed gas but nothing else. Drinking plenty of water and other liquids.

So..... it has been four full days since my first bite of solid food and still no BM. I asked my doc what to expect and he, of course, said it would be different for everyone. With the ostomy, I took Miralax at least once a day then had to reduce my dose slightly. He actually thought I might have diarrhea until my colon relearns how to absorb the water again. He thought that as long as I hydrate, I would not have a problem with constipation like I had prior to the perforation in August. I am eating very little fiber right now. I never was able to eat much when the ostomy was in place.

I planned to talk to his nurse today then realized they are not in the office on Fridays. I do have a number to reach my doctor that he encouraged me to use ANYTIME, but I believe I may be overthinking this and just need to give it time?

Sorry so much detail, but I feel like it's all important. Let me say this - I had terrible skin problems around my stoma for the first 8 weeks and my answers came from this forum! My nurses were not very helpful. Once that healed over, the bag was really no problem! Changed it daily and never had a leak, until I had to prep for this surgery, that is! Hope someone has words of wisdom to ease my mind.

Thanks in advance!


Dec 11, 2021 12:57 am

Update: Well, typing all of that must have had an effect? Success! Hallelujah!

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Dec 11, 2021 1:46 am

WooHoo!! Congratulations!!! It's amazing what gets us excited, isn't it?

Dec 11, 2021 4:28 am

Glad everything came out okay. LOL

Dec 11, 2021 4:51 am
Reply to nal143

OMG. Yes! I had to report to my friends. I told one we are officially old, but still FUN!

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Dec 11, 2021 4:52 am
Reply to lovely

Thank you

Dec 11, 2021 2:15 pm

Hello mickiesmoore.

Thanks for sharing your story and I am so glad things have worked out well for you with both the reversal and the resolution of the constipation.  At some time in the future, your experience will no-doubt be invaluable to anyone else raising the same questions and looking for supportive answers. I suppose the lesson to be learned is to have patience, and let the body sort itself out. (That would be in many cases - but not all! Hence, I hope other people with alternative suggestions will still contribute, so that we have a more comprehensive overview of what answers might have been useful if the problem had not been resolved so quickly.

Best wishes


Dec 11, 2021 3:09 pm
Reply to Bill

I agree! I'm still interested to hear what others say. Thank you for your reply!

Dec 11, 2021 10:05 pm

So glad for your positive outcome! As someone with lots of experience with constipation, my guess would be that the stress of feeling that you should be having a BM could have been part of what exacerbated it. It's amazing what stress can do. Or, it could just be that your bowel was taking its time remembering how to work! Either way, congrats!