Seeking Positive Ostomate Reversal Stories

Mar 22, 2022 7:33 pm

I'm interested in hearing from ostomates who have had a positive experience with their reversal, as I contemplate my own.

Miss Worrier
Mar 22, 2022 8:23 pm

I'm wondering the same thing!?!?

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Mar 22, 2022 9:27 pm

I'll be checking back to read these comments too!

Mar 22, 2022 11:40 pm

Me too!

forever mountains
Mar 23, 2022 1:24 am


Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Mar 23, 2022 10:43 pm

Hello all. I was lucky enough to be reversed after 3 months with my colostomy. I had ruptured diverticulitis and lost a foot of my colon. I had a challenging recovery from the reversal because my intestines would not begin to function. I was in the hospital for several weeks but not because of the surgery itself. Pain was the same for me as colostomy surgery itself. Very sore belly and difficulty getting into/out of bed etc. but no worse.
Let me know if you have any questions! I am glad to have been reversed but would have been fine with being an ostomate for life.


Mar 24, 2022 2:38 am
Reply to Footie97

Thanks for your comment.

I have lots of questions, as I contemplate a reversal. Although everyone's situation is different, I'm interested in what your recovery experience has been like. I've been told that it takes 6-8 weeks (with laparoscopic surgery), but I'm sure that it would take time for the system to adjust. I'm prepared for temporary incontinence, but worried about permanent. What's it been like for you?

Mar 24, 2022 11:54 am

My experience was unique. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks due to ileus (intestines not working). I was not able to eat or drink for 18 days; it was bad. The surgery itself was just like colostomy surgery. I did have very temporary incontinence, but it only lasted a day or so. I have heard others having longer troubles with it, and it seems to be the longer you had the ostomy, the more trouble you can expect. I returned to work several days after getting out of the hospital. I had an open procedure, so I cannot comment on laparoscopic healing times. If I had gotten out of the hospital after 2-3 days like my doctor expected, I would have been back to work at about 10 days post-op. My job involves a lot of walking from room to room, sitting, and standing, but very little lifting. I am a year and a half out from reversal; besides the scars, I cannot tell anything was done. I recently had plastic surgery to make my belly look as good as it can after 3 open procedures within 2 years.

Mar 26, 2022 3:23 pm

Footie97, thanks for your comment. Everyone's situation is so different depending on the cause, but it's good to hear that it worked out for you despite the pain. It's good to hear that it was a tough journey but it gives me some optimism as I consider reversal as an option for me.

Mar 26, 2022 5:15 pm

I found some great YouTube videos on ostomy reversals that I wanted to share.

This guy has other YouTube videos that are helpful with other more general ostomy questions as well in his other videos.

It's all a learning process.

This guy has lots of really good instructional videos on YouTube.

Old Bud
Mar 29, 2022 3:07 am

I have been driving myself crazy for the same thing. The trouble with forums of any kind is that it is mostly people with less than satisfactory experiences that stay on them. My surgeon has been trying to talk me into a reversal. We met with him today. I asked him how many of his patients lost most of the rectum and he replied "most of them" After doing hundreds of reversals, he only has one patient that wants to go back to a stoma and the majority lead normal lives. I have spent too much time on forums and I am a wimp. Right now with the bag, I'm pain-free and functioning fine.

Mar 30, 2022 12:16 pm
Reply to Footie97

What did they do for your intestines to begin working or did they just need time?
I hope to have my reversal in July or August. I am 5 weeks post-surgery now.
I was hoping to hear the surgery was a little better. Yikes, your getting in and out of bed comment really resonates with me. That just got better last week.
Any other tips, tricks, or helpful hints?

Apr 07, 2022 7:20 am

Me too! I also will be watching for replies.

Apr 07, 2022 3:52 pm
Reply to Kablair2

Unfortunately, the only cure is nothing by mouth and time. The one thing a friend of mine told me (he is an infectious disease doc) was to get up and walk. That gravity and moving around helps stimulate them to start working.

The only thing that helped me get out of bed was (in the hospital) keeping the head of the bed up so I didn't have to use the abdominal muscles. At home, I rolled onto my side and pushed myself up with my arms. I have had multiple abdominal surgeries, and that is how I lived for several months after each surgery. It does get better with time. Don't let my experience dissuade you; I am glad I had it done!

May 02, 2022 9:42 pm

I had my original surgery on 11/29/21 and received an ileostomy out of the deal. I also lost a good portion of my rectum, but the surgeon said at the start/during recovery that a reversal was in my future if I wanted it. I lived with the bag and, quite frankly, was looking forward to the day I could be reversed. Like some of you have read, the less than positive results others have had, so prior to the takedown surgery, I was sorta nervous. My doctor even advised that he'd had one person who had so many post-surgery issues that he asked for/received a permanent ileostomy. Going in, I knew the pros/cons and went for it.

I had the reversal done on 4/29 of this year and came out of the deal pretty happy about the outcome. I spent 2 days in the hospital. The surgeon left the wound open; we had to pack it twice a day with gauze to let it heal from the inside out. He had put a stitch in one side to keep everything close, that stitch was pulling skin and hurt like the dickens when it was touched the wrong way. Taking the stitch out was not fun either, when he was done the hole was bigger. The same thing applied though, packing the wound with progressively smaller media/sterile solution (evidently things heal quicker internally slightly moist?). Today it is almost closed completely and I don't notice it at all.

My diet has been almost normal, although I do get lit up (baboon ass) on occasion by things I eat that cause some frequency issues. I am able to control my rear end so that there aren't any accidents, as long as I use common sense. Hell, it's only been a month tomorrow since the last surgery so it's expected things will take some time to settle down. I do wear Depends to bed at night, not necessarily fond of that, but while me and my body sort things out it makes sense to have that peace of mind sleeping. For me, having some Imodium around is handy, don't use it much but it's nice to have for those eating mistake days. I've eaten some foods that caused gas; at least for me, that's an issue because it seems to make me concentrate more to control those "pearly gates".

For those of you considering the reversal, research what's going to happen so that there are no bad surprises. The good things that go along with the reversal make everything worth it for me personally. My surgeon was frank and spoke straight about what I could/may expect afterwards. Getting your doctor to talk straight turkey with you gives you the best information to make your decision.