Considering Ostomy Reversal at 57: Seeking Advice

Nov 20, 2022 9:56 am

Hi all, I'm Jason, 57 years old, and I had a stage 4 tumor removed from my colon in January. After 3 months of heavy chemo, I'm now in remission. I have had a temporary ostomy on my left side for nearly a year, and I'm quite used to it now. My reversal has been put off till possibly 2024. My question is, is it worth having as I will be nearing 60 and not sure if I will be mentally strong enough to handle it as I'm dealing with it a lot better than I thought.

Nov 20, 2022 12:22 pm

I think this decision should be totally yours, since in reality you know your body better than anyone else. Whatever you choose, I shall pray that it is the best decision. Just don't let anyone talk you out of it if you feel it's truly what you want. I've considered keeping mine as well, and I'm only 4 months into this deal. Good luck and God bless :)

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Nov 20, 2022 1:33 pm

As I have written about this before and decided reversal is not for me, unless some unforeseen event arises. I do have a peristomal hernia so things could change. I totally agree with Marco789! Only you should make this decision.

Nov 20, 2022 8:49 pm

Hi Jason, I agree with what the others have said. Only you know your body and your limitations. Just something to consider, those with temporary colostomies tend to have very successful reversals, whereas those with ileostomies, not so much. If you do decide to go ahead, the chances are good that you won't have any problems. Perhaps it would be a good idea to speak to your surgeon and ask him if he sees any reason why you shouldn't have a reversal. Good luck with your decision.


Nov 21, 2022 10:30 am

Hello and good day.

When I had the choice of a doctor really wanting me to do a reversal, I said, "Hell no," because you can't put a guarantee that things will work the right way. But if things go south, I am stuck with my choices or getting a stoma back. Dealing with your choice is like gambling; you don't know what's going to happen until you throw the dice. Play it safe or take a risk and hope for the best. I have had Hecker since 2009. For a couple of years, I talked to some people that had a reversal. Now they are stuck with untimely poops, no control when it happens. It's carrying a bag of clothes and changing in the closest bathroom or behind your truck doors wide open with a tarp covering your ass. Never leave home without backup, which I do anyways. My uncle named my stoma Hecker because boy, sometimes I get into some shit. I look at it a little easier knowing I'm having a blowout compared to your ass just blowing shit like a whale's blowhole, and you are stuck where you are. If you go back to some of the really old posts on here, you will see what people went through with the reversal. Few made it, no problem, and some not so lucky.

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Nov 21, 2022 5:38 pm

Like everyone else, it's your decision. But. I'll be having the reversal surgery on the 23rd of November. In 2 days. I had high stage 2 colon cancer and 4 rounds of heavy chemotherapy. This is 14 months after.

Nov 21, 2022 9:11 pm

Hi Jason, something I wanted to add that others have touched on. No surgery is without risk of course, so you need to think about that, plus, you said you are 'quite used to' your colostomy, so seem to be coping with it well. I guess you need to consider how you feel about living the rest of your life with the status quo, or having the surgery, accepting the risk involved, with an unknown outcome.


Nov 22, 2022 10:40 am
Reply to Renfromtexas

Great, now you're gonna get all patched up and leave us... when we were starting to like you :(

Nov 22, 2022 12:27 pm
Reply to Marco789

I'll probably be here awhile. Thanks.

Nov 23, 2022 10:56 am
Reply to Marco789

Thank you all. Lol, I fear you will have me for a while yet.

Nov 23, 2022 2:09 pm

Update.. After yesterday's colonoscopy, my surgeon will put off my surgery due to a large polyp that needs to be removed. Then, after it heals, we can proceed.