Removing Dead Colon: Worth the Risk?

Apr 28, 2011 4:03 am

My surgeon, Dr. Quack, has just informed me that I still have 6 cm of dead colon up my jacksie.

I have had a colostomy for 33 years.

I asked about this stoma-like (well, feels like) thing that makes a hell of a mess of my gruts.

He called it a stump and it was quite common, but the fix isn't worth investigating (I know how bad that sounds, but he wrote it in a letter that he sent to my GP, Dr. Quack).

Has anyone had the same thing? I hope not, but having a colostomy, urostomy, and being told to wear pantyliners/nappies doesn't wash.

Past Member
Apr 28, 2011 8:50 pm
Hi, I'm Ambies. I just joined the site yesterday. I'm from the UK and saw your post. I've got an ileostomy and suffered from Crohn's disease for years. I had the ileostomy in 1969. 18 months after, they decided to take out the rectal stump, the latter end of the bowel, as you call it up the jacksie lol. In a sense, they are right. What the surgeon has said, it's not worth looking into. I've had mine done for years and I still have problems. Some are stitched at the rear end, but because I had very bad infections going off in the stump after taking it out, I had a hole there as big as my fist. And over the years, it's tried to heal, but never really did. So I've ended up wearing pads and still get infections one after the other. It's tried to heal and has gotten smaller, but I still have trouble with infections. It's been some years now since I've had it done. It's not been plain sailing, and I still have nerve endings there which makes it worse with the pain. So maybe it's not a good idea to go through all I've gone through. I had no choice as things were pretty bad there. Hope I've helped you in some way. Good luck whatever happens... Ambies...
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Apr 29, 2011 11:25 am
Ian... let's see if I can help you out a bit... with a colostomy (or ileo as I have), you are generally left with a rectal stump to allow for a possible reconnection in the future (or J-pouch)... you apparently didn't have either... so... if I can read between the lines... your doctor has likely suggested it should be removed... if that be the case and you have no other issues with it like an abscess, fissure, etc... the principal reason for doctors recommending removal is to avoid rectal cancer... the long and short of rectal cancer is that because of the concentration of blood vessels in the rectal area, rectal cancer can spread quite quickly and be well established before detected. I had a rectal stump removal on Jan 15 of this year... no problems whatsoever... it has healed well and with the rare exception during the first few weeks... no discharge... many in here have had the job done... most, I would say, have gone well... you will have exceptions for sure, but in many of those cases, there are other issues such as abscess, fissures, diabetes, drug complications, etc... just make certain you're healthy and find an experienced surgeon. Good luck.
Apr 29, 2011 1:47 pm

I have ileostomy and urostomy and rectal stump. The rectal stump gives me pressure pain every couple of hours, so I have to go to the loo and squeeze out as though I were constipated. The mucus that comes out can be a small amount or quite a cupful.

I have never been offered removal, but I wouldn't accept it anyway.

After 3 major ops and mistakes by both surgeons, I will carry on living as I am now.

I wore the pads for a year, but now manage to empty the back end if I can get to a toilet. There are other reliefs such as suppositories or enemas. Good luck to all, Jim.

May 02, 2011 5:39 pm

I have had my ileostomy for 14 years and just had my "stump" removed 5 years ago. I decided to have it removed due to the high risk factor in my family of colon cancer (mother and brother) and upon learning that my ileostomy was indeed going to be permanent, I thought, why keep it? I wasn't going to be re-attached ever, so why bother?

It was only causing me issues like mucus drainage, which even though I knew I didn't have to "go," I still had the sudden urgency that I had to, and if I didn't get to the bathroom fast, there was going to be a problem.

Since I had it removed, the "urge" feeling has gone, and I am now only worried about the bag leaking, not my butt.

How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
May 02, 2011 7:38 pm
Hi Ian, I have had my stoma for over 11 years now, a mix of ileostomies and colostomies following various surgeries over the years, finishing up with a permanent colostomy and a stump with a mind of its own, frequent infections, abscess, and nasty discharge. I asked about having the stump removed but no chance. Due to all the infection problems, I would be worse off, probably finish up with an open weeping wound forever, nice!!!! I decided to keep it, well my surgeon wouldn't do the surgery anyway. This probably doesn't help, but just to let you know you are not alone. Take care.
May 03, 2011 3:36 am
Hi Ian,

I'll be getting my stump removed this year (ileo in Dec 09). I've had continued issues with the stump (UC, bleeding, pain, etc) ... and like others who are concerned about cancer (I have colon cancer in close family), I know it's the thing for me to do.

As Scotiaman put it to me when I was coming to grips with my decision ... for many, keeping the stump is playing Russian Roulette with cancer. Although I sure don't want another major op ... cancer trumps it.

All the best with your decision.
May 03, 2011 4:06 am

Maybe a smart move, Bea. I have the same thing, but I visit my GI annually for a scoping and a routine biopsy to ensure no more dysplasia.

May 03, 2011 3:34 pm

I was doing that too and hoping that it would be all I'd have to do for a long time. But the bleeding/discharge has put me into another category/mindset.

Will share info when I see my specialist and surgeons.

All the best from the Barbie-Butt-to-be

May 12, 2011 11:17 pm

Thank you all so much for the advice. I can see what my general surgeon was saying now. I suppose wearing three pairs of gruts ain't that bad. Shapely even. Ha Ha Ha. My only issue is the mucus and a little discomfort when I overdo it. The fix may make it worse.