Successful Pouch Reversal Surgery - Sharing My Journey


Ok guys, so I said that as soon as I had the reversal surgery and was home, that I would post an update on my progress. So here goes..

I had my reversal on the 29th March after 2 cancelled attempts. My surgeon is great and after the cancellations, he didn't want any problems a third time, so a bed was definitely made available and he cleared his entire schedule for the day to perform my operation. I got to the Surgical Admissions Lounge at around 8am and was only waiting 5 minutes before seeing the Anesthetist for my pre-op chat. Everything went so fast and within half an hour of being there, I was tagged up, all done, changed into a gown, and walking down to the theater to get my Epidural and lines put in. I had to have a line in my wrist which I think was called an Arterial Line? It had some kind of wire put in and kept my rhythm, etc. This was performed by a junior.. I was given a few nips of local anesthetic and away he went prodding and poking trying to get it in. After a while, he gave up and someone else had to take over, but to be honest, I wasn't best pleased with her either as although she had done it many, many times, she shook like a leaf. I had my mom watching the whole thing and although I couldn't feel it, she said they had a right good dig when putting my epidural, etc. in, and that's the last I remember..

This time there was no, "Ok, start counting to 100 and saying goodbye to mom," etc. They must have just started the General Anesthetic and I was well away. The next thing I remember, I was all finished and lying in a bed in Intensive Care. I constantly had a nurse at the end of my bed, but I was well dosed up and I had an extra epidural and morphine pump just in case. After my initial Colectomy and Ileostomy in July last year, I was stitched back up, but this time after seeing my scar, etc., my surgeon decided to try staples instead. He cut my entire old scar out and stapled me back up really nicely and neatly with tight, close-knit staples. All in all, I must have had around 30-40 staples on my main wound and perhaps 10 or 12 on my old Ileostomy site. The surgeon said that the Ileostomy site would not be as neat as it was a round hole that had to be stapled straight, but it's not too bad.

I was only in ICU for one day before being moved to a surgical ward. The average expected stay was 10-14 days, and I spent a total of 13 days in the hospital. As expected, I did have my good and bad days. I had a bad case of Nausea and Vomiting, which wasn't helped by the fact that I was getting hiccups really easily, which also put added pressure on my wound. I had so many tubes and wires hanging out of me that it was difficult to move, and this led to me accidentally pulling my epidural line out. I was now left with just the Morphine pump, which I was using more often and obviously really did not help the whole being sick business. Again, like the last time I was in the hospital, I lost a shed load of weight, most noticeable in my face. I always grow a beard in the hospital as I hated my really sticky out jaw lines, etc. My eyes were sunken, and I didn't have a very colorful skin tone either. My rectal drain had a leak and had to come out slightly early, also my catheter got blocked and also needed to come out, so for the next few days, I was pissing razor blades.

Around day 5 or 6, I started needing to go to the toilet a lot more. I was constantly jacked up on fluids and was told to drink lots and lots and lots and lots.. This was hard as I was being sick so often and had no energy, but it needed to be done as I was losing so much fluid through loose stools. For the next 5-6 days, I was going to the toilet 15-20 times a day, and during my stay, I only ever managed to slightly catnap in the chair. Laying on the bed made my toilet visits more frequent, plus I could never get comfy on my old-fashioned, really hard bed. I began to get so weak that I got cramps in every muscle in my body. Again, like last time, my hands would cramp up wiping, and I wouldn't be able to push the flush handle down without putting all my weight on the handle. I also couldn't lay on the bed as lifting my legs to get on would result in calf and thigh cramps, and I'd be straight off and jumping around trying to get rid of it.

Things started to look up the last couple of days. Although still on fluids, I was on Loperamide to slow stools down and Codeine for pain relief, which also has some constipative effects which could have helped. The cramp had gone, I was eating a lot and had a massive appetite after not eating anything for over a week. Sadly, my eyes were bigger than my belly, and I could only eat small portions, but it was definitely a start for me. I was up and walking around a lot and generally felt a lot better in myself. I was really starting to get bored of the hospital, and I wanted nothing more than to get back to the comfort of my own home and eat good home-cooked food again.

The last 8 days of many bum wipes had left me with a few sores around my anus, and eventually, it cracked and I got a fissure. I can quite honestly say it was the most painful thing of the whole experience. Every time I go to the toilet, it feels like I'm pooing out red-hot daggers as the cut is so sore. I have been given a rectal ointment for it, but I can only use it twice a day, and toilet visits are still super painful. Last night was my first night back in my own bed, and I thoroughly loved it. There is a big difference between a 15 tog rated double duvet/bed and hospital issue single sheets/blankets. All in all, I managed to grab some good sleep with intervals to go to the toilet every 3-4 hours. It was the first time I've slept in 2 weeks, and I feel 10 times better for it this morning. I woke up at 9 am, had my pills, some toast and water, and felt good enough to post this blog.

It is now a waiting game to see how fast/slowly I regain my strength and get into a good toilet routine with minimal visits a day. It's strange, but every now and again, you can feel the food pushing through your gut and I guess going into the pouch. I have okay control at the minute and have not yet had any accidents. I can hold it for long enough to make it to the toilet, but always have a bowl handy just in case. To combat wiping and wiping and wiping and drying my bottom area skin out, I have been using 1 sheet of kitchen roll to dab the majority after excreting and then using baby wipes to clean up everything else afterwards. They're much softer than tissue paper and help keep that area moisturized a little, plus they're slightly cold and damp, so help relieve the fissure pain a little.

I understand that some parts of this may be a little in-depth, but I think it's best that people know all the details so they know what to expect themselves when having this operation. For me, it certainly hasn't been a walk in the park, but as they say, no pain, no gain. Everybody heals and deals with operations in their own way. My surgeon said that he performed the exact same operation on a woman the day before me, and she was home after 6 days!! Maybe I was unlucky.. I don't know, I'll keep you all posted as to my progress over the next couple of weeks, and when I can, I might add a few pictures of my wound so you can all see how it is healing. If this helps give a bit of insight to even 1 person, then it was well worth the hour+ it has taken me to type up, etc., and I wish anyone that decides to have the op the best of luck =)

Past Member

OMG!!!! I'm happy if you're happy, but... it sounds brutal!!!!
I admire your courage and determination, but it doesn't sound inviting.
May you continue to improve every moment, and the pain you've suffered so-o-o dearly, become a distant memory.
My sincere wishes for a speedy recovery and the outcome that you deserve. Keep us informed, take care, and keep your chin up.
I hope you know that by sharing your story, you are helping more than you'll ever know...
Thank you, BEG

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I'll keep this blog updated as much as possible, but I'm in a hell of a lot of pain with this fissure right now. It's the only thing dragging me down at the minute, and I can't wait for it to be gone.


Hello Steve. Congrats on the reversal. I know it's really challenging for you at this time and you're so right about all the trips to the bathroom and the pain that goes along with all the wiping. I had a reversal done at one point and later down the road ended up with a permanent colostomy. (My circumstances were different than yours so we will be positive that your reversal stays.) But as BEG mentioned (May you continue to improve every moment, and the pain you've suffered so-o-o dearly, become a distant memory), it will become just that... a distant memory. I never really forget all that I've been through, but I do a pretty good job putting it away in the back of my mind. Your written details took me back to that time and I remember the excruciating pain. With that being said, I wanted to give you or anybody else that may be dealing with the issue of constant trips to the bathroom and rubbing your behind raw a tip that could make a world of difference. It's called a portable bidet. I wish that I would have known about this when I was going through the recovery process. You can purchase one online from anywhere between $249-$500. You just add it to your existing toilet after selecting the correct size and... voilà! Ahh! So nice on the behind. It will rinse your behind with cool or warm water and air dry it for you, thus saving yourself the painful wipes and will speed up the healing process. I discovered this as an option when I visited my sister who had just done a remodel in her bathroom and wished I'd known about it long before. If one is in the financial position to purchase a bidet, I highly recommend it. It's money well spent. We all know by now that we need not go through more pain than necessary. Well, best of luck to you and may you feel better with each passing day. It takes time and patience, but you're strong and it sounds like you're also strong-willed.
Take care... Smylin

Past Member

Congratulations on the reversal!!!! Good luck with everything! :)

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Thank you =)


Hi! Steve, I was reversed last June after having a temporary ileostomy for nine months. I have good days and bad re: bowel movements. Once I have eaten supper, then the BM's start.
Usually I'll go every 5-10 minutes for 1-2 hours, sometimes longer. I've had to try eating six smaller meals a day to lessen the BM's. Because of so many, I, like you, are dealing with a very raw butt. I use "Zinc Oxide Cream" which is used for diaper rashes in infants and it's fantastic. Here in Ontario, Canada, it's about $13 a jar.
My BM's are far from normal, in fact very small and many times burning like they did during radiation.
Nevertheless, I'm free of the bag and am thankful for that.
I wish you the very best in your recovery, Zepp.
PS: I was in the hospital for four days after my surgery.

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