Rectal Stump Removal

squirrels in the attic

Hi.  New here.  Should have joined earlier in life.  Have had my ileostomy for 40 years.  Now Dr is suggesting I  have my rectal stump removed.  I'm experiencing what others have called phantom bms.  That surgery sounds extremely difficult to heal from.  Any wise words?


Search around this web sites topics.  Many here have delt with rectal stumps, Ken and Barbie butt surgery, and recuperation tips after that surgery.

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Mayo wanted me to keep my diseased anus/rectum,after my ileostomy.  Possible hookup & dilatation of the terminal ileum.  After 15 mnths, no healing, but daily enemas w/ Dakins's(bleach).  YUCK.  I had them remove my anus & rectum.  Went home in 3 days, no problem.  


From what I’ve read from people in this group and then also a friend of mine, it seems like the people that have the hardest time with this surgery and the healing process are the ones who have undergone radiation treatments (with or without chemo) for colon cancer too. 


I got rid of a J-Pouch after 18 years and went for a full on Ken Butt and I don't know if I was lucky or not but i had no problem with pain down there. And after 18 years of a J-Pouch I am now loving my stoma. Life is 100% better. The main problem of leaving the rectom intacked is as you said the Phantom Bum and also the mucus that needs to be excreted. Regards IGGIE

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
squirrels in the attic
Reply to Beachboy

Ha.  Never heard of Barbie Butt but makes perfect sense.  Someone with bowel humour thought that one up!


Hi sdclark. I, like IGGIE, had my five year old j-pouch removed and rectum removed. Very sore for a month or so, had an early abcess that healed, then no problems since. Good luck!


Great idea for a Halloween costume - Phantom bm

on the serious side my answer to this question is - I guess it would depend on how bad it is - painful?  irritated all the time?  uncomfortable ?  constant leakage?

For me, surgery would always be my last resort but(t) then I am a self proclaimed wimp and because of my age, I am unwilling to chance anything (other than the lottery) any more.  You have come to the right place tho - the warriors on this site are without a doubt the bravest of brave and most helpful and knowledgeable.  They have helped me through some of my darkest hours!  jb

squirrels in the attic

Love the costume idea!  Thing is, all I have is pressure similar to when I first had the ileostomy surgery.  No leakage.  But I do have horrible skin irritation up my (not Barbie) butt and in the groin area.  The dermatologist was concerned that the stump may be contributing to this.


I would give a better answer... Butt I'm stumped.

Reply to Beachboy

I have never heard of this can you explain to me what it is, please 

squirrels in the attic

Do you mean the Barbie Butt?  It was new to me too, but I've realized that it's the butt that doesn't function, like a Barbie doll.  No hole!

Hope this is what you were asking about.


It's a butt-a-dectomy (ok.. a little humor).  Surgical removal of anus and rectum due to disease or physical trouble.  


Well put Beach Boy !

you nailed it .. someone explain it as looking at a toy doll' s rear end.

butt i think she was talking in " layman's terms" what is it? why the term? 

g.i.joe..ken and barbie. quite funny in hindsight. - pun intended.

I would like to address the question of stump removal as squirrels in the Attic asked a couple of specific questions so this goes to squirrels ..

I read your profile.

Having Henry for 40 years is quite an achievement!!  I'm very much surprised by all the people on this forum with issues with inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's, colitis , cancer how much we differ in our experience with the butt..  that doesn't work or more specifically a rectum detached and whether or not it's worth keeping or get it working again. .

You mentioned the dermatologist is concerned because of the irritation in the front area of your body thinking that the stump is causing this???   he needs some proof - evidence to back that up!!   not just the idea to remove the butt and see what happens!!!! . yur best approach is seeing an ostomy nurse who has more experience than yur derm. or gyno.

i have a derm that helped. so keep him. but experience is needed here. Especially if you chose a surgeon. Research a good one..

how often do u think the derm sees patients like you as compared to an ostomy nurse? ask your g.i. about finding one.

You are very lucky to just have these Phantom bowel movements with out discharge? i assume?? . a lot of us have leakage -a mucus or bloody discharge and I can speak first hand my own experience that I only after 6 years of having an ileostomy that the discharge could not be controlled with meds.

then you question those meds long term- side effects.

october 9,  2023 i had the ken butt done. i asked people here months ago the same question abt stump removal and recovery. the same people replying to you, also replied to me back then. was and am grateful to them. thanks folks.

i am 2 weeks post op.

first hand experience is discomfort. surprised not much pain. yur cheeks are completely swollen to a point where it feels u have 3.  ice cold packs helped alot.. 

it does help " sit on it".

there are restrictions too which seem common sense. and u gotta walk.

hospital stay 3- 5 days. i was there 7.

and the type of surgery? lap robotic or traditional.

we went in thinking robotic. but unfortunately he tried and failed.  ended up cutting into belly area. traditional. now this too is just uncomfortable 2 weeks out. 

but they give u nerve blocker while under anesthesia. when that wears off grab the oxycodone .!! holy hell! 

the question  u need to answer is this frontal irritation? after 40 years of Henry, and a non function rectum, what's the source of it? .

my reason having the kenn butt surgery was to stop the embarrassing leakage and reduce the prospect of cancer there. and sincerely we are hoping the rectum was the source of inflammation proven by sig scopes ,  causing painful  arthritis.

also as we found out within six yrs of a idling stump, chrons developed.

 post op note for the kenn butt guys:

any of u have trouble peeing after that garden hose sized cath got removed?

A Recovering Warrior Indeed.



squirrels in the attic

Hey Warrior.  Very helpful.  My surgeon will claim that the risk of cancer is greater the longer we leave it.  Can't even get a paediatric scope in there.  But scan shows a much longer stump, so perhaps it's septated.   That kind of scares me.  The derm claims I have psoriasis, which is also auto-immune like Crohn's.  But I did have rectal strep which apparently is odd.  Really though, I'm happy to just carry on the way I am.  I'm active, reasonably happy and have no stoma issues.  Dunno!!  I'm also getting Remicade every six weeks.  Wonder if that is necessary ?  Ah, so many questions.  Sandra


As the old Bard would exclaim:

To Butt, or not to Butt... That is the question.

A butt, by any other name, would be just as sweet.  (Ok... maybe not).

A Butt is nothing either good or bad, butt thinking makes it so.

I do love Butts in the world so well as you: is not that strange?

Much Ado About Butts

The course of true Butt never did run smooth.


squirrels in the attic
Reply to warrior

Hey Warrior.  Well, guess I'm going to have it done.  I'm sure, like you, the robotic won't "cut it" and I'll end up with yet another slice down the tummy.  I also saw my gastro and we decided time to come off the Remicade.  She said that Remicade has been known to CAUSE psoriasis!!!!  Imagine my shock when I heard that.  But(t) before surgery, I'm planning a trip to Ireland and Scotland, so barbie butt can wait til next fall!  Hope you are healing up and enjoying some comfort food.  Felt like winter today here near the St Lawrence.  Where are you located?  Sandra

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