Decided to wait

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Hi all. Met with my surgeon today. He's given me a lot to think about. He was very open and discussed what would be involved in the process. As sick as I was, he said it would be tricky, not impossible,  but not as easy as someone who did not have the  issues I had. 

My first thought after I  got home was to get rid of this thing hanging on my body.  But now,  I'm comfortable being an ostomate, and honestly feeling good as I am. 

I'm not saying that I won't ever do the surgery, right now I just don't want to go through all the pain and the downtime.  Physically, and mentally in a good place and have a good life.  There's no guarantees and I'm just grateful to be alive. 

Thank you for the advice. I was very direct with the surgeon, and he was with me. 


Hope everyone has a great weekend!




Sounds like a great surgeon to me!  jb

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Reversal surgery?  

Reply to Beachboy

Yes, reversal surgery. Sorry, just realized I didn't state that.  I've been thinking a lot about it, and the more I do, the less I am ready to jump in. It's only been 3 months, and honestly,  I don't think my body is ready for another surgery. 


Thanks Nini, my first surgery had a lot of complications (fistulas, abscesses, etc.) leading to two additional surgeries and 3 months in the hospital and rehab. In the hospital, I was advised to wait six months before considering reversal. Once I did my follow-up with the surgeon we had a heart to heart. I was advised that the reversal in my case would probably be worse than my initial surgery with the same or more complications. He advised me to wait a year and then see how I felt. I am having no problems with the colostomy and I have two configurations that work equally well. One mechanical with a snap on pouch and another with adhesive coupling. Reading your thoughts about waiting reinforces my desire to wait and possibly not do the reversal.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Reply to Nini4

Thanks Nina.  I faced the same decision last year.  The way I analyzed it;  Reversal surgery has 2 parts.  One: Reattachment of the intestine.  Two: Normal intestinal operation after recovery.

Underlying disease, like crohns, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis negatively affect reversal success. 

Factors affecting quality of life after successful reversal surgery: strictures, adhesions, and scar tissue. 

In my case, hernia repair mesh migrated over many years and punctured my colon.  So I didn't have intestinal disease.  But about 3 months prior to getting a colostomy, I had 46 Tomo radiation treatments for prostate cancer.  Radiation causes permanent tissue damage, affecting healing.   So there was the possibility of my intestines not healing properly after reversal.

I discussed these topics with my surgeon.  He was confident about reconnecting my intestines, but said normal intestine function might not occur after recovery.  Only way to find out... was to have reversal. 

At age 66,  I just didn't like the thought of risking surgery,  getting rid of the bag.... but later constantly needing to be near a bathroom due to compromised intestine function.  So I declined reversal.  My surgeon agreed with my choice.

I have a peristomal hernia, causes a large bulge under my stoma.  I'm a small guy, so it really is noticeable.  I'm going to talk with my surgeon about stoma revision and hernia repair.  

Give your situation good, reasoned thought.  It's major surgery and there is risk just in that alone. 

Take care.




Amazing, how many agonizing decisions ostomates are faced with. The reversal dilemma way up there. I would opt for it but cannot, not considered a good candidate. I read somewhere not to delay it for too long as things can go to sleep. The surgeon had a long laugh when I told him that. Learning to live happily with a stoma takes time and isn't easy, wasn't in my case at least. There are many people here who believe in the saying that God does not burden a person beyond his or her ability to cope. All this reminds me of an inspirational tale: When God created birds they had no wings. They used to crawl on earth. Then, one day, God decided to bestow the birds with wings. He threw wings towards their feet and commanded them to pick them up and carry them on their backs. At first, this seemed difficult for the little creatures, but they picked up the wings and carried them on their backs.  What happened then? What they considered a hampering weight and burden, enabled them to fly. Life can be hard. Success does not come without hard work. Best wishes.  


Nicely stated bowsprit.


When you know, you know. Always trust your gut!

Reply to bowsprit

Beautifully said! Thank you.

Reply to Beachboy

Agreed. I have diverticulitis and IBS, so the idea of dealing with all that goes with that, mainly the pain and the constant bathroom runs,  is always a possibility of returning.  They just don't go away.  

My life is just fine right now. I'm alive and that is the most important thing!

Thank you!

Reply to Nini4

G-Day Nini4,  You know, no one ever died because of a Stoma, but they have Saved so many lives. Regards IGGIE

Reply to IGGIE

Very good, important point.  Surgery is risky.  Even uncomplicated, quick surgery.

A guy I worked with for 15 years, age 50, decided to have a simple, out patient, surgical procedure on his throat to help alleviate his heavy snoring.  Thursday, day before the procedure, we all went out to lunch.  Then said "good luck, have a great weekend.  See ya Monday."    He suffered a stroke during surgery and died.  

Another coworker was ready to retire.  Wanted to get his shoulder surgically fixed before retirement while he still had company provided medical coverage.  Shoulder had bugged him for years.  He had the surgery, was at home recovering... developed a blood clot..died.

Better living with a bag, then laying cold and still in a pine box.

Reply to IGGIE

So very true!

Reply to IGGIE

So very true! Saved mine😊

Reply to Beachboy

Believe me, those concerns are one of the main reasons I have hesitation.  I'm not broken,  I don't need to be fixed.  I was broken and I was fixed.  

Reply to aTraveler

Glad to provide some helpful I formation! 

Mysterious Mose

I faced the same decision in October of last year and I made the same decision. The drawbacks of another major surgery and a colonless connection were high on the list of reasons to keep the pouch. :-)


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