Pre-Colostomy Reversal Preparations and Personal Experiences

Mar 22, 2024 5:41 pm

Hi friends! While my reversal was unexpected, it was not unanticipated. When I got my colostomy last July, the ER surgeon said I would be a good candidate for reversal at 6 months. Ideally, I should have had the reversal in early January, but I was too terrified to get the ball rolling because I definitely was not ready to put my body through another open surgery. Mid-February, I finally got the courage to schedule my consult, and the first available appointment was March 4th (March 8th I went to the ER). Since I was supposed to have one more visit with the surgeon before the reversal in April, I thought I would go over what I was already doing to prepare my body for surgery and if there was anything more I could do. I decided I would ask the majority of the pre-op questions at my next visit. I did some research on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles prior to my consult. I found that walking was really beneficial, as were stairs. I was already walking 2 miles before work, 2 miles at my lunch break, 2 miles on Saturdays, and rested on Sundays (no exercise). At work, my office is on the first floor, so I would take the stairs to the second floor every opportunity I got. When I got to the consult, I asked my doc if there was anything else I could do, and she said that Kegels were a really good preparation exercise and I could do them at my desk or while watching TV. Perfect, I will add that to my daily exercises. So... there is one more thing that I was already doing that I ran by the doc for confirmation. I am a very candid person, and I believe if I have questions, docs should answer them no matter how uncomfortable they may be. I apologize in advance as this may be too sensitive for some people. My research led me to find that self-pleasure stimulates the pelvic muscles, brings blood flow to the pelvic area, and orgasm contracts the rectum, sphincter, and surrounding muscles. I told my doc that I was engaging in self-pleasure weekly as an aid to get the rectum prepared for usage since it had been out of commission for so long. She said no one had ever asked her about that, but that yes, self-pleasure would definitely help aid the rectum in regaining its function. Sorry if I have offended anyone, but I thought it was significant and quite interesting information, so I wanted to share. I know there are people out there awaiting reversal that could use this info as a gateway to talk to their docs about pre-op prep. I don't know if this helped, but I do know that I do not have pelvic pain, pressure, or swelling at this time. With the initial surgery, I had so much pelvic pain for the first 5 months of having the colostomy, and the swelling in my pubic area lasted the whole 8 months I had the colostomy. So, those are all the things I did to prepare my body to undergo surgery. The ER surgeon that did the colostomy said I would need open surgery at reversal. I thank God that my insurance forced me to pick an in-network surgeon and denied my requests/appeals to go back to the ER surgeon. I figured it would be better to keep the same surgeon for both procedures, but my insurance thought otherwise. The surgeon they referred me to was amazing and able to do it laparoscopically, as I have mentioned. I am not a doctor, and the following was an account of my personal experience. Thanks for listening! I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

Mar 22, 2024 6:40 pm

Thanks for that. Orgasm, like any other body function, is there for a reason. And in your case, it helped prepare your body for surgery. In the game of life... leave no stone unturned.

Thanks for sharing, it will help many on their journey.

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Mar 22, 2024 8:07 pm

Wow, great teaching moment. You certainly taught me something I did not know. Much appreciated.

Mar 22, 2024 9:51 pm

Thank you for being so candid about your journey, you have/will help so many. You're awesome!

Mar 23, 2024 6:08 pm
Reply to Kas

Thank you, Kas, that is definitely my hope. We have to spread knowledge and information as we receive it to not only help ourselves but others as well.

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Mar 23, 2024 6:11 pm
Reply to aTraveler

A traveler, you are most welcome! I'm just putting out what I found 😁 Always glad to share!

Mar 23, 2024 6:14 pm
Reply to Beachboy

Welcome, BeachBoy! I never thought that something like this could have such a healing benefit. Amazing how God created our bodies!

Mar 25, 2024 6:50 pm

Well, that explains why my return to function was smooth sailing after reversal! LOL. Just kidding, but it makes sense. :)

June Bug
Jul 01, 2024 2:31 pm
Reply to Beachboy

Wow and super wow! I will be candid here also... or try to be, anyway. Since my husband passed on 22 years ago (I was in my early 50s), 51, the idea of sex never ever crossed my mind. Well, only once and with my best friend. It was a terrible experience, and I closed that (sex) out of my life. Now... self-gratification, that is another story: having grown and raised in Catholic schools from kindergarten to college, the word itself was not even mentioned, and when we girls would talk about it, we had to go to confession! So that exercise you mentioned, I shall skip! Not because it is something wrong, no it is not, but because I would not feel comfortable, I don't know how to do it, and now with a plastic bag hanging from my tummy, much less.

Please don't think I am a prude, far from that, so far from that. If I ever met the second man of my dreams, my wildness will come back, but in the interim... it is “comfortably numb.”

A hug to y'all!