Life After Loop Ileostomy Reversal: What to Expect?

May 14, 2024 11:11 pm

Any advice? I have a loop ileostomy and had an ultra-low anterior resection, and I'm wondering what life will be like after reversal.

May 14, 2024 11:45 pm

Has your surgeon said how much rectum they were able to retain?

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May 15, 2024 1:40 am

Hi Sean,

Were they able to preserve the sphincter, or was it removed with the cancer? If it's there... you should be golden! If not, all bets are off. Not sure what else to say... just make sure you ask your surgeon the same question!


May 15, 2024 7:36 am
Reply to w30bob

Thanks very much for your reply. I will ask the surgeon on Monday. I'm afraid of having very little control, which would mean the quality of life wouldn't be great. I'm wondering if I could opt for a colostomy instead of a reversal. That would leave me with some control. Anyway, thanks for the helpful response. Kind regards, Sean.

May 15, 2024 11:27 am

Hi. I am new to this group, so I hope I am not overstepping my boundaries. It's very possible that you have a decision to make that many others do not get. With that said, it's not an easy one. I also was told I may have that ability. My surgeon said he would be able to remove my cancer tumor without taking any sphincter muscle. He also told me that my tumor was so close that I should consider a permanent colostomy. He was adamant that I would suffer from LARS and use the bathroom more than I would find comfortable.

I had an unrelated intestinal operation 25 years ago. That surgery did not require a bag as it removed some of my colon and small intestines. It did, however, leave me with the inability to absorb the bile the digestive system creates. I take medication for that and have forever. So I have had some small taste of LARS. The day of the surgery, I told my surgeon that my goal was to have all cancer removed, and if that means a bag, so be it. Well, at the end of the day, I ended up with a permanent colostomy. I had two tumors, one behind the other. My surgeon said I would have lost muscle. Funny that I still need to take my medication to absorb bile, or I have all liquid output.

If I can say one more thing, a permanent colostomy is just that, permanent! No going back, no changing it. What if they find a new cure or medication for your issue? With a reversible ileostomy, you have options, including a future operation to reverse it, and or to make it permanent then, or perhaps both.

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May 15, 2024 2:34 pm
Reply to luvram13

Hi there, thanks. I'm new to this forum also, and thanks for your time and information. Much appreciated.

May 17, 2024 9:55 pm
Reply to seanmcc46

I only have 4 cm left of my rectum and the surgeon has said to me that although it would be possible, the chances are I would be left with a degree of incontinence, which is something I wasn't willing to live with.

May 17, 2024 9:58 pm
Reply to sallyjackson88

Thanks, Sally,

May 20, 2024 10:24 pm
Reply to CrappyColon

Hi there, yes, today he told me I had 2 cm of rectum left. Any advice would be appreciated. Should I keep my ileostomy, or should I go for a reversal?

May 21, 2024 5:20 am
Reply to seanmcc46

Oh no, I'm not telling you which option you should choose 😃. What did your surgeon say today? Are you sure he said you have 2 cm of rectum left?