Hartmann's Reversal Scheduled for August 1st: Seeking Tips!

Replies
22
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210
Differentclass
Jul 03, 2024 12:37 pm

Hi all. I've finally got my reversal booked for August 1st. Excited and terrified 😱! Anything I need to know and any tips would be very much appreciated.

Morning glory
Jul 03, 2024 12:57 pm

Wishing you the best and let us know how your surgery goes afterwards.

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Differentclass
Jul 03, 2024 1:16 pm
Reply to Morning glory

Hi Morning Glory. Have you had this procedure reversed?

Morning glory
Jul 03, 2024 1:23 pm
Reply to Differentclass

No, I have not; I just wanted to welcome you. Others here will jump on and share their experience.

Sdukes2jor
Jul 03, 2024 3:36 pm

I had my reversal three weeks ago. The surgeon said it takes a good two weeks before you start feeling better. That was true for me. Learning to eat and helping your colon kick in is key. If I haven't had a bowel movement in a couple of days, I just take one stool softener and I am good. I suspect everyone is different. It feels great being bagless and grateful to be alive too. The wound that was left, I am having to make sure stays healthy. If they want you to do wet/dry bandage, I would recommend using silver and gauze. It worked much better for me. Blessings to you as you approach your surgery.

 
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DexieB
Jul 03, 2024 3:52 pm

So excited for you! I had my Hartmann's reversed on January 30th. It went fantastic. Thinking of you and sending good vibes!

Differentclass
Jul 03, 2024 7:39 pm
Reply to Sdukes2jor

Thank you for sharing your journey. My surgeon is going to attempt the da Vinci robotic reversal but has warned me it may not be possible. How did they proceed with your reversal? How long were you in the hospital? I hope you are continuing to improve. I'm so fortunate to have the opportunity to reverse, utmost respect to anyone on this journey, to those who don't have the option, and to those who choose to keep the bag that saved our lives.

Differentclass
Jul 03, 2024 7:43 pm
Reply to DexieB

Hi Dexie. I have been following your journey very closely since the beginning. Any tips on what to take to the hospital with me? How are things with you now? I hope you are continuing to make good progress. What was the outcome of the hernia consultation? I'm worried that I'm getting one; how do you know? The surgical team reckons it will be fixed at reversal if I have.

Differentclass
Jul 03, 2024 7:45 pm
Reply to Morning glory

Thank you.

Newhere
Jul 03, 2024 11:32 pm

Hi Differentclass, that's good news for you. I'm happy for you. My reversal was August 2nd last year. Take in some baby wipes and have some at home for your return. If they can do it via robot, that will be better for healing. Mine was open surgery, but it was okay, nothing compared to my first surgery. I was in the hospital for about 5 or 6 nights, and for the first week home, I slept in a recliner chair. Wishing you well, take care.

DexieB
Jul 04, 2024 6:12 pm
Reply to Differentclass

Hey there, I will respond to you Monday when I can type on my desktop computer instead of my phone!

MoeMoe
Jul 07, 2024 12:00 pm

Hi DifferentClass! Congrats!! I too had Hartmann's reversal in March via robotics. You can read my past posts journaling my experience, pains, and my conversations with the docs. I stayed 2 days in the hospital. The amount of blood I saw when using the restroom for weeks following the procedure was alarming but normal. If I could change one thing, I would ask for a non-dairy protein supplement. They gave me a lactose-free option that caused horrible gas and diarrhea, which I believe slowed my healing. Even though it's an easier surgery to go through, it's still a major surgery, so be good to your body, move around slowly, and ease into fiber. My tips: I showered often; it helped ease the burning in my bum from all the TP use. Buy a strong and sturdy abdominal binder for after surgery. The one I got in the hospital was okay, but the one I bought made me feel much better and more supported. I still use it to this day (almost 4 months post-op) when I hike/clean. Any questions, feel free to ask! Again, congrats on getting the reversal!

Differentclass
Jul 07, 2024 8:14 pm
Reply to MoeMoe

Hi MoeMoe. I have been following your story; thank you for sharing your journey. It's really helpful to hear from those who have trodden the same path before! How are you doing now? I hope things are settling down and you are continuing to recover.

MoeMoe
Jul 07, 2024 11:56 pm
Reply to Differentclass

I'm doing well; my God healed me up nicely 😊

I still have rectal pain, but it's not bad at all, and some days there's pain at the stoma site. I'm almost 4 months post-op and surely still recovering on the inside from all the back-to-back surgeries I had. Ask the docs a ton of questions, ask until you are comfortable LOL. You will do fine! It's hard not to be nervous or anxious, but positive thoughts = positive results! I'm rooting for you, friend!!

Differentclass
Jul 08, 2024 6:46 am
Reply to Newhere

Thank you, Newhere. I'm so happy that you have made such a brilliant recovery. How do your bathroom habits compare since the reversal to now? Can you eat what you like?

Differentclass
Jul 08, 2024 6:46 am

I mean, since before your colostomy to now?

DexieB
Jul 08, 2024 2:32 pm
Reply to Differentclass

Hello! I did blog some things on this site about my hospital stay, etc. you can look back on. A big thing for me was that I had to do a bowel prep the day before reversal - please have your wound nurse order an extra large capacity bag with a drain tap, along with tubing that connects to a bigger bag for sleeping (or you can also order it yourself I'm sure). That was a lifesaver. I stayed in a hotel a few blocks from the hospital so I wouldn't have to deal with driving during a bowel prep. There were antibiotics I had to take before surgery - if you need any, your surgeon should have already called them in to a pharmacy.

I would bring Desitin or something similar and use it before a BM, baby wipes to use instead of TP so your bottom doesn't get sore, and Depends (the hospital had these for me) - I wore them because I needed help to get to the bathroom when I had the urge, and the staff was sometimes slow to arrive. Also, a good abdominal binder - the hospital only had one for me that was way too big, and did nothing for me.

My stomach made some crazy gurgling sounds for a good couple of days. But I had a BM the same day of surgery, so I went back on track very quickly with my bathroom habits - no loss of control, perhaps because I only had my ostomy for 8 months? Because of this, I was eating regular foods the next day. Even though I was told I could eat whatever I wanted, I stayed lower fiber for a month or so just to be safe. I can currently eat whatever I want...but advise starting slowly with the fiber. I have had a few flares of hemorrhoids - I had one when I was pregnant many years ago that never fully went away, so that one had acted up a few times. I think my behind was in shock for a while when I started using it again. I now make sure I use Tucks preventatively every time I go.

I didn't have to take very many pain pills, maybe 2 or 3 after my release - mainly took Tylenol and Advil. So I did not have an issue with constipation from the opioids. However, it is better to take the pain pills if needed - do not suffer. You can always take a stool softener if needed. To me, the reversal felt like a walk in the park compared to my original ordeal so I didn't take many- but I am not trying to mislead you...there will be some pain. And as you know, it is different for each person.

My parastomal hernia was fixed during my reversal. However, I came down with a virus a few days after surgery (my husband had been sick the 3 weeks leading up to my surgery)...I tried in vain not to cough, but nothing helped. If I wasn't coughing, I was sneezing - wore my binder, held my stomach - got a new hernia anyway, in a different spot. I met with a surgeon a few weeks ago...I will get a CT scan on July 13 and meet with him July 18 about surgery. He thinks I will need abdominal reconstruction. Keep in mind I have also had 3 abdominal surgeries, so my abdominal wall was very weak - it does not mean you will get a hernia. Just be careful and try not to cough, get constipated, lift anything heavy - all of this will increase pressure in your abdomen.

My bathroom habits as I mentioned went quickly back on track with what they were pre-ostomy - I have a normal movement once or twice a day, no urgency, no issues - and for this I am so grateful.

Try not to worry...things will go great! Best of luck - I will be praying and rooting for you!!

 

Differentclass
Jul 09, 2024 7:56 am

Thank you, Dexie. It sounds like you have made a textbook recovery. It is so reassuring that your bathroom visits have normalized, as I have been worried about that. I'm very nervous about the whole thing after my previous hospital stay was a nightmare! I'm especially not looking forward to the prep, although nothing has been mentioned about it yet. I'm going for my pre-op check on the 22nd of July before my op on the 1st of August, so they might give me the prep then...fun, hey! I've heard all sorts of other fun facts on these sites about the surgical procedure. Good job I will be asleep and hopefully won't know anything about it. I've been building myself up to hopefully be in the best shape; I lost 40 pounds last time. I've also ordered a portable bidet and some Depends just in case. I've got Sudocrem for the poor rear end! I've been told I will be in the hospital for 7-10 days, which seems a lot longer than you guys in the States, and no work for 6 weeks. I'm hoping that it will not be that long. Thanks again for sharing your story. I'll let you know how it goes. Good luck with the hernia; I hope you can get it fixed once and for all. x

Differentclass
Jul 09, 2024 7:57 am
Reply to MoeMoe

Thank you MoeMoe. I'll keep you updated.

DexieB
Jul 09, 2024 2:17 pm
Reply to Differentclass

Sounds like you are all set! I understand how you feel - my first hospital stay was also a nightmare. But that's mainly because it was an emergency surgery whereas this one was planned. They did my reversal with a robot and it was a much quicker recovery! I was out of the hospital after only a few days, and off work for 8 weeks. I was given some type of numbing medication so I didn't feel my abdomen for 2 days after surgery - that was a blessing, because I couldn't feel when they packed my old stoma site with gauze. Once I was home, I did not have to pack it at all - I just put a gauze pad loosely over it and taped it. It healed from the inside out. Yes, please keep us posted!

Differentclass
Jul 09, 2024 5:09 pm
Reply to DexieB

I had a call today from my surgeon's secretary. Apparently, I need to take five different medications before my operation, and they are sending them out by courier tomorrow. I've no idea what they are; I can only assume they must be antibiotics of some kind. Any idea?

DexieB
Jul 09, 2024 5:43 pm
Reply to Differentclass

Mine were 2 different antibiotics, and some anti-nausea medication for the bowel prep. Not sure what the 5 are for you, but I assume they are antibiotics plus some things for the prep! It depends on what prep your surgeon chooses on whether it can be picked up over the counter or at the pharmacy - at least that's been my experience.

Newhere
Jul 09, 2024 11:57 pm
Reply to Differentclass

Yes, I can eat anything I want. After reversal, I ate a low-fibre diet for about 6 weeks, but now all is good. Bathroom habits are no worries at all. I think colostomy reversals fare so much better.