What to Expect After Barbie-Butt Surgery?

Hi all,

Ok, got my date (again - was bumped the first time) for my rectum removal - Oct 25. (had ileo Dec 09).

What can I expect when I'm at home, following the operation? I was told that this op will be more involved than my ileo (which was done laparoscopically).

Wondering... will I lay on my side on the couch during the day most of the time? Can I sit for extended periods? How active will I feel like being during the first couple of weeks? Stuff like that.

Any tips/suggestions appreciated.

Many thanks,
Past Member

If my memory serves me right, you've been living with a nightmare of problems with the remaining rectum... Take it from me... you're gonna feel so much better that the recovery will be worth it from the beginning! I can't imagine you'll have much trouble as the surgery will be on the inside. You may have a drain and be a little uncomfortable, but I think you'll be amazed at how you'll bounce back...

Wishing you nothing but an outstanding outcome and speedy recovery. Being a Barbie is easier than you think...

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Hi Bea, when I had my rectum and anus removed, it felt kind of puffy and numb at first. When I got home and the swelling started to go down, I started feeling sore and couldn't sit for any length of time. I used one of those donut cushions to sit on if I had to sit, but most of the time I would lay on my side and took my prescription painkillers. It took about 6 weeks until I was able to sit for any length of time, but the soreness does go away. My surgeon told me it would take a while because not much air gets to that area, but everyone's different as far as recovery goes. And I hope you have a speedy recovery. Just remember, the soreness will go away. Donna


You're right, Beg ... the long term is going to be good.

But what I'm asking is about the short term ... the 2 or 3 weeks when I get home.

Thanks Donna, that's the kind of stuff I'm wondering about. What you guys found yourself doing or not during that time.

p.s. I found it interesting that I was told that I wouldn't be using the donut cushions. Apparently they are finding that the hole in the middle actually spreads the cheeks which isn't a good thing. I'm to sit on a large cushion.

Past Member

Sorry I wasn't more help, buddy. I had a total colectomy from the onset, so I was opened from above my navel to my pelvic bone. I had drains front and back with both sutures and staples inside and out, so specific areas of discomfort were distorted. I do remember trying to raise my body from a lying position...had to learn to "roll" out of bed and required assistance to get up from a sitting position, which means I could sit. I had been hospitalized and flat on my back for almost 5 months prior to surgery, so my extremities were weaker than they should have been, I guess. I was back at work in 3 weeks, but back in the hospital in 4 due to uterine hemorrhage and bladder prolapse, UGH. It required reopening of my abdominal wall for a total hysterectomy and bladder tack...so I started the healing process all over again. I never remember my bottom causing me any problems then or now.

Just take care, don't lift anything...expect phantom pressures from the non-existent rectum. I still have those from time to time.

I'll be waiting to hear from ya, okay...beg

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

It will take you around 6-8 weeks to recover from your sore butt. I remember having my surgery on November 10, 2010, and I was able to work the last week of December. Just rest, it's difficult to sit down all the while, just lie down on your side. You can do it!


Hi Beatrice, I had my rectum removed in April 2011. I found the week I spent in the hospital the worst. I was able to sit for a bit when I got home, usually on a pillow or something (no donut). I had a couple of sitz baths every day after my stitches were out. I started feeling really good about 8 weeks later, then they started my chemo again. Good luck on your surgery, hope everything goes well.


Thanks all - and keep the info coming!

Yes, I was already warned by the docs that the week or so in hosp won't be too pleasant.

I'm having an epidural plus general anesthetic for the surgery - and they are leaving the stint in place to administer pain control, post-op, for the first few days. I don't respond to pain meds very well... they just don't work effectively unless they bring out the big guns. Must have been a druggy in a previous life.

I remember how irritating and discouraging it was with my ileo when they'd bring me 2 Tylenol and an Advil (after the first day of Morphine or similar) "we can't leave you on morphine-based meds too long, Mrs. M" - what crap. They may as well have brought me baby aspirin.

But this op is at a different hospital and they have already discussed pain management with me. (They have a pain management 'team') Totally different pro-active approach to the operation/hospitalization. Hope it's as good when I'm there as the pre-admission sessions have been.


A friend of mine took over a year before she was able to walk or even talk a little bit, but then she was only one day old when she had it done.

Sorry just my attempt at a bit of humor to keep you happy.



My colectomy (Crohn's) was 12-7-09, stayed in the hospital 4 days. Had all drains removed before I left the hospital and did well at home--just easy sitting down and easy getting up! Sat on a soft pillow in my recliner most of the time. I could lean back if I needed to relieve pressure off my bottom. First "public" outing was 2 weeks later (went to see "Avatar" in 3-D!) and returned to work January 1. Seemed like it was a tougher psychological adjustment than physical adjustment!


Bad Bob!

I started to read slowly and stopped at "over a year... walk... talk" -- eyes wide open - yikes!

You got me!



Hoping that's my kind of recovery! I think I've been through most of the psychological stuff with the ileo op ... this is just the icing on the butt so to speak.

Thanks for the info.


I had no trouble sitting, as I used an "egg crate cushion" from the beginning. (I think that is what it is called.) Don't use a donut. I never ever had to recoup lying on my side. I also never had drains. I wish you an easy recovery. Please don't expect the worst!! I had the ilio and the rectal closure all at once and dealing with the bag and ostomy were much more difficult!!! Good luck!!


Hi Beatrice,

Had an ileo and complete rectum removal with a permanent anal closure (to prevent drainage problems) on 1-10-11. Did not experience any problems at all. No soreness or sitting problems - no nothing. I think the permanent anal closure made a big difference in preventing complications.

I would not worry about it too much. Good luck!


Hi there,
Reddog makes sense. I don't know if the same surgical techniques are used in the USA as the U.K.
But mine was an abdominal surgery, although I have heard some talk of keyhole? Sounds weird to me. In my case, the abdominal pain was infinitely worse than the anal and bizarrely my major butt problem was incredible itching, but on the inside. Three years later, I still want to scratch!!
You can do it, it's all worth it in the end.



I had my colon removed in 2003 due to UC; an ileostomy in 2010, a few stomal revisions, and then in 2012, because of a parastomal hernia, we moved my stoma from the right to the left. All during the first 2 years, I had constant leakage from my rectum, to the point where I was hospitalized for three days and every test was run. My colon-rectal doctor could not determine why I was having bowel coming out of my rectum (not just mucus). One day while teaching, I had a stream of bowel that hit the floor in front of my class. My bag filled up normally. So, during the parastomal hernia repair, I had my rectum and anus removed. I hate my ileostomy, but removing the rectum and anus was the best decision I made. The recovery from that surgery hurt less than three episiotomies and a C-section. I wouldn't even use the word "hurt." I was given a pillow to sit on, which I only needed for three weeks. I'm not sure what procedure was used although I have the medical records. I just know that where the opening used to be, it was all stitched up and it's like I never had an opening. It never causes me pain, and if someone passes gas, they can't blame me! That part of my surgery was probably the easiest thing I've ever had done.