Advice on Recovery from 'Barbie Butt' Surgery?


I'm having my rectum removed on Wednesday and I'm so nervous about the thought of being closed up. Been debating whether I should cancel it or not. Anything I should know about pain relief after the surgery? Do's and don'ts? Your personal experiences with this surgery? How long was recovery and if you had any complications. I haven't had much luck with people advising me on this topic. I'm hoping this is the right forum. PLEASE HELP. THANK YOU


I had my rectum/anus removed in 2008 at the same time as my colostomy, so I didn't know anything else after my initial transformation. My only real issue with it was the healing portion. I had had massive amounts of radiation, so my healing was almost non-existent. We packed it until we were blue in the face. We went to the wound clinic, and they considered using a vacuum pump but kept postponing it. They eventually used it, and as long as there was room to insert the sponge, the healing continued. After that, the healing stopped, and it has been almost 4 years, and I still have a small opening that never healed completely and probably won't. I just try to be careful in bending and lifting, and most importantly, I use a Roho cushion to sit on. It has air chambers and lets your weight float and eases the pressure on your bottom. I still use my Roho cushion all the time. It is such a lifesaver. I don't recall so much pain from mine as such, but my stomach incision and learning to deal with the colostomy were more pressing issues. I still have some pain in the rectal area but cannot say if it is from the opening or if it is just from the thickening that I got at my tailbone from the radiation. I eventually had to get a morphine pain pump to try and control the constant pain that felt like I had fallen on concrete or broke my tailbone. But I am sure my pain is from other issues and not the hole that remains.

I wish you lots of luck, but from everything that I have heard from others about mucus output and stuff like that, I think proceeding with the surgery would be better than what they deal with. Hopefully, you will be much healthier and will not have an issue with healing. But if you do, please consider requesting them to use a vacuum pump. It isn't the easiest thing to deal with, but it sure sped up the healing process. And you must have a prescription to order a Roho cushion in order for insurance or Medicare to pay for it, but it is considered durable medical equipment, and both will cover the bulk of the cost. But it sure helps ease the sitting after the surgery and even later.

Again, best of luck with your surgery and the healing.

Carol A. Weekley

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Hi, hope the surgery went okay for you. I had an ileostomy in March last year, and now need to have my rectum removed. Any advice would be welcome as, like you, I'm not looking forward to this at all.


Hi Ritas,

I had my rectum removed just over 5 years ago now due to severe ulcerative colitis. I haven't had any problems with that area since it healed. They used metal staples to close the hole up after the stump was removed and it was impossible to sit for at least 5-6 weeks until it had healed and they removed the staples.
I had to half lie down all the time and the same in bed. The pain relief in hospital was great but at home when you run out of the prescription stuff it's back to Panadol etc., which helps if you don't try to do too much.
Eventually, it will heal and I had no complications such as infection, etc., which was great. Now it is just second nature and in time you will get used to it.
Don't worry that you are being closed up as after it heals it strangely feels natural and you don't notice it. If you sit on a toilet, be careful as the skin is sewn together and when sitting on the seat it can stretch and be uncomfortable, but sitting on a normal chair you won't notice any difference.
I hope this helps and if you want to know more, let me know as I would love to help with any info I can.


Hi Ritas, don't be afraid to have your rectum removed. I had my anus and rectum removed along with a colostomy due to rectal cancer. It took about six weeks to heal. You will feel sore and it will be hard to sit for a while. But the soreness will go away. Take advantage of whatever pain meds they give you. I was only taking them at night when I went to bed because they made me nauseated during the day. But I promise the soreness does go away. Good luck with your surgery Donna.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Hello Rita. I finally had my rectum removed 1 and a half years ago. I already had the permanent ileostomy in place, due to losing my colon. It was the best thing I did for my body was trying to keep my rectal stump going, meaning alive. To make a long story short, I developed a horrible colitis and after 6 years of suffering, I had the major surgery done. It was more difficult than I thought because of the abdominal cutting and so on. The pain was worth knowing that I would never have anything trying to come out, like mucus, and suffering when you feel like you need a BM and that doesn't happen. So anyway, it's worth everything for now I feel excellent, and I have a beautiful behind from all the exercise I do. No one would know. So good luck. Your support systems in family, friends, doctors, etc. make the difference of the outcome. Sincerely, Belissima.
Past Member

Hmmm, for all of us without rectums... Just think, we can't be called a$$h01es any longer! I have had no problems without mine; when I did have it, I still had to sit on the throne and mucus/discharge would be evacuated. After a while, the Crohn's made it there and there was a bloody discharge.

My only problem now is very rarely, I get a phantom urge to have a BM... Otherwise, I have no problems!


Thank you all for your comments. I had the surgery and am now home recovering. It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yes, it's painful and I can only lay on my left or right side with a pillow behind me and between my legs for comfort. With painkillers, it's alright. I had an epidural put in me and it numbed me from the waist down for 2 days. No pain at all! It was fantastic! I also bought a woman's urinal called the Pstyle which allows me to urinate standing up. I must say I was well prepared for this surgery and my recovery is going smoothly. I hope this helps angel123 with answers to your upcoming surgery. If I can answer any questions, please let me know but so far no regrets.


I had mine done six months ago and it still bothers me. I can't really call it pain but kind of a feeling of pressure. It is a weird thing to have done but they didn't give me a choice. They had to do it to get rid of the cancer. Good luck!


Had mine removed this past October. It is quite painful in the beginning, but I was back to work in 4 weeks! Stitch removal was awful, but otherwise, my recovery was uneventful. For a few months there were sometimes painful twinges especially if the weather was changing, but now I realize, I haven't felt anything there in weeks. I only wish I had done it sooner as I suffered for 3 years after my ileostomy. My new surgeon couldn't understand why it hadn't been removed along with my original surgery because my colitis was so bad. Anyway, I now realize this was a really good decision (I almost cancelled at the last minute) and am so glad I had it done.


Hello. I had mine removed two years ago. The worst part was post-surgery when I was still stitched up on the inside and the outside. The majority of my pain went away in about 10 weeks but it was a good 6 months before I was able to really sit without pain. There is definitely a psychological component to losing this very important part of your body. However, there is great support here and elsewhere to help you adapt. You might do fine for a while and then get a bit depressed. If so, come back here and share your feelings with people and you will get what you need to resurface! Hang in there.


It has been six months since my surgery and I have no problems. At first, it was sore but now I don't feel anything except occasionally like there is a slight stretching feeling at the closure point.


I had my rectum removed at the same time that I had my large colon and appendix removed because Crohn's was spread throughout. Fortunately, my small bowel was free. Even after my rectum was removed, I suffered with mucus and pain, but it was due to fistulas. They finally healed and no more mucus or pain. I never missed the rectum when it was removed since it wasn't something that my body needed to use since I had the permanent ileostomy.
Best of luck


I opted for a "Ken" butt instead.


It has been nine months since I got my Ken butt and it still hurts at times. I don't know what makes it hurt, whether it is sitting too much or if it has something to do with my prostate pressing against it. I have had to take Flomax since my surgery so I can urinate. I had problems with hemorrhoids before I got rectal cancer and had surgery in the past to remove them. I was expecting them to tell me I had cancer then since it runs in my family. Does anyone else still have a pain in the butt this long after surgery?


I've spoken to a lot of people who have had infections along the wound where they closed them up, which took months and months to heal up. However, I haven't heard of someone living with pain down there like you have. So, I can see your concern and frustration with discomfort. I guess I feel really fortunate that my operation went so smoothly and healed up fast and easy. I definitely think there could be a prostate problem since you have trouble urinating.


I had my rectum removed in the beginning of May. The incisions healed well and there was pretty much no pain, but I cannot shake the "foggy" feeling, feeling heavy, then floaty and unsteady, kinda loopy. I've not had any relief from it since I left the hospital. On the check-up appointment, the doctor put down that I can return to work on July 2. If I'm still feeling like this, I see it as impossible to return to work. Has anyone else had this problem? I'm beginning to think this will never end. Getting kinda scared now.


Hello Barbie. I didn't get your name. My rectum was removed 2 years ago. The stump wasn't attached due to my permanent ileostomy. Yes, I had difficulties in the pain, the abdominal cutting, and all the cutting where my rectum had been. It was a very difficult recovery, for I am allergic to all pain medications. So I had to do it with regular Tylenol. This surgery is hard. I never thought I would recover, but within 6 months I felt better. I had such phantom pain, it was crazy. You are normal in being nervous and all. For me, I was relieved with the removal due to a rare colitis, but never dreamed how hard it would be. I felt heavy and miserable. I had to truly keep my faith in God to recover. So if I could have had it removed at 40 years old, it would have made a difference. My surgeon felt that my body couldn't handle removing the colon and everything at 40 years old. He was right. I had many complications. My doctor knew what was best for me. So good luck. Please let me know how you are doing. Sincerely, Sylvia Justus.


Colorectal cancer gave me my colostomy and Barbie bum 5 years ago.
They didn't give me radiation treatment beforehand because it can cause problems with healing. So I was fortunate that it healed quite quickly.
I do feel as though I'm walking around with a wooden broom handle jammed up there though. All that scar tissue.
Sitting for any length of time, especially on a hard chair, just plain hurts too.
But that's just par for the course, I guess. Better a sore butt all the time than the alternative, which was death. LOLOL

Hey, do any of you get phantom pains down there?
If I'm run down, overtired, I get this incredible urge. I feel that I have to have a poop, right NOW.
The only way to get rid of the feeling is to go sit on the loo for 5 minutes and go through the motions. (ha ha, pun not intended)

I love you guys and girls. You're all gutless, but there's not an asshole between you. LOL

Monsieur Le President

I know people get phantom pains from a missing limb, so we get phantom symptoms from our missing bits.
I was told that I'd never make a rugby player whilst I had a hole in my arse.
I can tell you that THAT didn't make any difference!

Monsieur Le President

I know people get phantom pains from a missing limb, so we get phantom symptoms from our missing bits.
I was told that I'd never make a rugby player whilst I had a hole in my arse.
I can tell you that THAT didn't make any difference!

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