Colostomy Reversal Experience: Tips and Encouragement


Hi there, I have responded to two mates with questions on this subject so far. All I can say is I had mine done July 1, 2009. I had the takedown on the colostomy, 2 hernias, and what my surgeon said was a 'tummy tuck'. He did extensive surgery on me.

Was in the hospital 5 days until they are sure there are bowel sounds. After I got home, the first few weeks were not the best. Not all my problems were from the surgery though. Two weeks after the surgery, they took out the staples, told me I could shower every day and just change the dressings. Of course, wear the elastic girdle belt too.

My problems from the surgery were because he did so much of it that there were a lot of stitches. I went in at 6 weeks post-op, and he took out those stitches, and since then I am WONDERFUL. Still have to wear the girdle, but that's okay. Any pain I may have had is completely gone. Still not lift or do heavy-duty stuff.

The throne is used daily, and I am using Activa with fiber. It is doing a great job without having to use laxatives, softeners, etc. It tastes good too, 1 little carton a day or every other day.

I go back to my surgeon next week, hopefully he may release me to bowl. League starts in September.

Please mates, if your surgeon wants to reverse and you are thinking about it, it is the best decision I made. Believe me, I was scared shitless, I have COPD and the thought of going under the anesthetic and the knife had me petrified for weeks. I figured I would probably die on the table, but the Lord knew it was not my time yet and He is keeping me around for quite a while longer. The time between my temporary colostomy and the surgery was 9 1/2 months for those interested. The surgeon thought it was a good time to do it.

Good luck to all you mates who go for it.

Past Member

Hi, thanks for the information. It's lovely to get an insight into how you have been and how you're progressing. I guess all surgeries are different, and some react better than others, but we all have one thing in common: we are all apprehensive. In my case, I'm scared of all this. I don't want to feel unwell and sore from the operation, but it's something that has to be done.

I'm so happy for you that you're on the road to recovery and seem to be recovering very well with no problems. Stay strong and focused; you will be just fine. Anyway, take care. Speak soon, Pippa.

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Question, I understand why you would be reluctant to go under the knife with COPD.
However, did the COPD play any part in your intestinal problems? If so, how so?
Thank you


Thanks for asking about COPD. It did not play a part. I was in the hospital for another reason and after about 5-6 days of all these medications, steroids, etc., I developed 2 small holes in my intestines. They did an emergency colostomy and then 3 days later one of the surgeons came in and opened some stitches. The main surgeon came in and took one look and saw that it was all infected. Peritonitis and sepsis had set in. They again had to rush me back into surgery. I was in the hospital over a month last October.

Sent me home in November and I could not even get out of bed or walk across the room without a walker. I had home nursing for over 2 1/2 months to take care of the wound and also give me high doses of antibiotics intravenously. My infectious disease doctor finally released me after 2 months as being infection-free.

After being thoroughly tested for heart, lung, blood, etc. prior to this surgery, everything was a go. The anesthesiologist was fully aware of my condition and my lungs were stable enough to do the surgery.

As I said before, I was petrified.

Now I am 8 weeks out of the reversal, just saw my surgeon this morning. He said everything is great, I can eat anything, I can start bowling, resume exercising, etc. I have a nice flat stomach, bowel movement is regular (using Activia with Fiber).

My best to you and Pippa, and keep me posted.


My husband had his colostomy reversal on July 29th. He had it for 4 months due to a ruptured diverticulitis. He was only in the hospital for 4 days and is so thankful he had it done. His second surgery was so much easier than his first, but the second time, he went into it being well, as the first surgery, he was really ill. His surgeon started him on a new drug "Entereg" and it was wonderful. His first post-op day, he had bowel sounds and was passing gas. Research has shown use of Entereg shortens the hospital stay by a day or two because it speeds up the bowel "waking up" ....and it did for him. I would certainly ask your surgeon about it. Good luck to all those facing a reversal!!

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I had my colostomy done in March, was very ill from all the antibiotics. I am due to have a reversal in July or August, and am scared to death because I have read so many stories about reversals making you so sick. I hope this does not happen to me. I had a really hard time accepting the colostomy, now I am more comfortable, but again scared of what is ahead of me. Any words of encouragement? Please...

For every one negative story about reversals, I am sure there are dozens of success stories. If you trust your surgeon and he/she is encouraging the procedure, by all means go for it; but make sure you get answers to all your questions. I declined a second opportunity for a reversal several years ago because my surgeon could not build a decent-sized pouch and I would have to have frequent BMs. Not for me! The best way to treat fear is to become informed, and that's what you're doing now by seeking our input. Good luck!


I had an ileostomy reversal on 2-1-12 after having an emergency ileostomy on 12-8-10 and losing my entire large intestine. I have done VERY well to date... it has been about 3 1/2 months now and I am recovering better than I ever thought I would! There are several others here who have had successful outcomes with their reversals as well... Dave_Canada, Fable3, Dandare, Patrice, Beaner, Bluharley, Biddydi (her son)... you can check out some of our previous posts to see the details but we are all doing great!

It is natural to feel anxious about another surgery and yes there are some reversals that don't go well for whatever reason... I know that I am VERY THANKFUL that I did have the opportunity for a reversal and recovery has been consistent so far.

Please keep us posted on your progress!



Hi Betty. I agree with Darla. Check out some of the forum posts regarding reversals from 2012. I have posted as well as Dave, Darla, Fable, and others. I found everyone to be very helpful, and they have eased a lot of my fears. Also, I think there is a lot more positive than negative out there. I had a colostomy in Oct. 11 and the reversal in Jan. 12. I was very excited and couldn't wait to get it done. The recovery can be difficult, but it is very doable and certainly worth it. I am doing well and hopefully will continue to progress over the next few months. It is a journey. Please continue to post and ask specific questions. After going through this, most of us are no longer modest!

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