Recovery from Reversal Surgery: Wound Care Experiences?


I have just last week had the final part of my reversal surgery and am now fully connected, (which I am very glad about). I was unaware until after the surgery that this meant I would have a small open incision/hole left where my stoma used to be. I am aware this is to allow the wound to heal from the inside out to prevent any type of infection, which makes sense. It has to be re-packed and re-dressed every 2 days (something I find very distressing!). I was wondering if anyone has been in this similar situation and could share their experiences with me as I am finding it to be becoming increasingly painful each time it has to be re-packed, and am unsure whether this is just the normal healing process or whether it is a sign of infection. Today the nurse also said that she noticed the edges of the wound had become 'puckered' and I am also unsure of whether this should be happening! ;<>Any experiences with this kind of thing at all would be greatly welcomed!<>Jennie.

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Hi Jennie,

When my stoma hole was healing over, it was very, very painful for the first few weeks. It was being packed and dressed.

The nurses put this cleaner stuff in the hole, and it felt like someone was pouring acid into me.

They said, "Oh, I've not seen that reaction before."

It did get better the smaller it got and the more flesh grew in the hole. Once it's healed enough from the inside out, it will start to "grow over" from the edges to meet up in the middle.

If it's infected, you will know. It will smell different, not like the normal icky smell!

It will probably hurt like mad all the time too.

My hole was huge. It took 6 weeks before it was closed properly. Eat lots of protein.

Relax, take it easy.


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Thanks for your reply Sam :)

Agh, I was hoping to hear that they may be able to help a bit with the pain while re-dressing, but I guess that was just wishful thinking! I am not looking forward to these next few weeks :(

When you say your hole was 'huge', how big is that? And are you referring to the depth or the width?

(Just so I can get some sort of general idea of how long mine could take to heal)


Past Member


It was 6 cm long, 3 cm wide, and about 3 or 4 cm deep. There is a photo of my scars that was taken fairly recently on my pics.

I did take a few photos of it along the way, but it's probably best I don't put them up here as it's a big gross hahahah.



Hi, I recently had the partial colectomy, and was told I could get it reversed in 3 months. Now the surgeon is saying 6 months is better. I'm really looking forward to getting the bag off, but now I have seen several horror stories about the reversal. One guy said that the pain is worse than the original surgery? Thank you for your post, the hole is not something I had been informed of. So has your pain been that horrible? What about leakage? Which I also read about. I apologize if anything I asked or wrote is inappropriate. I'm new to this.

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I had a reversal done and it was the worst thing I ever had done. I've now got a permanent colectomy. I had no feeling in the back passage due to surgeries.

I know others that have had it done and had no problems, hun.

I hope it goes well for you. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

I live in permanent pain now due to surgeries and complications.



Thanks for your reply and encouragement. As much as I want the reversal, I am really scared of another abdominal surgery. There have been so many complications so far I'm not sure how much more I can take. People around me don't seem to get it. Everyone, including the doctor, tells me how good I am doing, both with healing and taking care of the colostomy bag. Although it is nice to hear in general, the truth is most times I feel like crap. Something is always hurting. And usually I try to hide it from my family who seems to think that I am "milking" it. So this forum is great for me. I've gotten a lot of insights that the doctor didn't share.

I was supposed to get the reversal in December, now he's saying February or March. So I wonder if several years from now I will still be in the same position? Or, get the reversal and end up worse? Guess we'll see.

Anyway, Squeeze43, I think you are gorgeous and I really hope you hope you meet someone. If I was in the UK, I would definitely come give you a squeeze (hug).


Hi Jay,

I understand what you are saying with how you are feeling. It's painful, and I found the first year I felt crappy. My stoma nurse was really good though; she said it would take about a year before my body would fully settle down.

My family didn't and still don't understand how most of the time you don't feel good and the pain you're living with day in and day out.

Remember, I'm always here if you fancy a chat, Jay. We all need someone to talk to that understands everything.

If they are putting back the operation, why? Is what I would be asking, as the longer the bag is on, the harder the reversal. The doctors told me that.

I hope you find out what they are doing with you, hun. Ask the doctor; tell them you want to know everything.

Thinking of you, Jay.




I'm 9 months post-surgery and going for my first reversal consult this week. I have an inverted stoma, so I can't seal the pouch opening. The stool pushes out the barrier, so I have constant contact with fecal matter. I've learned the crusting method of layering stoma powder and skin protectant, and that helps some.

I also hurt when passing seeds or something that I forgot I couldn't eat. The worst pain, though, is from too hard of stool. I don't eat any vegetables, so I control it with stool softeners. I need to be firm enough to direct stool through the pouch, but it's not easy to control.

I take pain medication, and that hardens the stool and creates more pain. I feel down because of pain more often than I feel good. I resolve to start exercising to make me feel better, then something goes wrong, and I'm flat on my back. And that's always right when my grandkids are coming to see me. They're my greatest joy, and I want to interact with them, not be checking on my bag constantly.

I feel that the pain is showing on my face in a hard set of my jaw, trying to bear it. My family doesn't doubt my pain, but I choose not to tell them all the time because I think I should be well by now, and I don't want to be that kind of person.

I don't know what normal is, but it sounds like I've got a long row to hoe. Wish me luck, please.



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