Returning to Work After Ileostomy Reversal Surgery?


After being diagnosed in March with diverticulitis with a hole in my intestine, I was on antibiotics for several weeks and in April had surgery to remove the damaged portion of my intestines. The doctor used a temporary ileostomy. I am now 8 weeks post-surgery and am scheduled to have my ileostomy reversed next week. I guess my biggest concern is how much time I will need off work for this. I have only two and a half weeks left of short-term disability that I can use because of my other two hospitalizations. I work at home and have a desk job so really only need to be able to sit up in a comfy chair in order to work. I'm really hoping to be back to work 2 weeks after my reversal surgery and was wondering if anyone has had the surgery and can give me some good tips or advice as far as returning back to work.


I had my colostomy reversed on 12/4/2018. I was in the hospital for 5 days. After I got home, I took another week off work. I started working from home about two weeks after surgery. I worked from home for about 1-1/2 months, then started going into the office half days for a couple of weeks.

Everyone is different with the healing process. All I can say is plan for at least two weeks off, and if you can work from home, that is great. My supervisor was really cool with my work schedule. I too have a desk job, so working from home and then at the office was not bad at all.

Good luck with the reversal.

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My biggest problem after the reversal was fatigue and running to the bathroom 10-12 times per day. I was still able to do light tasks. After about 4 weeks, I was feeling more normal. I do about 5 runs per day now and feel great.


Hi, you will be okay if you have a home job. They'll have you walking maybe that night, no later than the next as soon as you guys start working. And when you eat, you are going home. I'm sure you are getting laparoscopic, you should be out in three days. Then you can go home and relax. They don't close the ostomy, it will heal from the inside out.


You should be fine within that time frame, particularly as an ileostomy (according to my surgeon) is easier to reverse and less invasive. Less invasive, less to heal.

Comfy chairs are wonderful, but don't forget to walk, perhaps even stand at your desk at intervals and do a little PT. When working, it's easy to go for hours without getting the old blood circulating again, and your circulating blood helps the healing process.

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Thank you all so much for the advice. My reversal was yesterday, and I should be going home this weekend. I had a conversation with my supervisor and told her I can return to working from home after 2 weeks, but if I have to drive to the office, it will likely be 4-6 weeks. They sounded very willing to work with me.

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