This is Larry from New Jersey. I have a support group for us Ostomates.
There are good outcomes with reversals and not-so-good outcomes. Our
group has had a number of requests on reversals... The best thing is to do
your research. Each colostomy or ileostomy is different as is each individual.
We have five members who went through reversals 3 out of the five have
had no problems over the past few (3) years. The others have had some
"situations." One is in a New York hospital as I write this... She called me
yesterday to say she may not be to our meeting.
As I and probably more people will tell you its a personal thing. I have had
my colostomy going on 10 years with no problems -- In the words of that
great baseball catcher, Yogi Berra, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
But I wouldn't call a J-pouch a reversal. I was willing to try a J-pouch but didn't have the room for one due to radiation and surgical scarring. I still have a portion of my rectum too. I thank my surgeon every day (in my mind) for leaving that because when I get "phantom" pain there I can use Anusol cortisone suppositories (and someone else on the website mentioned Cortafoam, which is really good, but expensive).
I would never try to talk someone out of trying a reversal or J-pouch. I think just about anything is worth a try...but know that everyone has to go through a long period of adjustment (physically) to ostomy alternatives - whereas with an ostomy the adjustment is more often psychological and hits a few months down the road. (Hope that made sense).
Good luck on your decision! You'll get a lot of help here. Pam
I have a J pouch and are probably more well read on the subject than most.
The success of the J pouch surgery mainly depends on two conditions. The condition of your rectum and what was the original cause for the removal of the colon.
Be advised there are several J pouch types out there.
One of the problems is due to your own body uniqueness, until after it is done a person simply does not know how they will react to it.
Whatever you decide, pick your surgeon very very carefully. Get the one that takes on the very hard cases that most will not attempt. Someone with loads of experience.
Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. Do tons of reading on everything you can find on the subject. You have to be proactive.
I've just recently got a J-Pouch myself with a loop ileostomy to let it all heal.
Unlike you, I had my entire colon removed due to ulcerative colitis and I was told by the surgeon that with Crohn's patients 9 times out of 10 the patient will develop pouchitis (which is easily controlled with antibiotics and most of the time resolved) but with UC patients like me, it's hard to tell whether the pouch will work and if any problems will arise from it.
Personally pouchitis doesn't phase me because I was so ill before my colectomy. Another thing that can cause problems is personal healing. I have a very very weak immune system so after my j-pouch surgery I got a small absess and I'm still not much better (4 weeks after my surgery). Having the absess also meant that 2 weeks after my big surgery I had to undergo keyhole surgery to clear everything out, and right now I still don't know if the j-pouch will work! Things are looking good at the moment, and it's different for everyone! When I made my choice I weighed up the pro's and con's and made sure I had read stories from successful and unsuccessful surgeries.
If you want to know anymore about the procedure itself or how I'm healing comment on one of my blogs, mail me or find me in the chat room, I hope this helps please don't hesitate to ask me anything!