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Ileostomy reversal success story.

Posted by Melb_guy, on Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:49 pm

Hi all!

I am a 48 yo male and am one week post ileostomy takedown. I had a temp ileostomy for 5 months due to a bowel resection for diverticulitis. I read many horror stories online in my quest for information and i have to say I couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out.

I had my surgery on Feb 19 at 8:30 am and by midnight I could feel my bowels starting up.
The sounds were incredible as the old boy kicked into gear with minimal discomfort.
Soon after this I passed gas for the first time in 5 months and it felt great! At 3:30am I had my first BM. It was pretty watery but no pain and I was so happy I had to call the nurse and tell her the news!
Two hours later I had my second BM which was much the same as the first.
At 7am the surgeons did their rounds and asked me if I had passed gas. When I told them I had already had 2 BM's they were amazed! At this point I was on a clear liquid diet, so they upgraded me to light meals to see if my stomach could handle it. I ate a sandwich and had some mash potato for dinner. I took things very slowly. I had a lot of gas the second day and no BM's. The next morning I had my 3rd BM around 6am and when the surgeons saw me an hour later they said I was fine to go home.
Only one full day in hospital. Amazing!! When I got home I had my first solid, pain free BM and this has continued to be the case to this day. Some constipation now and then but nothing too bad. I am having anywhere between 2 to 5 BM's a day. There is some tenderness around my anus which is normal since it's been out of action for such a long time.
They left the stoma site wound open, so it would heal from the inside out. Its about 2cm deep and packed with gauze and covered in waterproof dressing. There is minimal pain around the wound site which I manage with paracetamol and the occasional oxycodone. I have daily nurse visits to change the dressing.(We have amazing healthcare here in Australia!)

Overall, this has turned out so much better than I ever thought possible. Life without that dreaded bag is great so far and I look forward to healing and leaving the past 8 months behind me. To say this period of time has been life changing is an understatement!
I hope that somebody finds some encouragement in my story.
Remember, things can work out for you better than you may think.

If anyone has any questions I'd be pleased to answer them as best I can.

Thanks for reading and all the very best to you all.

Reply by Heidi92, on Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:24 pm

Hi Melb_guy

Thanks for sharing this.  I am planning to have a reversal in May or June. Hope it goes as well as yours.  It is nice to hear good news about a reveral for a change.  Hope you continue to improve!


Reply by Melb_guy, on Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:51 pm

Hi Heidi,

Thanks for your comment. I was really nervous going into the op as all I could find online were the worst case scenarios.

I hope my post has given you some encouragement. All the very best of luck with your reversal!

As my doctor said, "Just relax and go with the flow."

Pete (Melb_guy)

Reply by Mary Ann, on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:58 pm

Just from reading here, reversal for ostomy from diverticulitis is usually more successful than reversal for other issues

I would like to see what the real numbers are, I will post a poll

I had diverticulitis with stricture, abcess, leaking into my gut in August of '13, got a colostomy and major antibiotics, tried to do a reversal in Nov '13, failed because of new strictures, converted it to ileostomy.  Changed to a Colorectal surgeon at that point, got a resection to re arrange things in May of '14. Finally after many tests to make sure everything was in shape for a takedown had a takedown in Nov '14. 4.5 months later everything is looking up, gone from 1 imodium every 3 days to a half a one every few weeks.  2-3 bowel movements a day but totally under control. After years of problems before my surgery, without relief, after my surgery I had bags that would not stick and kept leaking, now I am normal, I am eating what I want.  I feel wonderful

Reply by Cent4u, on Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:07 am

Finally someone's with a positive surgery!  I've had my ileostomy since August and I can't wait till February now to have mine!  All I've read is horror stories about reversal surgery!  My ileostomy is from diverticulitis too.  Thank you for giving me hope!  

Reply by Heidi92, on Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:46 am

Hi Cent4u...I just had my ileostomy reversed on October the twenty-third.  I am happy to report that everything went great!  I was in the hospital for eight days due to nausea and vomiting.  Finally, five days post op I was able to eat solids.  As for bowel movements, I had many incontinent diarrhea episodes the first week.  I now have one to two “normal” BM’s a day.  I had very little pain with this operation.  I have been very blessed!!  Except for being a little fatigued, I feel great!  If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Good luck! Heidi

Reply by ShirleyR45, on Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:28 am

What an awesome story thank you for sharing your experience. I had an ileostomy placed 3/16 after a complication with resection surgery for Crohns disease.  Planning a reversal August 2016. Scared to death. 

Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:32 am
My reversal has yet to be scheduled, as I am finishing chemo, then 6 weeks of radiation. It will be scheduled about 90 days afterwards. I am more anxious about the reversal than the initial placement of my ilostomy, named Jake. Like you, I have decided to make the best of this. We both could be hanging with tree roots and worms.
I am not ready to go into a pine box.
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