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Colostomy Reversal Experiences

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:56 am

Hi. Two weeks ago I had my colostomy reversal surgery and wonder if others out there would be willing to share their experiences with me on pain, any issues after surgery (what I should look out for) and any long-term issues as a result of having the colostomy or reversal surgery. I only had my colostomy for 9 weeks before the reversal (got it early Jan 2017 as a result of emergency surgery to address a burst colon from diverticulitis. Thank you so much.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:59 pm

Hi, my reversal failed due to colon growing back together where tumor was removed. Had complete blockage for 3 weeks. No one would listen. Anyway, have permanent colostomy with prolapsed stoma. Don't think you have to worry! Good luck! Steve

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:00 pm

Hi k.carl,

I had a colostomy reversal in early December last year (2016) , about 12 weeks after first getting it due to a tear in colon from diverticulitis also. It's been 4 months now and everything has been just fine. During the first 5 or 6 weeks, I would get occasional, sharp-sudden nerve like pains. This was just inner healing still occuring from them poking around and doing all that work in there. I also over did it around week 5 or so when I went out to shovel snow, while telling myself I wouldn't over do it! Apparently you can more easily get a hernia... so please do take the warnings about not lifting anything heavy seriously. Overall, the recovery was 90% within the first 10 weeks. The tissue around where my colostomy was swollen/bulky looking and be quite hard to the touch and would be sore to press on. It still a little tender/sensitive now, 4 months later, but only slightly. Getting my stiches out was a bit sore/gnarly feeling just becuase the skin began to grow over them. Nothing terrible, but I was a little surprised when the Doc took them out and felt a bit nausiated at that.

As for food, I quickly re-doscovered they joy of eating food without contemplating seeing it again later! That set me off, stuffing myself a little too much. I gained back weight I had lost while waiting for the reversal, as I did not eat much / feel like eating much.

Most of all, more than anything, I was relieved it was over. Knowing I had a reversal coming made me very unaccepting of my condition. That is, I never tried to become acustomed to having a colostomy & bag because it felt like a handicap to me. I counted off every single day until that reversal and then when it was done, felt like I was returned to normal. I got my life back. And a new appreciation for it too.

Hope that there is something in all this for you. God bless and God Speed your recovery. Welcome to the reversal club! If this ever happened to me again, I could handle it much, much better. Its a shocking experience for your average Joe (or Jason:)


Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:06 pm


I had my reversal ten months after emergency colostomy due to bowel perforation caused by blockage.

The reversal was May 2016 and I have just now gotten my wound closed because I contracted a MRSA infection at the site.

It took a long time to get diagnosed and I even had an incisional hernia repaired in the meantime.

Pay attention to weight limits! Try not to lift any more than 5lbs for at least 2 months no matter what they say. Yes, it is very difficult to maintain but try your hardest.

They release you after 6 weeks but I felt nowhere near healed at 6 weeks. I'm retired and I was so glad I didn't have to go back to a job earlier than felt like.

In emergency surgery we had all our intestines and organs shifted around and man handled so reversal is easier in that respect.

I had complete kidney failure and died a couple times during my first surgery. I was scheduled to have robotics perform my takedown but because of scar tissue and excess bleeding I had another full surgery.

I knew I had to produce a bowel movement before I could go home and that scared me a lot. It also scared me that I had to get up and walk to the bathroom when it came. I was not getting up and down well at all.

I was in the hospital for only 5 days and at home I take care of my mom so I knew it wouldn't be easy.

My support system felt I should be up and running when I wasnt.  Instead of begging for help I told mom she's going to have to do for herself because I just didn't have it in me.

With the other issues I had I feel like I'm just now challenging myself into regular activities. I've been symptom free for only 2 weeks.

I was diagnosed as a MRSA carrier in my pre op visit. I didn't know what that meant and I didn't get any answers when I asked about it. I should have had at least one run of antibiotics prior to surgery. I could very well have infected myself not knowing what I was dealing with.

In an effort to protect my mom I learned that we couldn't share the same bathroom and I had to keep our clothes separate and of course not share towels. I had to use antibacterial soap to bathe in and used diluted bleach on the opened wound.

I couldn't find a antibacterial shampoo so I added eucalyptus and tee tree oil to my own. I found out how hard it is to keep sterile in a home environment. Knowing I'd had the infection for months and it was late to be trying.

Back to reversal. You have to learn the new you. I used to have a b.m. every 3-4 days so when I didn't go for 5-6 days I didn't even notice. I now take stool softeners twice a day and Miralax once a day.

I'm often so loose that I don't notice I've had an accident! I really noticed that my "go" sensation down there was at a different spot and I can't explain that any better, sorry.

I think my organs are pretty much back in place now so I know more that what and where I feel in my abdomen is real now. It's been ten months again.

Im dragging this out, I'm sorry. I'm trying to remember any important stuff but maybe that says alot, I'm having trouble remembering!

Good Luck! It was worth it! I'm glad to be alive!


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