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Ostomy reversal questions.

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:51 pm

it is 13 months since I had my colostomy. My GP asked about me getting reversal. The surgeon said they'll discuss the details after I get a colonoscopy. So have people prepped for the colonoscopy and is it hard wiith colostomy and I imagine you have to do both stoma and anus? But not sure? Totally clueless on that!

about the reversal, I was told it was major surgery and even bigger than my original operation when my intestines burst and they did emergency surgery and I got a colostomy. This throws me into fear. I have heard of one person that had a successful reversal, he was younger than I my friends brother. But I do not read a lot on here about successful reversals. What are your thoughts or knowledge on this subject.? I hate not knowing more about this stoma stuff. I have no nurse, they sent me home with the hollister 2 piece and been with it ever since. I am not sure if I have a hernia, the area is like a mound though. Today it seemed like it was backed up a little and then felt discomfort on the left backside opposite my stoma. I think I ate too many blueberries. I use a large ace bandage as a wrap just to flatten it out, the briefs and wraps I tried for this specifically are too bulky the bandage seems to be better but they get stretched out quickly  so not ideal.

anyway I have a hard time editing on here so maybe if anybody has responses to what I wrote so far about reversal and colonoscopy I would really appreciate it!

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:29 am


Hi. I imagine they will consult with you about the reversal. They will reconnect your bowel. There are different types of stoma and some colostomy for instance are specifically temporary or loop but others are not but still capable of reversal if the main colon is intact. I had an ileostomy as a child and it was reversed. I currently have a temporary colostomy. It is worth ensuring that the circumstance or illness which led to the colostomy is sufficiently addressed - you mention the bursting bowel business. 

I have spoken to my own GP about this aspect of reversal; as I would not wish to have a colostomy forever. It is worth not being indecisive about it if you want one but on the other hand I think one must be cautious not to get a failed reversal. Get someone to suggest some suitable literature on the matter to you; it is worth knowing what they are about, the surgeons and the like - else you are a ship in a gale as it were.


Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:39 am


  I have an ileostomy so I'm not sure I'll be of much help but maybe some other members can chime in here.  There are several posts about reversals.  If you do a search at the top of the screen with the key words colostomy, hernia and reversal, you'll see all the past posts.  Below is and older post on the subject.

  Anyways, I'm sure you'll have to prep for the working part of your intestines to your stoma.  You might want to get a beer bong type tube and funnel or something to that affect when you plan to do the prep.  I might be talking out of my arse but it sounds like you'll need something like that to void all of the waste the prep cleans out of your intestines.  I believe they make temporary longer pouches strictly for preps.

  As far as your rectum goes, I don't think you have to worry about prepping there.  And I would guess that they will scope both your rectum and stoma.

  Anyone else want to give any input on this subject so I don't sound like a complete idiot?


Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:49 am

Hi! I'm here, I'm here! I've been distracted, trying not to whine on here so much...

My name is Charlottte and I'm in California too! And I've had a reversal a year ago last May, so thats 15 months ago I guess.

I had a bowel obstruction and perforation and woke up with a colostomy 10 days later after becoming septic and having complete renal failure. Those are the only details I know. I don't know how much bowel was removed or anything like that.

I only had my colostomy for 10 months because my stoma was inverted and I couldn't get the bags to adhere without leaking and I then discovered I'm allergic to adhesive so my skin under the bag was constantly raw and sometimes bleeding nce I had to change my bag often 3 times a day. My surgeon had tried to fix it in the first operation and I had stoma repair surgery 3 months later. It was so iverted that my body tried to heal the site between bowel movements and it would get stretched out again and bleeding.

(talk about not being able to edit! Tonite I can't delete a letter and then insert the correct one without erasing the following letters and I can't find a settings control to fix it. I'm sorry I have to just go forward and try not to make mistakes)

So it was my surgeon's idea to bump up my reversal date. I thought I had to lose 20 lbs. and wait a year before we would even discuss it. They tried to schedule my colonoscopy just prior to reversal surgery so I would only have one prep and go under anaesthesia once but they were unable to work it out with their schedules. It was a good thing too.

They only had me fasting for 12 hours before and liquids only for the night before the procedure and they said I only needed to drink half of the Golytely because of the stoma. He did scope from anus to stoma and from stoma to small intestines. He was unable to use his equipment and had to find a pediatric scope to fit in my stoma.

He found that I was healed enough for the reversal but he found stools in the lower intestines. Isn't that gross! So for the surgery I had heavy duty prepping to do. I had liquid diet for 2 days before 24 hours fasting. The night before surgery I drank a bottle of magnesium caltrate (an instant laxative) and i had to usea bisacodyl enema 4 hours before surgery (in the middle of the night.) I couldn't find that kind of enema anywhere in town and finally I ordered it from Amazon. Lol!

I also had to have an EKG and be cleared by that test for surgery. Then of course the pre op blood tests cleared me for surgery in general. Seems like there was something else but it must have been insurance which seemed to take a long time since all else was in "GO" mode.

You are lucky that you've been warned that take down surgery will be harder than the first. I didn't have any help when I came home be cause they thought I should be an old hat about it since it was the second surgery. They were so wrong! I was in hospital for 10 days after the first time. Then I went to a rest home for 3 weeks before coming home. At home I had visiting nurses 3 days a week for 6 weeks and I had to have a committed schedule of help at home from family members before they would release me from the rest home.

When I had the reversal I went home after 4 days in the hospital. I had no help at home at all. I live with my 91 year old mother and I normally take care of her but I didn't know I would be back to work with her the day I came home from the hospital! I couldn't even hire anyone to do housework and I finally laid it out for my mom that we were on our own and that I couldn't do much so she was gonna have to rough it. I'm fortunate that she still does most of her personal stuff but I have to do bedroom and bathroom accidents and laundry, meals and cleaning. She was ok with it and even wanted to help me with my bandages.

I was supposed to get laser surgery with robotics but I had so much scar tissue with heavy bleeding that I woke up with slices criss crossed over my whole stomach. One of them is at the bikini level and that is very unfortunate now because my stomach folds right over the scar and its still red and raw because of it. And of course the crossing point of the vertical scar forms a dimple right in there. Sad.

Think about it, you will have your abdominal muscles sliced through again as well as fresh sutures in your bowel reattachment as well as having your stoma site sewn up. If you don't have complications you will probably only have a maximum of 6 days hospital rest. I was so weak from blood loss they couldn't get me to walk the halls like they wanted.

I'm going to stop here because I think I've answered your questions and I know how I go on and on. You may want to know about recuperation but I'll save that for another time.

Good luck,


P.S. I'm happy that its over but I don't kow for sure it won't ever happe again. Make sure you're well rested before surgery ok?

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:22 pm

Had my pre-op EKG and H&P last week. Colonoscopy is scheduled for two days from now. Liquid diet tomorrow and start bowel prep after work tomorrow.  Scope isn't until after noon on Friday so I get to do half the prep the night before and the other half the morning of. Still trying to gain 5-10 more pounds before reversal on September 8. Then try to find a new job while I'm recuperating.  Thanks to all who gave advice.  TTFN!

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:33 am


How are you doing? How did it go? I so hope you're feeling well. It's been about 10 days right?

Best Wishes and Get Well Soon,




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