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Diverticulitis, burst intestine, colostomy reversal

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:35 pm

i recently wrote to see if anyone had experience with colostomy reversal. Thank you to those that replied. It was both informative and scary. I didnt mention that I had bouts of diverticulitis for several years that was always treated with antibiotics but in June '16 I ended up in e.r. And only after several tests did they find the burst and do emergency surgery. I woke up with the colostomy, the big scar and a wound vac. I did have n home care for the wound 3x a week but not much on education of colostomy. I was given the Hollister snap on 2 piece and that's what I've stayed with except I went to a smaller circumference of the plastic snap on ring as it was digging in stomach when I'm in sitting position. I usually wear a huge ace bandage that I call a "wrap" to go around the bag to cover up the disk outline. It's hard sometimes if there's output because it's flattened out, but I have not had any leaks. The only reason I had any idea take down was any worse than first surgery because I had such fear and asked a lot of questions. I am still confused with the whole thing because what if I have the reversal and I get diverticulitis again. I asked if I had dietary restrictions like no nuts, seeds etc. but was told I could eat anything with the colostomy. That was the surgeon PA not a gastroenterologist. I don't eat a lot of nuts and no popcorn. It is hard to edit this thing so I can only write from this line,I have pretty much eaten everything but Does wanyone know about diet and the nuts seeds thing with an ostomy? much eaten everything 

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:10 pm

Hi Newstom -

My ostomy is a result of the same thing as yours - a blown intestine with leakage into the abdominal cavity - 2 surgeries and 16 days in the hospital. This was over 4 yrs. ago. I avoid anything with seeds as they can get into those little pockets in the intestine and cause problems. I've eaten popcorn on occasion with no problem, and eat nuts on a regular basis. I've had no problem with diviticulitis since the surgery. I would think it could possibly recur but have had no recurrance. As to reversal surgery, I could have it done but have chosen not to. I was 70 when this happened. I decided to "save" anymore surgeries for "must haves".  I can and have lived with the ostomy with no problems, doing whatever I want to. Personally, I have not regretted not having the reversal surgery. My Dr. said it would be just as major as the ostomy and maybe more involved because of scar tissue. I don't know your age, and that could be a factor. Had I been 15-20 yrs. younger, I might have had it done. It's a personal choice. All my family and friends know about my ostomy and it's no big deal. Wouldn't matter to me anyway - it's my body and was my decision. Best of luck to you!


Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:24 am

Hello Newstom.

Thanks for an interesting post.

Being vegetarian, nuts and seeds are an integral part of my daily diet and I have had no problems at all with them. I eat more or less what I like but I did not have diverticulitis prior to the stoma so I'm not sure how that would alter the situation. At first I had similar reservations about certain types of food becasue I did not want a blockage so I used to put it all in the blender to chop it into dust. It did not take long before it dawned on me that I could be doing the same thing with my teeth by chewing thoroughly before swallowing so the blender is no longer part of my routine. It was mainly for peace of mind rather than any physical benefit.

I made the same choice as Texasmade inasmuch as I decided not to go for reversal, simply because I adjusted to the stoma quickly and it is much more manageable than what was going on before.

Theses things ae always a matter of personal choice and I hope that whatever you decide, works out for you.

Best wishes


Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:45 am

Hi Newstom, 

i don't remember if I responded to your first post or not but scared as I was, I had colostomy reversal in April along with incisional hernia repair and stomach reconstruction. Luckily I had a great surgical team and think that is the key for successful reversal.  I've read numerous accounts of reversals where the site was left open to heal on it's own and many seem to have complications with that.  My surgeons closed all incisions and I have had no problems what so ever.  I have not regretted having the reversal , in fact I'm so grateful that I was a candidate for it and that I had such great doctors.


Best of Luck which ever you choose,

Fraidy Cat

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