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Ostomy Reversal

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:30 pm


I unfortunately had to have an emergency colostomy due to diverticulitis/peritonitis. It was pretty touch and go during surgery! My surgeon approved me for reversal surgery 6 months post-surgery. It has now been 4 months and he is MOVING! So I have to get a new surgeon in the next 2 months! Super stressful.

I'm really nervous about what to expect after the reversal. I have read some horror stories! I'm 27 years old I know that I am very young for this to any of you have some advice about what to expect?

I would appreciate any response! Thanks!

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:44 pm

Hey, don't worry! I was 65 when I had my reversal and it went very well. Same problem with a burst diverticula and perotinitis. 

It's quite routine nowawaydays, but find yourself a surgeon who has done many of them.  At your age, you should recover very quickly.

Good luck!

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Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:56 pm

Seriously ?!?  A surgeon having NO idea he is changing jobs and location over the past four months, all the while continuing to lead you on regarding your reversal?  BE GLAD he's going, he's not been honest with you. But FORCE HIM ( or respectfully request him) to be available via telecommunications for consult with the next surgeon that you go with.  Do your research and look far and wide for someone who SPECIALIZES in the EXACT surgery you want--your reversal.  Then get approval from your insurance and go see them. It may seem an inconvenience, but it is one worth suffering through.  Surgeons passing off their patients after a major surgery to someone else is not uncommon, but it is also usually known well beforehand that this is going to happen. Did he even check to see if your reversal could happen now?  But beforehand,  ifyou asked him if all surgeons in his practice were equal, I'm betting he would have said no. You are NOT a bag of popcorn to be passed amongst other practitioners because it is convenient for him at this moment.  HE is the one who knows exactly how he performed your surgery, if there were any minor errors or complications that he encountered and exactly WHY he cut you the way he did.   NO TWO surgeries are exactly alike, that's why they sign their work inside your body with different marking, styles of knot making and directional cuts.  Take the time to do your research, and file a formal letter of complaint for his continuing to have you believe that HE would be performing your surgery.   Good Luck.


Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:02 pm

PS - I also waited 4 years for the reversal. So don't stress out over the "6 months". You can reverse at any time. Actually waiting longer is sometimes better. My New York surgeons like to wait longer for everything to heal internally. Go to Atlanta or some other major city to get it done. You will feel as good as new. I did.

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:11 pm

Hey Lyndsey, 

I am 51 years old, and was very active and healthy proior to my rupture. I too just have had reversal due to perforated diverticulitis, with perotinitis.  My rupture was in March of 2016 and the reversal was Nov 2016.  I came through the resection surgery and felt fantastic !  Way beter than the first time.   A couple of days in my body decedided it was not having anything to do with this and I got a ileus for the next 12 days.  That was not fun.  I was determined that I was not getting that  bag back and started doing some yoga moves while laying in the bed. (knees up towards the side of your chest, called the wind removing pose) I needed help by my family to get my knees up there, LOL, but by the end of the day, things started moving.  Ya Hoo!  All went well after that and I was out of the hospital 3 days after the first movement.  If it wasn't for the Ileus all would of been great.  One thing you should do is make sure you walk afterwards,  I did a walk around the hospital halls every hour.  Even with the Ileus I still tried to walk once an hour.  Some walks were longer than others, but as long as you walk a bit, things with heal quicker. I am now 3 months past surgery and I have a partial blockage at the reconection site.  Will be going in on Monday to get it stretched out. It is rare, and is done through a colonoscopy, so no big deal. It has been a rough go, but in the end it is worth it all.   You are young, you will bounce back quickly. 

I too read all the stories posted here and was quite horrified to go through with the surgery, but then I kept thinking people dont post the good stuff, just the bad stuff.  Take all the bad stories with a grain of salt, and keep thinking positive ! Dont worry it is a very routine proceedure now a days.  You have already gone through the rough stuff.  You got this !


Good luck!

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:17 pm

Thanks so much for responding! And I am definitely familiar with the walking around the surgery recovery ward! Fortunately I was at a hospital with an AMAZING nursing staff that would literally come in and say, "You need to get up! Let's go!" And they would joke about having "competition" about laps lol

And you're right, I should trust that I'm strong enough 

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:20 pm

Thanks for responding! And for the input about picking a surgeon. Since my case was an emergency, I got the On Call surgeon and even though he was amazing, he and his Practice don't specialize in colorectal surgery. I was thinking about looking outside of the current practice and your input definitely has helped me with making a decision!

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:27 pm

Yeah, needless to say, I was pissed and still am. And of course it was in a room full of interns so I had to try to keep my cool. I understand that I was an emergency surgery and he was the one On Call that night, but I seriously felt the rug pulled out from under me literally 2 months before what we had planned from the beginning.

Honestly, thank you for understanding my hostility lol

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:43 pm

Find another surgeon.


Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:16 pm

Hi!Lindsey,I had a colostomy for nine months due to colon cancer.I got a reversal & then the learning process started.I had to learn what foods I could eat & those I couldn”t.I”m in my tenth year cancer free.I have in my bathroom thirty rolls of TP. Because on bad days ,You are constantly going.I have always had a large appetite & overeating I learned is a big no no.Here is a great tip Lindsey.Invest in a jar of Zinc Oxide cream which will ease the pain of swollen tissue from multiple BM”s.{Bowel Movements} & rash.

There are also good days my friend & you”ll learn to embrace them.The other night I had half a pizza with only pepperoni & mushrooms & I paid the price with over twenty bm”s.I lost sixteen inches of my colon in the sigmoid region thus the major problem of processing different foods.I love chicken,pasta & rice & I can tolerate these fine in moderation. I always




put mushroom 


put mushroom soup over the rice to make it easier to  

put mushroom soup over the rice 




Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:26 pm

Thanks so much for your advice! I'm definitely going to be as prepared as I can for this next surgery than the first that happened in the middle of the night! Ha. I ended up having about 7 inches of my lower intestines removed

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:31 pm

Sorry Lindsey,I had problems with deleting sentences on my Ipad.Once you get a good routine going you”ll be just fine.Try not to get to overwhelmed Lindsey as patience is much needed along with lots of tolerance.I”m prescribed eight Imodium tabs a day,yes eight.My prescription is for 200 tablets.Keep in mind Lindsey that there are thousands of people worse off than you.I was diagnosed with prostate & colon cancer within three months of each other.I told my surgeons that I”m not to concerned if I don”t make it through eight hours of surgery because at 76 I”ve had a very full life.

   There are so many children in sick kids hospitals everywhere that won”t ever become teenagers so I”ve been very fortunate.Let our ostomates & me know how your doing Lindsey as we are here for you like we are for all of our members.Bye for now Lindsey,Zeppo.{Bill}.

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:58 pm

Hi Lindsey!

i had the same situation with the emergency colostomy due to

diverticulitis attack and infection.  It took over two years to feel strong enough to undergo another major surgery which was the reversal, hernia repair and another stomach issue all at once.  With the right surgical team you'll do great!  I did and am so thankful I went through with it, no problems at all! 

Did I mention I was a 66 year old with an aortic value Replacement?    Yes, at 27 and no other major issues, you should do great!!

Best of luck to you!



Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:32 am

Hi Lindsey,

thanks so much for posting. October 2017 i too had a ruptured bowel due to diverticulitis, and emergency surgery. My surgery was performed in a regional hospital and the surgeons were general surgeons as opposed to specialists.

My stoma is very recessed and I have had many surgical dilatations to stop it from closing. I now self dilate and irrigate. I returned to work 6 days ago, and I'm struggling ( I work 5 weeks on, 5 weeks off in a remote area) 

only yesterday I emailed the colorectal specialist I'm now seeing to practically beg him to bring my reversal forward by a couple of weeks.

thaks to all those who have responded, you are helping multiple people.




Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:57 pm

I am facing reversal soon and of course am a little nervous about it. Just want to thank you for your encouraging words ! Continued good luck to you !

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