Diverticulitis, Burst Intestine, Colostomy Reversal

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 

1 Replies:
Diverticulitis, Burst Intestine, Colostomy Reversal

Ileostomy Reversal

Had my Ileosootmy for 4 months now. Life is getting easier, as well as it can be, but I was told I can have it reversed after a year.

I want to know if anybody else has been through the reversal process, and whetherr they felt it wass an improvement to their everyday life, or wished they had not bothered.

Considering the contents, I was wondering  if this caused problems once they had lost their bag?

Is it the case that if you need to go to the toilet, its a cse of I mut go now in orde to prevent them having an ‘accident’?

0 Replies:
Ileostomy Reversal

Stoma Reversal

Hi All,

Just a quick post to assure those who are in 2 minds about stoma reversal.

I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in June 2016 and succesfully had an operation to remove my left kidney, which was completely infected with cancer.During my operation they uncovered and found further cancer that had spread to my colon and my pancreas which parts of the infected areas were  also removed.It was quite a complicated operation and this lasted for about 7 hours where different surgeons were involved to operate on different parts of my infection.Following my op, I was left with a stoma.Further more i had fistula drains on my front and rear parts of my stomach to remove “unwanted” fluids to drain out of my body. I always wanted a reversal of my stoma as I have a very active and sporty lifestyle but this reversal cannot be performed until my pancreas had completely dried out.Patience was the game!

In Jan 2017 they removed my first drain fistula, then succesfully removed the second one in April 17.

An appointment had been recieved to carry out my reversal and this was done in July 20th 2017.The operation went smoothly and lasted for some 1 1/2 hours. I was discharged from hospital 3 days later where I am making a speedy recovery.I was consulted that bowel surgery is one of the most complex as your body learns to discover that you are no longer carrying a stoma bag.The first 2 days I suffered extreme diarrhoea motions as the bowels recognised and pass motion through the normal channel.

2 weeks on and my bowels have settled and timely motions have set a schedule.Altough a little sore from the  operation as the healing proccess takes place,this was a walkover in comparison to my first operation.


The staff at the General were all absolutely brillaint and gave me full support.

I would recommend anybody who are in similar circumstance as me that a reversal is not as daunting as it first seems.

There is a lot of support from staff and Macmillan who have been fantastic to support me through this trauma.I was also re asuured from posts on this website who underwent the same procedures as me.

As they “you are not alone” to fight cancer and this was very comforting to know,just how much help there is out there.As for NHS,I truly appreciate what they do and just how much they are dedicated to their jobs,form the surgeons right down to the staff after care!!

I do hope fellow ostomates find this helpful and wish you all a succesful fight.

I have attached 2 photos of my stomae reversal, at the day of my reversal and 2 weeks on.(Only view if can bear this)

 day of operation


 2 weeks on






0 Replies:
Stoma Reversal

Possible Reversal In Two Weeks. Two Big Questions.

Good afternoon,

I have quite a dilema that some of you may or may not have read about in my recent blog post.

Last week, after over four months since my emergency colectomy, I was made aware of the fact that my surgeon gave me a “closed mucous fistula” without warning me. It was meant to reveal itself after about four weeks, though I never knew that. It was also meant to be just three pin-sized openings in the pubic incision, but mine revealed itself during a colitis flare up in the rectal stump, and so it has burst that scar open and I now have an opening that is half as long as that scar line. The surgeon said that because I’m booked in for my J-pouch surgery on the 23rd of November, that he’s not going to do anything with it, and I am now forced to wear two bags: one for my ileostomy and one that is a disc-shaped bag filled with absorbant pads. The small bag over the wound needs to be changed twice a day, minimum, simply because of the amount of blood and mucous it produces.

My dilema is that I have only just started back at university two weeks ago, and so this is quite a big stress on top of that. I have until the 31st of August to drop subjects. My mum has called around to different departments while I have been busy studying to find out what subjects I could do externally as my surgeon has told me that he can move the J-pouch surgery forward to either the 15th of August or the 22nd. This would mean that I need to pull out of university and do three subjects externally and one over the summer semester if I am to remain on track time-wise for my course. It’s not a bad option, but I’m very worried that if I pull out of uni and have the surgery now that I’ve got the next seven months of living with myself. By that I mean that I won’t have much reason to leave the house, and if I force myself to leave the house to do things I’ll feel like I’m just going out for the sake of it. That’s exactly how I felt during my four months of being at home after my colectomy. Because my first attempt at my first semester only lasted under two weeks because of colitis and emergency surgery, I have never been at uni long enough to make any friends. All of my close school friends are either at a different uni or have moved to a different state. With this wound/fistula, I feel like I’ve been taken back to the very beginning with the ileostomy, trying to work out the best way of changing it and cleaning it, as well as having the stress of fitting it into a daily (or twice daily, in this case) routine. Then there’s the worry of either bag leaking while I’m at uni. 

On the one hand, I deal with a physical problem by having surgery, but likely create mental challenges for a few months, but on the other hand I can deal with the mental challenges by staying at uni, but struggle with the physical challenge of managing two bags. I seem to be in uncharted waters here, as Googling anything to do with this yields very limited results. What would you do in my decision? I can’t make a decision about what to have for lunch, never mind having major surgery and messing around with my uni schedule.

As for my second question, are there any unmentioned complications that came with your J-pouch? I have found this mucous fistula incredibly frustrating because my surgeon has brought up the rectal stump and the discharge that comes with it many times, but never mentioned that it will most likely open up my incision and ooze from there as well. Is there anything that wasn’t mentioned to you by any of your medical professionals that you wish was?

I apologise, I have posted plenty of information to take in. I’ve had a rather stressful weekend trying to work out the best option. They both seem as bad as each other.

Thanks for any guidance,


1 Replies:
Possible Reversal In Two Weeks. Two Big Questions.

Upcoming Reversal

Trying to keep myself calm prior to reversal. Surgery is scheduled for September 8. Start pre-op preps next week. Have to go for a colonoscopy in 2 weeks. I had one a long time ago, before colostomy,  and it wasn’t too bad. But now I’m scared to pieces. The prep alone is scaring me. Amy advise?  Never had to do an enema before. Have to drink surprep too.

1 Replies:
Upcoming Reversal

Ostomy Reversal Questions.

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!

0 Replies:
Ostomy Reversal Questions.

American Expat Expecting Colostomy Reversal In "developing" Country – Scared To Death

Hi everyone,

I am a US expat who has lived for the past 14 years in adeveloping “2nd /3rd” world country in Latin America (Costa Rica).  I had an emergency colostomy (Hartmann’s?) in August 2016 (performed at a public hospital here in Costa Rica) after suffering a perforated colon from previously undiagnosed diverticultis.  I am a 37 year old male.

I have no other known health problems besides a nasty 3-pack a day cigarette habit and drinking far more red wine than is healthy.  

At any rate, I am on the (Costa Rican) government waiting list now to have my colostomy reversed. 

Long story short, Costa Rica has a nationalized healthcare system for citizen and legal foreign residents (of which I am and have been for 14 years).  I was born and raised in the US, and maintain US citizenship, but I do not have insurance in the US and basically am not eligable for insurance in the US as I understand it because I have spent so much time away from the US that I am no longer considered a “resident” of my home state in the US (or any other state for that matter).  So basically, I HAVE to get the reversal surgery here in Costa Rica as part of the public health system here.

I had no serious complications following my initial operation in August 2016, so I like to believe that the doctors/surgeons here know what they are doing, but there are things that are ‘disconcerting’ about medical care standards here compared to the US.  (For instance, for my 12 days in ICU recovery following my surgery, it was in a small room with 6 other patients WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING in 95F heat… another recovering patient next to me who was having blood transfusions or something after suffering a near-fatal machete attack -not kidding- would constantly spill blood all over the floor next to my bed that was rarely cleaned up, restrooms that smelled so bad of urine you literally had to hold your breath in there, etc.).  

So here I am, contemplating having reversal surgery in that same hospital.  

I am hoping to hear from either other people who live in ‘developing’ countries who have had reversal surgery, and/or doctors/medical professionals who can tell me how ‘safe’ it might be to have this procedure done in a public hospital in a developing country (specifically, Costa Rica).  I found out after my first operation that the doctor that operated on me to give me the colostomy in the first place (and who would be the one to do the reversal), literally does everything from extremely minor surgeries (literally from surgically removing growths on people’s skin, to amputating fingers and limbs, to gastro surgery, and who knows what else.  In meeting him, he sometimes comes off as so forgetful, unorganized and just plain medium-IQ and/or goofy that you would think he was a low-dollar car mechanic, yet this was the same guy who operated on me during the emergency in August and everything was fine.  

The bottom line is, to be honest, I have a severe ‘death phobia.’ – I almost don’t care how arduous the recovery might be, as long as I DON’T DIE.  

Can anyone give some feedback?  Does anyone have some realiable statitics on MORTALITY (death) during or following colostomy reversals in developing countries like Costa Rica? (Doesn’t seem this information is readily available here).

Tambien hablo español si alguien de latinoamerica quiere responder en español.

Bottom line is, I’m scared to death.  In general, in most areas, this country tends to run a few decades behind the US in many ways, so I’m also curious historically, say what the mortality rate for a colostomy reversal in the US would have been say, in the 1970’s or 1980’s, because that is probably about what we’re dealing with here.

Thank you all for your stories about having both successful and non-successful reversals, I really appreciate all of you who share your experiences.  I know I am in a sort of unique situation but I imagine I’m not the only one?



3 Replies:
American Expat Expecting Colostomy Reversal In "developing" Country – Scared To Death