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Last summer I had an emergency colostomy. I had a long recovery and a bad reaction to the anesthesia, so am hesitant to have reattachment surgery. Has anyone had this second surgery? What can I expect?

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I too had an emergency colostomy last summer I also was very sick afterwards . Partly this is due to the nature of the operation . I went into hospital on the 4/4/07 for the reversal . I let the anethesthetist how sick I was last time and they adjusted the amount and type of anesthetic that I had . I was up and about on the same day hardly any pain and no sickness . Its day 7 now and apart from being a bit bloated I feel fine . Hope this helps .
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I had to have an emergency colostomy as well. I had an ostomy bag for about a month and then had the reversal surgery. It was pretty painful, but they had me on a lot of meds and I spent three days in the hospital recovering. It's been about three months since my reversal surgery and I still have some cramping after I eat. Kind of like I can feel my food digesting. Also my food digests immediately after eating, so I feel like I have to run to the bathroom constantly. It's been a bit of a struggle, but when I think about having that ostomy bag attached to my side, I'm glad it's gone! If you have any more questions or need to talk feel free to email me _[removed]_

Good luck! :-)
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I had my reversal in Jan 08 and I have had problem with frequent BM since that time. It does not seem to matter what I eat it just seems to pass through quickly it is known as "short gut syndrome". I have also gained back the 40 pounds I lost plus 25 more.I find it strange I have gained weight when everything just runs through me.I was told to expect atleast 1 year to recover or atleast that much time for your body to self regulate itself to what you will end up with. Hope this helps
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My wife have emergency colostomy today,she has rectal c.Surgery was scheduled for 25.9 but onc send her today for surgery.Surgeon say that he must do colostomy first and on some other occasion he remove tumor because her constipation getting acute.Have we reason to fear,is it rutine in such cases.
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I had a colostomy reversal three months ago. Food went right through me for two months, but then I cut out sugar and have seen a GREAT improvement. Also, I read that doing rectal exercises helps and I've been doing those and they seem to help a lot. Just contract your muscle and hold it as long as possible. Anything we have to go through to live without the bag is worth it! Good luck!
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Hi
found your write up helpful. I have had my reversal done 3 weeks ago and I am really struggling with food passing straight throug me. I cant go out far. I was worried about this but now after ready your and other peoples comments on this site I understand it a bit more. I am in England. Also yes I am glad to get rid of bag and be a bit more patient.
Stuart
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I had an emergency colostomy done last July, had the reversal done early February. The anesthetic made me very sick with the first surgery, however I talked extensively with the anestheologist and my surgeon and this time did not have a problem. I have a few foods that I have not eaten yet, but that is by my own choice. I would do the reversal again, however my doctor insisted that I wait 6 months from the first surgery in order for things to heal inside of me. It has now been 4 weeks, and other than getting tired easily and still a little pain, things are going very well. My reversal surgery was almost 6 hours, so I expect that it will take time for all to heal, just need to have patience and a good support system. :-D
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Hi Everyone,

I had emergency surgery to remove a perforated bowel Jan 23rd, 2010..(sigmoid - 3rd section of bowel) and i was in a state of peritonitis or near one - all i know is that from the onset of the symptoms until the time of my surgery 26 hrs elapsed and i remember quite clearly the anesthesiologist asked me why i waited so long to get this checked out a few more hours and we would be making different arrangements - so i walked a very fine line and was close to death; I can say i have never experienced the excruciating pain that this caused. It brought me to my knees and tears to my eyes..I am 37 yrs old and in relatively good health..exercise frequently and am quite active. The thought of leaving 2 kids behind scared me to death.

I have now been equipped with a temporary colostomy and although i am thankful that i have been fixed - i can not stand having this contraption. My kids are extremely active and i am unable to do a thing with them, let alone life with my fiance is not the greatest either..

i recently had a scope to see how things are improving/healing and all seems to be going well. there is an inflamed polyp near the stump that they want to remove about another 5-10cm meaning they have to cut me open again. I am not sure how long this recovery is going to take - anyone have any insight?

Secondly, i guess this is a moral dilemma i am having with myself and would like some advice...i am currently collecting unemployment insurance (canadian) and LTD does not kick in until May 22, 2010...I am a district Manager for an I.T. firm and am also a Coach for a local swim club (no benefits) i just dont know if i stick it out until i am fully recovered from the 2nd surgery or return to work for the interim (economic reasons tell me that they will shut down the operations) and then recovery time from the 2nd surgery...the i.t. job is not one i care for and am debating if i "milk" this for as long as i can. i know that this not the morally correct decision..

Could LTD deny me benefits? My condition was only discovered at the time of the surgery (Diverticulitis) and was never diagnosed prior
Could employer shut down/terminate operations while i am on disability?

As far as 2nd surgery is concerned, i did speak with the admin at my surgeons office and i was told it could be June or early July 2010. I feel fine and thinking that i am ready to have the reversal...is it wrong to seek out another surgeon?
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Hi all,
A family member has this week had an emergency colostomy op. Due to the unplanned nature, it is taking some time to recover. Can anyone advise if a week + in hospital post this op is unusual? She is also concerned that whilst doctors have advised c. 3 months to reversal that it will be much longer, but looking at posts here, it looks as though that would be about right?? For those who had the first op as emergency, was the second better as it was planned?
Thanks for all your stories as well - great to see that people are having these two ops and recovering!!
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Hi! I had emergency surgery in early January 2010, because of a really bad Diverticulitis attack. The pain was excruciating for me, as well. I live alone, and actually drove to the emergency room myself. They admitted me to the hospital and treated me with anti-biotics. After day 4 or 5, I was doing better, and they moved me back to regular food, and were going to send me home. However, after that first meal of real food, I had a bowel movement and the horrible pain was back. That is when they scheduled me for emergency surgery the next day.

I was in the hospital for over 3 weeks! Mostly because the NG tube that was taking stuff out of my stomach, kept taking up stuff that wasn't being processed right. (What HELL that was too! 20 days or so with a tube through your nose into your stomach is bad enough. However, at one point a week or so into it, the tube came out! They had to re-insert a new one with me AWAKE. They basically had to slam the tube through my nose down into my insides. Of course my body wanted to reject it, I was yelling and choking and screaming "Youre choking me! You're choking me!. It was just the most awful thing I've experienced EVER. So of course the rest of the time, I was PARANOID that the tube was starting to slip out again. I drove the nurses nuts asking them if it has moved. LOL One finally gave me a mirror, so that I could see that it hadnt moved out of my nose at all.)

I was scared to death when they finally let me out of the hospital. I had nothing but problems with the bag while there. (Leaks, etc.) So, I had no idea how I was going to cope with real life, with a bag that problematic. I had visiting nurses for the first week, and they helped me immensely and showed me better techniques. (The whole secret for me, was using the "paste") I really had almost no problems at home, and when I returned to work. It was a pain burping the gas out so often, that was about it.

I just had my reversal surgery on May 17th. It was a 5 hour operation. They ended up cutting out about 6 more inches of my intestines before the reconnection. I was of course on clear liquids for a couple of days, and did start having liquid bowel movements within a day or so. They moved me to regular food on day 5 after the operation. I was getting nervous, because I wasn't seeming to have a bowel movement after that. I would feel like I was going to, but it would end up being "just gas". According to my surgeon though, THAT was actually WAY more important than bowel movements. He had told me that I would not be leaving the hospital until I was passing some gas. So he was THRILLED about the gas, and wasn't at all concerned with my lack of bowel movements. I went home exactly one week after the operation. I finally had a couple small bowel movements that next morning, after going home, and by the next day, they were pretty normal ones. I was ecstatic to be sitting on a toilet again!! LOL One week after going home, I am back at work. I am still having to tend to my incisions daily. And have to pack a few small holes with gauze daily, but otherwise am feeling pretty darn good.

I can tell things are different inside. (Not surprising, really) It seems like my bowel movements are more frequent than they used to be. (I used to be amazingly regular, and almost always had them at a seemingly scheduled time, lol) Now it seems like I'm going several times a day. It's not like the urgency is HORRIBLE though. I mean, I'm not afraid to go places. Maybe in time, I will go back to going at the same time.

"Funny" side story. My mom had a diverticulitis attack one week after I did, and ended up having the same surgery! We were both in the hospital at the same time! (Different ones, unfortunately). It was actually an amazing blessing for both of us, because we had each other to talk to about what we were experiencing the whole time! (She was only in the hospital for about a week, after the first surgery). She has not had her reversal yet. She doesn't feel she is ready. She is waiting until Autumn.

SO, in summary, I would say my reversal went great, and I have NO regrets having it. While I did well with the bag, it is something I am SO thrilled to be rid of. It is definitely an experience I will never forget.

If anyone would like to exchange emails about the experience, I would be happy to receive them.

***edited by moderator*** emails not allowed
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Hi. Thanks for your topic. Its good to hear someone elses story. My husband had his op on 11th August 2010 and had a tube shoved down his nose as well, I have never experienced anything so awful. Just one question really, I expected him to be recovering now after 5 weeks but he still is very weak, tired, and I am having trouble getting him to eat. Please help is this normal after this kind of op. I hope the reversal goes a lot smoother as I am told it is a lot easier. Thanks reply would be very helpful Hilda
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My bowel ruptured on Apr 23/10 & I almost died from the ensuing peritonitis. I was in the hospital for 54 days and was told to expect a colostomy bag for approx 1 year. I've had nothing but problems with my stoma which has sped up the time interval for reconnection to Sept 30th. My stoma is herniated badly and prolapses to an astonishing 6-7" long, which, I might add, is excrutiatingly painful. I'm very anxious about the reconnection surgery and I'm wondering if 5 hours is the norm for the time it takes to do the surgery. Thanks.
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Hi - I mistakenly posted this account as new topic, but I'll try as a reply here since I found this chain to be helpful. I had diverticulitis that perforated my colon causing peritonitis on a business trip in May. It required emergency surgery and a 10 day hospital stay. I too had the unpleasant experience of the NG tube falling out and having to be re-inserted. Plus an IV left in too long causing phlebitis in my arm. After my staples were removed, my wound opened and required draining (ouch) and required daily nursing care for 8 weeks when I returned home due to its size and depth. I was re-hospitalized for dehydration after visiting my local surgeons nurse who was very aggressive changing the bag and wound dressing. My blood pressure dropped to 80 over 40 and I had to be wheeled into the ER.

I had the reversal surgery 3 months to the day of my emergency surgery and while the surgeon claims success (the pipes do work after all), I am worried about the abdominal swelling, shooting pain and occasional feeling of nausea 5 weeks after the surgery. The stoma site incision also became infected and required draining. When i asked about the swelling, I was originally told it would go away in 2 weeks, then it was by Christmas, and still maybe not at all. I just don't know what to expect and nervous that I may develop a hernia or bowel restriction from the scar tissue. My surgeons nurse and wife tell me that I'm crazy and I'm beginning to wonder.

Have others who have had the reversal experience these post surgical symptoms?
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Thank you all so much for sharing your stories... I am in the similar situations - I woke up one morning in excruciating pain, had to go to the hospital via ambulance it was so bad. Was told at 35 that I had diverticulitis and perforated bowel and a severe infection and that I would need surgery within 24 hours or I would die.... did I mention Im only 35?

Later that night the surgeon came and suggested that we try antibiotics to cure the infection, then schedule surgery for a week to 10 dayss later on healthy tissue so there would be only one surgery and no colostomy bag. Not being overly excited about a colostomy bag, I thought it was the way to go.... I was getting better, on Sunday they put me onto a liquid diet and said if I tolerated the liquids on Sun, then Monday would be real food - and I would be going home probably on Wednesday... well, like one of the earlier posts - Sunday night during a BM, I had an excruciating pain shoot through me like something exploded in side me.... Monday morning, I was told we were going to have to do the surgery that it was scheduled for 3pm on Tuesday... I was to the point I didn't care - I wanted to be done with the pain... it was insane.

Late monday afternoon, the doctors realized I was in full renal(kidney) failure on top of everything else... turned out the contrast for the CT caused my kidneys to fail. By the time I was rolled into pre-op - I was septic, my liver had begun to fail, my heart rate was all over the place - was literally only a few hours away from death - once I heard the nurses say all that, when I said Good Bye to my husband - I said good-bye.

I made it through an 8 hour or so surgery in which they removed about 1/3 of my colon- I was heavily sedated, but not recovering well - I don't even remember being awake for 5 days. On the fifth day, I was losing blood faster than they could replace it. They called my husband, told him to bring what ever family he could - they told him that because of the blood loss and the fact I was still on the respirator 5 days after the first surgery, the odds were against me and that I may not make it through the "exploratory" surgery to find the bleeding.

When they went in, more of my colon had become infected and was in bad condition like the first part that they removed. I was told on the day of hospital discharge that they actually lost me during surgery - and that my doctors weren't sure I would live even if I made it through surgery. I obviously did...

I am scheduled for a reversal in December of this year- I will be honest, I don't care what food or drink I have to give up to get rid of this bag.. The posts here have been very helpful in preparing me...and to answer some of the other questions that I have experience with

1) I was in the hospital 22 day, in ICU for 11 of them - being able to go home after a week or so seems miraculous to me
2) If you have diverticulitis, and they tell you need surgery - FORGET the antibiotic route - get the surgery ASAP - the sooner you get it over with, the sooner you can heal
3) Your diet has to change - I will spare you my colostomy bag disaster stories - but definately NO Jamba Juice.. LOL
4) I almost died twice in one week to leave behind a husband and 3 teenage girls at 35 - from a stomach ache
5) LISTEN TO YOUR BODY - it tells you that stuff is wrong - don't let it get to this point
6) The bag is inconvenient, sometimes painful to deal with with skin irritation and stuff - and taking a shower can be kind of traumatic - but it isn't as bad as I thought it would be (except during a disaster) - an most importantly, for most of us it is only temporary...
7) Give your body the time it needs to heal.... if you feel you don't have time to deal with the darn bag - think about the time you will lose with a relapse.

Again, thank you everyone for sharing your stories - I hope I was able to help at least one of you!
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