All About Ostomy Reversals

Permanent stomas are a permanent solution, but a temporary one can be closed, and it’s pretty easy with the right surgery. If the surgeon decides it’s best to reverse this, it’s good to understand what you need to do, and some simple steps to ensure a faster recovery.

You should talk about the whole procedure with the surgeon well in advance since it’s a simple but a procedure you should definitely talk to your doctor before considering.  It doesn’t always involve a large incision to make the stoma since if a loop ileostomy was done and the surgeon is aware of reversing it, it’s usually closed by making an incision around that, and then pulling it through the opening and then reconnection them, and then closing it with sutures. This is a much smaller scare than the one that’s required to make a stoma.

The stoma can be reconnected, and the other end is inside, like with some colostomies, there is a more involved procedure, but you should regardless, talk with the surgeon to get the best solution for you.

Before the reversal, you should check to figure out the type of surgery and the preparation that’s needed. With a colostomy, many surgeons might improve their preference for some kind of bowel preparation to clean the bowel before it’s operated on.  Usually, with ileostomies, it’s not required to clean out the bowel by fasting about a day before surgery. But, if you’re going to have a much more involved surgery, you should definitely question.

This can cause a lot of diarrhea, so make sure that you take some wipes and some skin cream to protect this since of course, it gets sore if you wipe it a lot.

What about after the surgery? Well, the thing is, usually there isn’t a bunch of bowel control for a few days to a few weeks afterward, so you should definitely make sure that you’re near a toilet as much as you can.

Sometimes it takes a while to return to normal.  There is a frequent need to hit the toilet even a loss of continence after it’s reversed, so it can take a while.  If there were was another internal pouch made or the rectum removed, or if the ileum connected straight to the anus, and of course, how long you had a stoma all affect this.

Returning to this can be done with pelvic floor exercises or Kegels, which will help you regain the continence much quicker. You can do them a few times a day, almost all the time, often right in front of people without them knowing.

You should first try to pass urine, then try to stop it, and pay attention to those muscles.  You can squeeze them a few times a day to get to the right fit than they were before the reversal you can do this just about anywhere too, so it isn’t all that weird.

You will probably have to hit the toilet more often since the broken skin can happen. You might need to use protective cream, and make sure to reapply it once you’re finished. A wet wipe afterward might also be good, and better than dry toilet paper.

One thing to look for after reversal is internal swelling. If you notice that you’re getting frequent swelling or you’re vomiting, get some medical advice.  Do avoid heavy lifting for a bit, and take care of yourself after this type of surgery for the best results.