Colostomy reversal is a surgical procedure done to close a stoma created during a colostomy. Given below are details regarding the procedure, risks, and possible side effects.
A colostomy is a surgery wherein a stoma (opening) is made in the anterior abdominal wall by an incision, drawing out the intact and non-diseased end of the large intestine, and suturing it in its new place. This procedure is performed so as to provide the person with an alternative for passing the feces from. There can be many conditions that may require a person to undergo a colostomy, like colon cancer, diverticulitis, etc. However, due to technology, this condition can be reversed if the prognosis of the patient is good. The surgery done for this is known as colostomy reversal. Given below are details regarding how the surgery is done, and what to expect in this procedure.
Preparation for the Surgery
The surgeon will brief you on the options available for a reversal. Most colostomies that are performed are open surgeries. Although the type of surgery does not depend on whether the person has had an open or keyhole colostomy, in some cases, it is possible to opt for a keyhole reversal. A keyhole surgery is the minimally invasive option. You might need to be admitted a few days before the surgery.
- Before the actual surgery is done, you will be given certain medicines to help you empty out your bowels.
- The surgery is done under general anesthesia.
The recovery will consist of a small hospital stay. The healing time is around 6-10 days. You will be encouraged to get involved in physical activities like walking, so as to help recover to normalcy. Being in a fit, good shape before the surgery will definitely aid in the recovery.
Initially, say for 2-3 days after the surgery, you’ll have to be on a liquid or a soft diet. Though people recover within 5-6 days of the surgery, you will be released from the hospital only after the doctor assures that your bowel has started to function normally. You should avoid vigorous exercise and lifting or pushing any heavy objects for about 7-8 weeks following the surgery.
Surgery Side Effects
One of the major side effects of this surgery is that it may take the patient a few days for his bowels to return to normal activity and functioning. This is because, the rectum was not functioning all the while when there was an anterior stoma in the body. Hence, it may take a while before it manages to function fully again, and you may not have complete control over your bowels for a few days. However, this is surely a small price to pay for returning to normalcy. There may also be other side effects like blood in stools (slight amount of bleeding during bowel movements), incisional hernia and anastomotic leak. The person may also feel that his abdomen is very tender and slightly painful. This may prompt the person to lose his appetite. However, he should eat properly, follow a colostomy diet, and stay well hydrated. There are also a few possible risks involved in the surgery, including the complications involved with almost any surgery, like an allergic reaction to the anesthesia.
Many patients say that the reversal surgery is not half as bad as the colostomy surgery itself. So, once you have had this surgery done, with a little bit of care, you can surely expect a full recovery.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is solely for informative purpose and not intended to replace the advice of medical experts.