Ostomy Reversal Surgery today, currently laying in hospital, sharing my experience and answering ?s!

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**THE FOLLOWING EXPERIENCE BEGAN TODAY, I HAD A TON OF QUESTIONS NOT READILY AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE, SO TO HELP THE COMMUNITY I WANT TO SHARE MY SURGERY EXPERIENCE FROM THIS AM. Please ask any questions you may have, and I will make sure to document this stay for future members. I will not sugar coat the experience, so you may not want to read as this experience is far from entirely positive 😃 **

My reversal was planned as a as a "Laproscopic" procedure, however due to the scar material from the original temp colostomy, it is very possible this was due to my emergency nature of the surgery Jan 2019 as I had an abscess rupture and was an extremely high risk surgery that had to be immediately addressed as it was that or die (literally).

So the procedure turned to another manual open me up, but was successful.

I am in the US, mid 30s, about 6 feet and 250 lbs.

I did not need an NG tube, though given the unbelievable pain, I do have simple oxygen tube up my nose. I am not sure this case is typical because of the absolute emergency nature of the original surgery to put in a temp colostomy, but I will not downplay the initial pain as I want this to be informative - I could not believe how bad it hurt when I woke up.

I was in recovery for about 2 hours of alternating Fentanyl and Dilaudid, which we just eventually stopped as I was falling asleep and forgetting to breathe, I have now been on my room with a Dilaudid PCA (push button) that allows a dose every 10 minutes (the staff is not administering the meds themselves). I am sure this changes in the next day or so.

I do have a catheter in my penis as well which has also been really sensitive all day, but I am now starting to get used to. As much as you CAN get used to that 😃

The nurses explained being that intestines are basically in shock / not working after a reconnection and swelling as they stay irritated, walking through this pain is going to be necessary starting today in about 30 minutes here and am dosing every 10 mins on the minute as my insides hurt amazingly bad if touched / I laugh at all. It is very bad, all the more reason I need to face this pain immediately.

I am told I will be returned home once I pass a "regular stool" which may or may not be essentially a blood clot, and there really is no real definable target as stool won't return to normal for possibly weeks. I also asked about whether walking same day will cause issues and have been assured as much as possible it will not but to only do what I can handle which is basically anything outside or laying in bed.

I was not made to walk for 3 days during my initial surgery, but for the best odds to heal correctly and avoid post-op pneumonia / blood clotting / etc I need to face the music immediately in terms of enduring healing pains.

I was also put on a fairly immediate liquid (water) diet, but cautioned to not overdo the water as it can contribute to nausea so I've stuck mainly to ice chips so the water is mainly absorbed in my mouth, and take water sips for the acid reflux meds I was given to reduce stomach acids.

Will check back in throughout my stay to answers questions, share my experiences like with this first walk, which is probably never pleasant but may be worse for me as I am admittedly out of shape.

Hope I can help others make a better informed decision about surgery, realities of complications and recovery, but I can say without hesitation at all cutting that horrible disease out of me was 100000% the right decision!

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  • Posted

    To update on my day of surgery first walk, the nurses provided a suppression band around my torso to hold everything in place (extremely painful to roll into after being inactive all day), I stood up and was amazed at how good it felt to walk, am currently resting in a recliner instead of the bed, and get one more walk in before bed time.

    I knew from surgery #1 to get temp colostomy it was a LOT more painful to get my GI system moving, but the more I walked, the less painful daily life was in the hospital. Very much needed pleasant surprise 😃

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  • Posted

    I also ended up with some major bleeding through bandages at the end of day 1 here, they poked around / sent docs to an on call surgeon, and it was determined it was like probably a drain becoming active from the amount of walking and sitting upright in a recliner.

    The RN assigned to my room said I was doing better with walking and sitting she had about ever seem, ironic it seems to have led to the appearance I was bleeding to death, really hoping that is the case. Meeting with surgeon today to discuss surgery complications that arose during surgery .

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  • Posted

    My surgeon came in today and discussed that Heperin (blood thinner to prevent clotting) was administered within 12 hours of the surgery, which mixed with my immediate walking and moving around caused the blood loss so no more. blood thinner for me.

    He also advised the immense pain felt after surgery was from anesthesia block my mind from being able to fight off any pain itself until Anesthesia wore off, it did pass though within 2-3 hours (the surgery wound pain), and I think on day 2 I am right on the cusp of passing gas and semi terrified about it!

    Also a nutrition worker allowed me to order a carbonated drink (pepsi) which is causing some painful gas, it feels like it is right about to come out soon here due to walking so much, so wanted to heads up people to avoid carbonation entirely until you are at very least passing gas.

    Definitely do not want that miserable gassy feeling if your taking longer for bowels to wake up, will update with how the first stool goes as it feels imminent @_@

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  • Posted

    I will also be going thru a reversal surgery, hopefully before the end of the year. I also had an abcess and a fistula, I am 5'9 and weighed 120lbs when I had my temporary ostomy surgery and it too was a life saving procedure. Thanks for sharing, wishing you the best for a speedy recovery.

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    • Posted

      Thank you! The pain is going down from my insides, it was a pretty involved surgery, but I'm already passing gas. It's not been painful but kind of a shock to have it hit your rectum with force, I was told not to squeeze too hard to get them out so I've started rolling on my side and pulling a butt cheek open to allow the gas to escape.

      Get my catheter out today, will be glad to have it out, but so not looking forward to the act of removing it 😃

      My best advice is definitely to start walking ASAP, quite painful, but nice to get a jump start on recovery if possible!

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  • Posted

    Oddly removing the catheter was not terrible, got showered by myself and felt much better, not sure how much I'll continue to update as the rest will be managing pain / healing both in hospital for a few days then outpatient.

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    • Posted

      Yea when I walk by a room or seeing someone struggling to walk far, I told them how bad my first surgery was, and that you cannot outwit the pain, gave a LOT of motivational speeches in there that both patients and doctors appreciated.

      I myself am out of here today 😃

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  • Posted

    After eating a couple solid meals with no weird output / blood / excess gas as I was eligible to go home, I could have stayed as well but wanted to begin the live adjustments. I must say today I can barely stay away, literally dosing off as I type this, which not having slept for 5+ days and surgery pain I have no reservations to sleep a day away so long as I take my walks throughout the day.

    I feel like a whole new man after this experience, no more little disc shape silhouette under my shirt, if your reading this just walk walk walk!

    Walking is so important, and just not standing still or laying down, find activities that can be done at a stand.

    I bought 1000 sports cards. never been opened, with a 100 pack of hard cases and the rest cardboard storage boxes just to do something on my feet that keeps me mentally engaged.

    Good luck!

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