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Colostomy reversal: to be or not to be?
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Colostomy reversal: to be or not to be?

My mother-in-law, a very healthy 79 year-old, had to have a large section of bowel removed.  She weathered the surgery beautifully and suprised us all at a relatively quick and a definitely strong recovery.  She adjusted, after some initial difficulty to living with a colostomy bag, assuming all along that it was to be temporary.  Her follow up medical exams confirmed she was a candidate for reversal surgery. HOWEVER, the surgeon told her she has only three inches of large bowel remaining  - and sent her home to "think it over".  He told her she would have to use the bathroom 5 times a day.  Her GP doctor also alerted her to the leakage and blockage concerns that are possible.  Of course she would like to "lose the bag" if possible, but doesn't want to live with a condition that might be even more difficult. Does anyone have other information from their own experience or know about others that can help her with this decision?

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Avatar_f_tn
Hooking the small intestine diretly to a short end of the large bowel wil definitely result in frequent stools, and what is correctly called "butt burn" by those who have such a surgery.  There are surgeries that can be done to create more of a storage area so that she isn't in a continuous state of loose bowels - but I'm not sure if a surgeon who is experienced with them would consider doing it for someone her age.  It isn't necessarily her age but rather the strength of her anal sphincter that they will be concedrned about.

You definitely need a board-certified colon and rectal surgeon to consult with.  You can locate on on their society's website at http://ascrs.affiniscape.com/displaycommon.cfm?an=2 .  It's best to search within the entire state and then look for one in your mom's area, because the zipcode locator function will ONLY look for the town you name, not for others closeby.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 69 year old woman who had a colostomy and had it reversed in January 2008.  It went well and I recovered quickly.  But like the comment above, I do have the butt burn and have to go to the bathroom frequently and as soon as I feel the pressure.  It depends on what I eat.  Some days are good and some bad.  It definitely makes it hard to be away from your surroundings for any length of time, but you can live with it and it is better than dealing with the bag.
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Avatar_m_tn
i was told by my surgeon u need at least 9inches of rectal stump as this is the part that "tells u when u need 2 go" i know having a bag is awful but i would tell your mum not 2 do it...as she gets older she might even be glad of it ...my grandma started having accidents from the age 88 ( she had no bowel removed) & had 2 wear adult incontinet nappies) & its not a walk in the park its a big operation....but as much as u wouldnt care if she has a bag u just want your mum...she is the 1 who has 2 live with it....but i find the fact her doc thinks 3inches is enough very suprising & frequent visits 2 the loo could result in a very sore anus
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Avatar_f_tn
I just left the dr., I was to have a reversal done today and the dr. said that there was still some stool n the bag and he had to prosponse my surgery and he wants me to ccome into his office to try something else.
Yesterday I did everything he told me to do, take a eniema,and drink gals of liquid an take the anitoicis. I thur up on the liqiuds, but I have large large bowel movements, I am a dietic, but I eat no food for 24 hours and was as weak and sick. I has so disappoint that I couldn't have the surgery, I am so sick of this bag and I don't kbow what to do.
He saids he will so it in a couple of weeks, after he works on me. Today I am so sad, I'm about to lose it, please if there is anyone that can tell me what to do. ***@****-Please HELP! HELP!HELP!
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