Hello forum readers. I had a colostomy last August due to complications from colorectal cancer. My tumor was at the junction of the colon & rectum, so some of each was removed. It’s a long sordid story, but end result is they could not reconnect me during the original surgery last year and I’ve had the ostomy since. I was done with all my cancer treatment by this past May (chemo & radiation) and scans & bloodwork so far show no recurrence, so I am getting ready to speak with my original surgeon about reversal. More recently I had a colonoscopy (my first – I was only 42 when diagnosed) so they know about how much rectum is left and apparently it’s “enough.” They cannot say for sure that they can reconnect me, it all depends on scar tissue and what the “real” length is, but the surgeons I’ve spoken with and both my oncologists have all encouraged me to try if that’s what I want. If they can reconnect during the next surgery, then I would have an ileostomy to allow healing, and then 2-3 months later I could have the ileostomy reversed and hopefully be back to normal. Or as close to normal as possible, anyway.
I’m wondering if anyone has a history similar to mine, and if so, what things were most important for you to ask about? I’m mostly concerned about the function of my anatomy assuming they can reconnect, from a quality of life perspective. Will I be running to the bathroom forever after, will I have dietary restrictions forever after, things like that. I’ve come to terms with recovering from the surgery itself – which I’ll have to do whether it is successful or not – as I’ve done that before and know what’s involved. And this time around I won’t be extremely sick like I was last year.
If anyone has had similar experience and would be comfortable sharing advice or questions/concerns you had before a reversal, I’d appreciate it. Many thanks.
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Questions To Ask Surgeon Re: Colostomy & Ileostomy Rever