O Stoma Mia wrote:It looks like you have covered most of the important things, but I'll mention a few things that I have said before in other places:
- I think it will help to get an abdominal binder and for you to use it for the first couple of months. This is to prevent your reversal incision from becoming yet another hernia.
- I think you should try to prevent large, hard stools because they can cause painful anal fissures when they pass through. Watch what you eat and try to avoid foods that you know will cause constipation. At the same time, watch the level and amount of pain medication you take, because excessive use of certain pain medications can also cause constipation.
- I also think you should keep a food and toilet log for the first year or two after reversal, because you will need to know which foods cause which effects, and how long it takes for each type of food to transit through. I kept a daily log for over two years after reversal, and this is what allowed me to plan my daily activities.
- I think you should re-read all of the hospital leaflets that have been issued on the topic of post-reversal bowel management, because they contain a lot of useful hints.
Stoma Reversal Factsheet
Improving Bowel Function After Bowel Surgery
Reversal of your ileostomy or colostomy
Normal Bowel Function
Sphincter Exercises for People with Bowel Control Problems
Regaining Bowel Control
Stoma Reversal Operations
Returning Home After Surgery
Bowel Management: A Guide for Patients
Bowel Management When Taking Pain Medicine
Self Help for Severe Constipation
Also, you may want to have a look at some of the other reversal logs / diaries / mini-blogs that have been created here on Colon Club:
Reversal Log: Experience,Problems, Q & A's - Badass
Takedown Countdown! - BrownBagger
Takedown Info - SurroundedByLove
Rectal-What's is "normal" like after my ostomy is reversed? - Katykards1
Reversal Thread: PROSPECT Trial - Basil
susie0915 wrote:Just give it time. Everyone responds differently, but there are many things that can be done to control bowel movements. Many do well right out of the gate, others use fiber supplements, immodium, or lomotil to slow things down. Diet can play a role as well. I tried different things for about 15 months.
O Stoma Mia wrote:As others have said, it will take time to see how things settle down.
In your case, I think the main underlying variable is the effect that your January LAR surgery might have had on the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in the pelvic region, as well as the effect that the radiation may have had on the nearby tissues. You had a tumor removed 5cm from the anal verge, and you also had a major hysterectomy at the same time. In addition, the tissues in the lower pelvic region have probably become degraded due to the radiation exposure. It is not clear how much of your rectum now remains after the surgery, and how many of the essential nearby muscles, blood vessels and nerve connections in the pelvic floor are still present and still functional after the surgery. Only time will tell as you recover from the reversal and as you start trying to use these muscles to control your bowel movements.
At first, it may seem that you have no control at all, but the control will eventually get better over time. But, in my experience, the doctors cannot predict very well how fast the recovery will occur. You will probably be the best judge of how fast things are going to progress.
Are you in much pain now? One of the possible problems during reversal recovery is over-use of strong pain medications in the immediate post-operative period. Over-use of these strong medications can cause constipation and other difficulties and make it more difficult to develop a natural bowel movement sequence.
NHMike wrote:That was fast. I was looking at the timestamps and you must be way ahead of us.
I hope things go really well. I'm impressed that you posted the same day after your surgery.
Atoq wrote:Thanks a lot! I am already back to my room and they said everything went as planned. Strange to wake up without the bag.