Rich.P wrote:I had my ileostomy reversal 15 months ago and still having LARS problems
Rich.P wrote:I have asked my surgeon about a permanent bag and he has told me to give it at least a couple years before considering that option
I honestly find it sad when surgeons hold a negative view of ostomies and discourage individuals from pursuing an ostomy when it would likely improve their quality of life.
Rich, be aware that a colostomy is much easier to care for than a loop ileostomy, as you have had previously. A colostomy is low maintenance. Your bowel routine would likely be similar to that pre-cancer. That is, if you had a bowel movement once a day that is likely what you would experience with a colostomy. A colostomy is not a constant flow of liquid fecal output as is the functionality of a loop ileostomy. A colostomy has fecal output 1 or twice a day and it is semi-formed in consistency, with low risk of digestive enzyme skin irritation as is the case with a loop ileostomy.
Pouching systems for colostomies allow for single-use, closed-ended pouches. Simply peel off the backing to a hydrocolloid wafer and slap it on the abdomen over the bud of a stoma. A colostomy stoma is 1/2" or less in length, a small bud of intestinal tissue that takes residence on the abdomen. When the colostomy has output, simply remove the pouch, place it in a plastic bag, and toss it into the trash. No mess. No fuss. Closed ended pouches come in three sizes - maxi, midi, and mini - so that the size of the pouch is appropriate to each person's volume of output. With closed-ended pouches, you are not "walking around the a bag of feces on your abdomen" - as is a fear and concern of many who may be contemplating an ostomy. When the colostomy has fecal output, the closed-ended pouch is changed and tossed away, a new pouch is applied in its place.
Many individuals use a discrete stoma cap during sex and intimacy. A stoma cap is like a small gas-cap that covers the stoma.
Personally, I cannot see the value of enduring with unpredictable bowel control and anal leakage for several years. I am simply shaking my head side-to-side in disbelief that your surgeon has such a low opinion of a colostomy that he would not support discussion of a colostomy, an honest appraisal of the pluses and minuses for you and the particulars of your situation.
The United Ostomy Association of America is a resourceful support group and the defacto experts on all things ostomy. Feel free to visit and hear from real people with real ostomies. http://www.uoaa.org
- Karen -
Dear friend to Bella Piazza, former Colon Club member (NWGirl).
I have a permanent ileostomy and offer advice on living with an ostomy - in loving remembrance of Bella
I am on Palliative Care for broad endocrine failure + Addison's disease + osteonecrosis of both hips/jaw + immunosuppression. I live a simple life due to frail health.