Colon Cancer Connected
844 members125 posts

Illiostomy reversal

I have had illiostomy for over a year now for rectal cancer. I have had chemo and radiotherapy also this year right sided liver resection for secondaries in my liver they say all ok now and my surgeon is happy to do a reversal. My problem is I am coping with my bag quite well, I don't want to be in a worse situation after the reversal, I've heard of people having to wear pads and be close to toilets all the time, which I don't have to do now. Has anyone had this done and what was their outcome.

3 Replies


I had a low anterior resection and had an ileostomy for 10 months. I coped well too for a while but then developed a parastomal hernia under the bag which came up like a mountain which made things awkward with the bag leaking. I was only 40 so didnt want a permanent bag,

Yes it was difficult after the reversal. I never thought it would settle down. I couldnt make a substantial stool and was going quite often.

By pure fluke my doctor put me on a statin for cholestoral and by accident this settled everything down. Statins can have a constipating effect but for me it was perfect.

There are other drugs too I believe. Everything just needs slowing down so you can develop a stool . I havent got a rectum anymore so I always have to go within an hour of having a substantial meal but I am more or less normal.

Ask about drugs to slow you down. I think loperamide is one.



Thank you for that Graeme. I think I'm going to go for it in the new year.


When I had all but 15 cms of my large intestine removed 14 years ago it was resectioned to my small intestine upon the surgery. I did not have to have any treatments, I was one of the fortunate ones. Over the last 14 years my life has changed tremendously; there are foods I cannot eat, leafy vegetables, grain cereals, whole wheat bread, are just an example of a few. I do not go out to restaurants. I must eat at least two hours before I do any travel for a length of time. Socialization is minimal. I have to have a high protein diet to maintain my energy level. If you had asked me 14 years ago if I would have a bag on my side I would have said no. Ask me now, I would say yes. I have a few friends who do have the bag and their lives are completely different from mine.

To help with the absorption of water in my stool my Dr recommend using Metamucil at 1/2 dosage. This has helped a little and I am thankful that it has. It has made a minor improvement to my life but there are things that I am still not able to eat, I still have to prepare quite extensively for travel, socialization is stiil a problem.

I was teaching at a school one day and the Biology teacher asked me to speak to his class about the problems I had with losing my large intestine as he had just finished a unit on the large intestine. I accepted graciously. One question a student asked me was "What do you consider your worst problem?", I answered, "Finding a washroom! Everywhere I go, whether it is a school, a mall or a church I always look for the bathroom first. I now know where every washroom is between my home town and the city (310 kms) but now I know from here to the city (370 Kms). If I don't know where a washroom is I find the woods....that is why I carry a roll of toilet paper with me no matter where I go." They laughed , but I think that they got the idea what I was going through with having the resection.

This is my story and I am sure there are others who would tell you a different one. I hope this helps you with your dilemma. Bonne chance!


You may also like...