I had colorectal surgery 12 months ago and subsequence chemo treatment for bowel cancer. During the process I had an ileostomy and I've now been informed that should I wish to do so - I can have a stoma reversal procedure - which means I no longer have to have a colostomy bag attached to my stomach.
However, at my last surgeons appointment, (not the most helpful) I was told that following a surgical repair of this type, patients stand a 50% chance of suffering from faecal incontinence, which means there is a good possibility I may have to wear incontinence pads instead of a colostomy bag. Apparently this is quite a common occurrence, but disappointingly and to the best of my recollection, no mention of this was made at the outset.
In essence and at this late stage, I am now faced with this dilemma; what might be my best option - a bag or a nappy?!
This most disconcerting and subsequence searching on the internet proffer various scenarios, none of which seem to help towards making the best choice: do I go ahead with the stoma reversal and risk incontinence, or am I better to stick with a colostomy bag. I would love to lose the bag.
If anyone has gone through this procedure or if they can offer any positives in relation to this matter, I would be most grateful to hear from you.
A mate of mine has had the colostomy bag removed 3 weeks ago after rectal Cancer surgery ,he goes to the loo frequently,he has had a couple of times where he did not make it,the surgeon told him in time his bowels will settle down he has burning and discomfort after bowel movements ,but is glad the bag has been removed he has not mentioned about the possibility of wearing an incontinence pad permanently,but maybe some outcomes are different.A difficult decision for you to make.All you can do is make an informed decision.
Hi kj.... Thanks for your reply. Would love to know how your mate progresses.
At this stage, making an informed decision is what I’m attempting to do and to that end, I’m happy to receive any advice, experience or information from anyone which might allow me to do this.
My surgeon’s example of a 50/50 chance of having only ‘adequate’ control over bowel function after a stoma reversal procedure doesn’t really instil great confidence that the procedure is worth enduring - and further questioning could only enlist the unhelpful response that I, and only I, will be the best judge of how well things have turned out, because he wouldn’t be the subject of the problem!
I know there must be a lot of people out there who have already undergone this type of procedure and was hoping that I could glean some information in the hope of getting a better idea of what I could be facing.
Having a colostomy pouch is certainly not the ideal situation for anyone and for me, it does curtail most physical activities to a great extent - despite all the positive hype I’ve heard to the contrary - so I’m disposed to have it ‘off ‘ - and whilst having the opportunity to lose the pouch is great news, I didn’t simply want to end up jumping straight from the frying pan into the fire.... so to speak!
Hi again kj.. Just found out from my local GP, that out of the other patients he had attended to with a similar problem, all of them agreed it was far better to put up with wearing of a 'nappy' on the odd occasion it required to use one, than to continully have to deal with a colostomy bag. Sounds pretty hopeful to me, so I hope that's good news for your mate as well - and anyone else looking to find out a few answers. We soldier on!
Hi Waz I spoke to my mate last night on phone as he lives in country and I live in the city he is slowly improving with the burning he has increased soluble fibre as well as meat he is back at work and managing ok he is glad he had bag removed .
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