If you have a temporary ileostomy, your doctor will perform another surgery at a later date to reverse it. Since people respond differently to the effects of ileostomy, your doctor will not specify the reversal date. He or she will wait until you have recovered fully from the original operation. Note that this may take weeks, for some people, and months or even longer for others. It’s, therefore, imperative to follow the instructions of your surgeon as far as performing the second operation is concerned.
A relatively straightforward operation, doctors conduct ileostomy reversal under general anesthesia. It entails making a cut around the stoma and pulling out a section of the small intestine, out of the abdomen. The next step entails stitching back together the area that had been divided to accommodate the stoma and then returning it to the abdomen.
At times, doctors can reverse an end ileostomy if a huge part of the colon had been sealed and left in the abdomen. However, this type of reversal requires a bigger incision to help find and reattach the small intestine and the colon. It explains why it takes patients longer to recover from a reversal of end ileostomy. This type of surgery is also characterized by a greater risk compared to the one requiring a small incision/cut.
How is ileostomy reversal surgery recovery like?
For the majority of people, a doctor will recommend hospital discharge within three to five days after undergoing ileostomy reversal surgery. Don’t worry if you have to go to the toilet more often than usual due to diarrhea. A normal part of the recovery process, this may go on for several weeks. Brace yourself because your bowel activity might fail to go back to the way it was before you went under the knife. However, if it gets really bad, ask for a prescription of relief from your doctor.
Another thing that you may have to deal with when recovering from the surgery is a sore anus. Expect things to improve as the anus gets accustomed to passing stool all over again. Again your doctor will recommend safe ways of managing the pain.
While the surgery for the reversal of ileostomy doesn’t as involve as the actual operation, it will still take you a couple of weeks to heal completely. Your care nurse and doctor will come in handy before, during and after the operation. Feel free to ask them any question to facilitate faster and smoother recovery.