I am so excited to come to then end of the surgery portion of this process. It has been a lot on me mentally and physically. Complications after both surgeries really held me back a lot and traumatized me to say the least. I am at the end of the surgery journey, my last surgery is scheduled for July 1st. 

 

I would like like to gain some knowledge of what to experience after stoma take down. How long will my hospital stay be? What issues might I face, and how long will it take to recover, so I can return to work. It has helped a lot learning from different experiences, and as excited as I am, I am also terrified at my new life. If you can please share and let me know I would greatly appreciate it! 

Thank you to this group, it has been a great support network for some burning questions that I have had.

Jpouchinseattle

Original Post

I posted this in the other thread on this topic:

JPouch in Seattle,

Takedown wasn’t too bad for me although I did have a few issues.

The area where the stoma is was not stitched and was allowed to heal by granulation. This due to the infection risk. This takes a long time to fully heal, and I was on activity restrictions for a while.

I also had dietary restrictions. I started with soft foods and gradually assumed a full diet. I was told to eat salty/high sodium foods because you will have electrolyte imbalance while the J Pouch adjusts to being a surrogate colon. Initially it’s not as good as the colon in regulating electrolytes, so you will need to be very mindful of proper hydration. Dehydration is a major possible complication.

Butt burn was a problem for many months after takedown. This is due to increased alkalinity of stool. The J Pouch takes some time to adjust the pH of the stool. Eventually it does but again this is another function of the colon your body must adapt to and it takes time.

After surgery there is a risk of blockages/obstructions. I did have a couple and I feel they were caused by over-ambitious eating coupled with postsurgical swelling and adhesions. Eventually these cleared after I started vomiting. In other words, the act of vomiting cleared the obstruction. My advice to you is just really take it slow with your diet even if you feel great, eat small quantities of food, and add one new food at a time so that you can isolate problem foods. Problem foods for me were raw carrots, spinach, mushrooms. These were just hard to digest and I could only have small quantities of them. Now I can eat anything and any quantity. 

Good luck!

Hi there this was me a couple weeks ago. You already received advice which is good.

Here is a little bit of my experience. I was in the hospital for two nights and I started pooping the day after surgery. I wasn't mentally prepared to leave so early. I was afraid to eat for a week and consequently I had anxiety attacks. Once I started eating I felt better. This surgery was the easiest but most emotional for me. Like you I was afraid of my new life.

Now I'm doing well. I can hold it, I sleep through the night (maybe I get up once) and I can work. They left a big hole in my stomach where the stoma was. I put gauze in and tape over. After 9 days the inner big hole closed and the whole thing was shallow. I'm still putting gauze and tape over it but I don't need to pack it anymore. It's healing well and I'm expecting it to stop oozing soon.

And I eat what I like which is awesome. 

ANDRINA-

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I hope that mine goes as well as yours. Anxiety has become my new normal, not knowing what to expect and random attack’s. This was not anything I have experienced before. 

I cannot wait to get rid of the stoma bags, they have been the hardest to deal with this past surgery. I know that the take down will at least fix that but I am hoping for no complications. I am 38 and though I am told by doctors that I am young I have had many complications. 

Can I ask you how long you healed before takedown? My doctor game me six weeks, hope that is enough time, but I am feeling pressure and going to the bathroom from down there, although it’s not stool it is an off white peach like liquid. 

I hope two days is all I need to stay at the hospital my normal after every surgery has been 7 days. I guess I am a slow healer, ugh so anxious to get this over with it has been absolute hell. 

Jpouchinseattle

Jpouchinseattle,        My takedown was pretty uneventful. Pooped the second day, got to go home on the third. You've had some really good advise so far. My advise is to be kind to yourself. It's okay if your healing takes a bit longer than someone elses. It's okay to be nervous, believe me, we all were. Remember we are all different on this journey, so what happened to one doesn't happen to all. My take down was exciting to me. No more bags. I couldn't wait. Those loop or temp. stomas rather suck. To high maintenance. Lol Anyway, remember to take loose comfortable clothes to wear home. Get some panty liners and pad for accidents that may or may not happen. A pad or towels under you on the bed for a bit, until your pouch gets regulated is a good idea also. Mainly be kind and patient with yourself. Good luck, keep us informed.

Aimee

I got to have two takedowns, since my first one ended with peritonitis, urgent surgery and a second ileostomy.  The second stoma was horrible, I got terrible lesions on my skin and had to work from home.   Fortunately that heals fast after takedown.  I'm only 4 months out - doc said it would take a year to adjust - but even with issues (lack of sleep, butt burn etc.)  it is miles better than the stoma.   I only had one 'accident' - fortunately I was sleeping on a chux - my first night home from the hospital.  I stayed in the hospital nearly a week, having been quite miserable with ileus for a few days post surgery.    Then I worked from home for two weeks, wish I could have done four as I had a very hard time getting through a day of work when I went back.  Get a squirt bottle and take it to the hospital, 'cos once you start to go you will want to rinse and pat dry.  Oh, and take some zinc oxide cream as well.  If you are obsessive about using it your butt will be grateful.  Let us know how it goes!  

Thank you for the advice, I have been out of work for over a month and a half now these leaks are crazy, this new stoma does not function at all like my first one, as stool comes out of my skin. It hasn’t been annoying, but I have been treating my skin the next I could and thankfully pain meds have helped with the burning pain. 

I am starting to get a lot of pressure down there, and so far have been discharging a peachish, off white substance. This morning I went again to release and it was brown with some light spotting of blood, is this normal? 

I just hope it does not mean, that I have more complications coming my way. I have a scan scheduled for tomorrow and a flex sig Thursday, I cannot wait for this stoma to come down, and though I am scared for recovery, I am looking forward to getting things back to somewhat normality. 

 

Discharge is normal, it's actually even a good sign, it means you still have regenerating bacteria in your gut.  If you bathe your butt with warm water you it will pour out of you until empty.. useful just before bed etc.

When I had my takedown the top advice was to walk, as soon as you could for as much as you could to get the bowel working.  It's still good advice

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