What is Life Like After a Colostomy Reversal? | LifestyleDietBlog.com

What is Life Like After a Colostomy Reversal
What is Life Like After a Colostomy Reversal

Following a colostomy reversal, there may be a protracted recovery period that may be difficult. It is still recognised as safe and effective despite the possibility of infection and other negative effects.

Every colostomy is not always permanent. You might have to live with the ostomy for the rest of your life if you had a colostomy because a portion of your bowels had to be removed due to cancer or another illness.

However, reversal is common when your colostomy was intended to allow a damaged or surgically repaired area to heal.

You may learn more about colostomy reversal in this article, including how effective it is and what to anticipate long-term if you get your colostomy reversed.

What is a colostomy reversal procedure?

Colostomies are frequently reversible and used to treat disorders including diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease. Reversal will only be taken into account if you experienced a blockage, an acute flare-up, or a traumatic injury after the initial problem was resolved. This often occurs at least three months after your colostomy was made for the majority of patients.

Your healthcare team will go over options and potential risks with you when it's time to reverse your colostomy. Your likelihood of making a full recovery following colostomy reversal depends on several factors.

The following variables could prevent you from reversing a colostomy:
  • older age
  • chemotherapy
  • leaking around the initial surgical site (anastomic leak)
  • infection
However, if you are prepared for a reversal, your surgeon will reattach the healed portion of your bowels and shut your stoma, restoring the natural excretion of waste.

Since procedure types and possibilities might differ from person to person, your healthcare provider will go over the precise method for your colostomy insertion and potential reversal.

How successful is a colostomy reversal?

Many factors affect how successful a colostomy reversal is, but the main ones are the reasons for and methods used during your initial operation. Reversal might be hazardous and complicated if you had big portions of your intestines or your rectum removed. Due to this, up to 50% of patients who intended to have temporary colostomies instead decided to have them permanently.

There may be good reasons to maintain a temporary colostomy permanently, such as:
  • infection
  • leaking fluids around the surgical site
  • problems healing
Reversals of some kinds, such as Hartmann's technique, are quite prone to complications.

Based on your age, general health, unique condition, how and why your colostomy was put on, and other factors, your healthcare team will discuss the possibilities and specific risks with you.

Longterm side effects

A colostomy reversal can be made more difficult, as with any surgical operation, by poor wound healing and infection. In the case of colostomy reversal, where the surgical sites come into contact with waste materials, this is particularly true.

Some patients may endure long-lasting intestinal alterations even after a successful reversal, including:
  • adhesions
  • bowel obstructions
  • anal leaking
  • scarring


You should anticipate spending 3 to 10 days in the hospital following a successful colostomy reversal.

The major objectives of your stay in the hospital are to prevent infection, monitor the healing of your wound, and restore your ability to urinate normally.

Approximately 30% of patients who have a colostomy reversal, according to some studies, encounter difficulties after the operation, but overall, it's thought to be a safe and successful procedure.

Lifespan following colostomy reversal

Depending on the difficulties you had during the initial stoma installation and the reversal surgery, you can expect to live a longer or shorter life after colostomy reversal. Additionally, it depends on how well the colostomy assisted in treating your underlying issue.

Some patients refuse reversals because of the high likelihood of complications, however, one study revealed a 5-year survival rate of over 90% of patients who had their colostomy for diverticulitis reversed.

Colostomies are frequently curative for cancer since all malignant tissue is removed during the procedure.

According to studies, colostomies successfully treat colorectal cancer in 50–95% of patients. A successful reversal is thought to occur in roughly two-thirds of patients who have ostomy surgery for colorectal cancer treatment within a year or two of the initial implantation.


The surgical procedure to reverse a colostomy is quite straightforward, but because of the nature of the surgery, recuperation and the outlook may be more challenging. Due to the possibility of infection and other problems, many patients decide against having their colostomy reversed. It is, nevertheless, typically seen as a secure and practical choice.

The decision to have colostomy reversal surgery is best made by you and your healthcare team because your specific risks and results after colostomy reversal depend on a variety of factors.


What is the life expectancy after colostomy reversal?

5-year survival rate

How serious is colostomy reversal surgery?

Failure is one of the major dangers of colostomy reversal surgery.

Is colostomy reversal painful?

Some individuals may suffer from pain following reversal surgery

Can a colostomy reversal be done laparoscopically?

After a Hartmann surgery, laparoscopic colostomy reversal is safe and possible in qualified hands.

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