At a Glance: Colostomy Reversal
Tell Me About The Surgery
Procedure Research and Consultation
How is colostomy reversal surgery done?
During your colostomy reversal, an incision will be made around your stoma (the opening in your abdomen that has been used for waste removal), allowing your surgeon to access the inside of your abdomen and reattach the sections of your colon with dissolvable stitches or staples. Then the stoma is closed with stitches.
What issue does a colostomy reversal surgery solve?
A colostomy reversal reattaches the upper section of your colon to the remaining section of your colon, allowing you to empty your bowels normally.
What is minimally invasive surgery?
A procedure that involves a smaller incision and a less invasive technique, shortening recovery time.
Do I have options for anesthesia for colostomy reversal surgery?
General anesthesia is usually used during colostomy reversal surgery.
How do I know a colostomy reversal surgery is right for me?
Colostomy reversal surgery is performed when the problem that required your colostomy is resolved and you are healthy enough to have another surgery. You’ll also have to have a healthy enough colon and rectum to support normal bowel function.
How safe is colostomy reversal surgery?
Like all surgical procedures, there are risks associated with a colostomy reversal. The procedure is, however, considered largely safe and effective. You should also know that Hancock Regional Hospital has been rated one of the safest hospitals in America by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit health care watchdog organization, and was named the safest hospital in Indiana on the Lown Institute Hospital Index.
What are the possible side effects and complications of colostomy reversal surgery?
Some of the possible side effects and complications of colostomy reversal surgery include infection, loose stool, incontinence, sudden bowel urges, pain, hernia, trouble with urination and sexual activity, and blockage and scar tissue in the bowel.
What are the possible side effects of general anesthesia?
Some of the possible side effects of general anesthesia include nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, bruising (from the I.V.), itching, shivering and feeling cold, difficulty urinating, and sleepiness. In older patients, memory loss and temporary confusion are possible.
What are the alternatives to colostomy reversal surgery?
The alternative to colostomy reversal surgery is continuing to live with your colostomy.
What are the risks of not having colostomy reversal surgery?
The risk of not having colostomy reversal surgery is that you will continue to live with your colostomy.
Consultation and Choosing A Surgeon or Surgical Team
Do I need a referral to see a surgeon for colostomy reversal surgery?
You don’t need a referral to see a surgeon about colostomy reversal surgery.
What should I bring to my first appointment with a surgeon?
Insurance information Medical records, including your medical history, from your primary care physicianA complete list of all medications you take on a regular basis, including any over-the-counter medicationYour most recent diagnostic labs and imaging (Not sure where to go? Check out Gateway Hancock Health, where you’ll be able to get in and out quickly and pay, on average, 70% less than you’ll pay at a hospital.)
Do I have to get a second or third opinion for colostomy reversal surgery?
You can always get a second or third opinion, but it isn’t required.
How should I decide which surgeon’s advice to follow?
You should work with the surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, whether that’s one of our surgeons or not.
Will the surgical team know my health history?
Your health history will be compiled and available to the team before, during, and after surgery. If you’re a Hancock Health patient, we will be able to access your records within our system. If you aren’t, we will work with your doctors to get the necessary information.
Why might I have to wait to schedule colostomy reversal surgery?
In some cases, it takes time for a patient’s body to be ready for colostomy reversal surgery. For example, if you have another medical issue, including another surgical procedure or illness, we might wait to perform your colostomy reversal surgery. Your health and safety are our top priority, so we schedule surgeries when they’re best for our patients.
What happens if my symptoms get worse while I wait for my colostomy reversal surgery?
Your surgical team will evaluate the situation and help you make a choice that’s right for you and your health.
Insurance & Cost
How much does colostomy reversal surgery cost?
Consult the price transparency tool at HancockRegionalHospital.org for an idea of how much a colostomy reversal surgery might cost.
Will insurance cover my colostomy reversal surgery?
In most cases, insurance will cover most of the costs associated with colostomy reversal surgery. To obtain an estimate of your possible out-of-pocket expenses, use our Price Estimator Tool.
Will Medicare cover colostomy reversal surgery?
Medicare parts A and B will cover the cost of colostomy reversal surgery, but it’s important for your doctor to indicate that the surgery is medically necessary.
What payment options are available for colostomy reversal surgery at Hancock Health?
Hancock Health is committed to helping make great care affordable for all patients. To find out more about payment options, please visit the billing and insurance FAQ page at HancockRegionalHospital.org.
Pre-op and Day of Surgery
How should I prepare for colostomy reversal surgery?
Follow the directions your care team gives you to prepare your bowels for surgery. You might be asked to drink only clear liquids and eat no solid foods before your surgery.
Why can’t I eat before surgery?
There’s a risk of aspiration, which means you’re breathing foreign objects, like food or saliva, into your lungs. This can occur because the anesthesia used in your procedure can impair your body’s ability to stop the contents of your stomach from entering your lungs. It’s also important for you to have a clear bowel before your colostomy reversal surgery.
What should I expect right before my colostomy reversal surgery?
You’ll arrive several hours before your surgery and be escorted to the preoperative waiting area.You’ll remove all of your clothing and jewelry and put on a hospital gown. (Your valuables will be placed in a secure area or may be given to a family member.) You’ll sign any necessary paperwork, and a preoperative nurse will take your vital signs, review your medications, and answer any questions.You’ll meet your anesthesiologist and the members of your surgery team. An I.V. (intravenous line) will be placed in your hand or arm so medication, including anesthesia, can be administered.When it’s time for your surgery, you will be wheeled into the operating suite.
Will I need someone to take me home after colostomy reversal surgery?
You will likely stay in the hospital for a few days following your colostomy reversal surgery. But when it’s time for you to leave, you will need someone to drive you home. If you don’t have a ride, we’ll help you arrange one.
Why are there so many people on my surgery team?
In addition to the surgeon, you have an anesthesiologist, nurses—some of whom specialize in working with patients and others assist the surgeon—and support staff, who get you checked in and out, compile your records, and more. They all work together, performing their individual jobs, so the procedure is as successful as possible.
Why am I asked for my name and date of birth every time I get medicine?
It’s a safety precaution to make sure you’re receiving the medication that’s prescribed for you.
What do I need to bring to the hospital on the day of my colostomy reversal surgery?
You will likely stay in the hospital for a few days after your colostomy reversal surgery, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. Bring anything you’ll need, including a change of underwear, a sweatshirt, robe, glasses or contacts, headphones, and your medications.
How long will it take for the anesthesia to wear off after my colostomy reversal surgery?
It usually takes about an hour for general anesthesia to wear off, but you may notice the effects for a day or so.
What will happen during my colostomy reversal surgery?
You will be anesthetized during the procedure. An incision will be made around your stoma (the opening in your abdomen that has been used for waste removal), allowing your surgeon to access the inside of your abdomen and reattach the sections of your colon. Then the stoma will be closed.
When will my family be informed about how I’m doing?
Our associates will get information from the surgical team in the operating room during your surgery and keep them updated.
How long will the colostomy reversal surgery take?
Colostomy reversal surgery takes one to two hours.
How long will I be under?
You will be anesthetized for the entire colostomy reversal surgery and a few minutes after.
How long will I be in the hospital after colostomy reversal surgery?
While the length of a hospital stay depends on each patient’s individual needs, patients are typically discharged in 3 to 10 days.
What can I expect right after my colostomy reversal surgery?
After the procedure, you will be moved to a recovery room where you will stay until you’re ready to be moved to your hospital room.
How will I know if the colostomy reversal surgery worked?
Your surgeon will discuss your procedure with you.
When will I get to talk to my surgeon after my colostomy reversal surgery?
You’ll be able to talk to your surgeon immediately after your procedure, while you’re in the recovery room.
How soon after a colostomy reversal surgery will I be up and moving around?
You will be up and moving around as soon as possible after the procedure. Your care team in the hospital will help you during the first few days of your recovery.
Will I receive pain medication right after surgery?
Most colostomy reversal surgery patients receive pain medication immediately following surgery.
How soon after my colostomy reversal surgery can I eat or drink?
You might not be able to eat solid foods immediately after your colostomy reversal surgery. Instead, you may be asked to stick to liquids for a short time to allow your bowel to rest. Then, in one to two days, a soft diet is often recommended.
Will I need to fill any prescriptions or take medication after colostomy reversal surgery?
Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to ease any discomfort associated with the procedure.
Recovery and Follow-Up
What will I need to do to prepare for my recovery from colostomy reversal surgery?
Make sure you have the appropriate groceries for when you arrive home from the colostomy reversal surgery. Your care team will likely recommend a specific diet of low-fiber foods that are easy to chew and swallow. If you live alone, you may want to arrange for a friend or family member to check in with you.
How should I prepare for my at-home recovery?
You may want to ask a friend or a relative to check on you and assist with everyday tasks for the first few days after you return home from the hospital.
If I need physical therapy or rehabilitation after a colostomy reversal surgery, how is that arranged?
Our associates will help you arrange the postoperative care you’ll need.
Will I need any follow-up appointments or procedures?
Your doctor will likely schedule a follow-up appointment about two weeks after your colostomy reversal surgery.
Will there be any scarring or stitches to remove?
Stitches from a colostomy reversal surgery typically dissolve on their own. You will likely have a scar from the procedure, as well as a scar where your stoma was located. The size of your scars will depend on the type of procedures you had.
What do I need to care for any wounds or incisions?
Following your colostomy reversal surgery, your doctor will give you specific instructions about how to care for your wound. Generally, you will need any medications and dressings your care team recommends. You will also need to keep the wound clean as it heals.
What should I do if I have an emergency or accident after my colostomy reversal surgery?
If you have an emergency following your procedure, call your surgeon’s office. If you’re in need of immediate emergency services, go to the nearest emergency room.
When will I be able to get back to work after my colostomy reversal surgery?
Most people are able to return to work and other activities about six weeks after colostomy reversal surgery, but you will likely need longer if you are required to lift heavy objects in your job.
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