U turn – Reversal challenges

Clinical Advisor

From A Bigger Life

When a reversal of a stoma is planned there is one really important point thing to think about even before the date of your reversal is discussed. That is to practice some pelvic floor muscles to ensure your sphincter muscles are working really well when the time for reversal has come. You could discuss types of exercises with your GP or stoma care nurse or if possible a physio.

Length of stay

It is a planned procedure so you can expect your length of stay at the hospital to be a lot shorter when you go in for your reversal. You can expect to stay in for around 3-5 days to ensure your bowel function is getting back to some sort of normality.

It can take up to 6-8 weeks to establish a proper bowel function, although for some people this may be longer. You may have to go to the toilet more frequently as you may be unsure if you are going to pass flatus or bowel motion. This should ease with time.

Potential problems

Potential problems may include painful or uncomfortable anus but this should be a short term problem.

Tips to help

Wash and dry area well- use barrier cream/spray if your bowel function is loose.


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