Surgery to reverse an ileostomy takes place about 8 weeks after the initial surgery, reports the University of Louisville Section for Colon and Rectal Surgery. The second surgery is a shorter operation with a faster recovery time for most patients.
Preparation for reversal ileostomy surgery begins about 4 weeks after the initial surgery with exercises to help tone the anal sphincter and improve bowel function, says the University of Louisville Section for Colon and Rectal Surgery. The day before surgery, patients are put on a liquid diet; they are not allowed to eat or drink after midnight. Post-operative hospital stays usually last 3 to 4 days.