What Can You Expect From a Colostomy Reversal Surgery?

Recovery time for colostomy reversal surgery varies with each patient and lasts between two weeks and several months or longer, states ColostomyCare.org. Age, physical condition, complications and whether a colon resection was performed can change how well and quickly a person recovers from this major surgery.

Standing and taking small walks is the first vital step in the healing process after a colostomy reversal, explains ColostomyCare.org. This promotes blood flow and aids in healing while helping to decrease blood clots. Walking and movement are also beneficial in lessening the chance of getting pneumonia. Some people experience diarrhea before resuming normal bowel movements after surgery, notes the National Health Service of the United Kingdom. The anus can become sore after reversal until the body acclimates to regular bowel movements.

It may take 10 to 20 visits daily to the bathroom after a colostomy reversal before the patient returns to regular bowel movements, according to ColostomyCare.org. Diarrhea and/or constipation are typical side effects of the surgery and can take months to be resolved. Taking over-the-counter or prescription medications to help contain the diarrhea or constipation may be recommended by the doctor. The two most important components to a full recovery after colostomy surgery are healing of the body and having regular, pain-free bowel movements.