Ulcerative Colitis

10 things I wish I’d known before having my ileostomy reversal surgery

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In the summer of last year I opted to have my ileostomy reversed.

I was to have it reversed in October, just a few months after making the decision – which wasn’t one that was made lightly.

I’d had my ileostomy formed in January 2015 after a battle with ulcerative colitis led me to having emergency surgery. I was told I would need reversal surgery that year, should I choose it, to ensure my rectum didn’t deteriorate beforehand.

I’d been having problems with my ileostomy – those mainly involving my skin. I was suffering with countless bag leaks that would leave my skin red raw. It was crushing my mental health and as someone who suffers with OCD (the real diagnosis not the ‘I like to everything in order’ fad), frequent bag changes and obsession over the cleanliness of my skin were ruling my life.

Of course, I knew the reversal was going to by no means be my saving grace – and was informed that my choice would ultimately leave me with the possibility of needing IVF to conceive, 70% chance of the UC returning in my rectum and a probable future surgery to remove my rectum. But I took the risk anyhow.

I just wish that I’d known a few more things about the reversal and about myself before taking that risk.

Here are 10 of them.

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