Patient Comments: Colostomy - Cause


What was the cause of your colostomy? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: squeakdoc, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 08

I had a colostomy due to a large bowel obstruction. I had scar tissue from my diverticulitis which caused the obstruction. I waited too long to see a doctor; I had emergency surgery and was able to have a reversal 3 months afterwards. My way of dealing with the colostomy was using the closed ostomy bags that I changed out every day. Luckily, my insurance paid for that. I did not deal with this as well as I wished so I did seek counseling for those 3 months which did help me enormously. I had a wonderful surgeon and I am thankful for having him during this terrible time in my life.

Comment from: Katie30, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

I came on this page to try and get some reassurance that what is in store for me isn't going to be too bad and reading this story has done that. I am a 30 year old woman with 2 beautiful sons aged 7 and 10. I have been suffering with abdominal and bowel pains for years. Doctors put it down to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) but something still wasn't right. My periods had become really irregular and the pains were unbearable in particular when passing stools during the time of my menstrual cycle. I was sent to a gynecologist who did a laparoscopy and discovered I have endometriosis. I had surgery in December 2016 but it was found to have wormed its way into my lower bowel (literally next to my rectum apparently) so I am due surgery again on 15th August 2017 (2 weeks today) and will be undergoing a bowel resection with a colostomy bag too. I am hoping to have this reversed but the consultant is quite worried about the reversal as he is not sure how well the joint will heal due to where it is. Fingers crossed it all goes well and gets me my quality of life back. I have had 2 children so I'm used to dealing with poop so that doesn't faze me, I suppose it will be adjusting my diet and making sure I'm prepared for any eventuality. I am due to see the stoma nurses on Thursday. Really anxious now but it's good to read other people’s stories and their experiences.

Comment from: Wizard, 75 or over (Patient) Published: February 27

I had a colonoscopy done at a medical center (not a hospital), trust me, that is not the way to go. If your doctor does not do the procedure at a hospital, run and find you a new doctor. I ended up with a hole in my colon and had to go to the hospital and have emergency surgery. I ended up with a colostomy bag for 4 months and then the reversal which was worse than getting the colonoscopy done. If I had known I would not have done the reversal, and lived with the bag until I got tired of living.

Comment from: LNS, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

I was diagnosed with diverticulitis and had to have an emergency surgery during Memorial Day weekend of this past year. I have been with my colostomy for about 4 months now and will be scheduled for the reversal sometime in November. I know the recovery was a bit much but I am curious how it will be this time around.

Comment from: nat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 27

I had diverticulitis and on April 19th I had a colostomy. I am fortunate to be able to get it reversed however I am wondering how bad the pain is.

Comment from: Brenda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I slightly turned my left leg while standing and I felt a stinging charley horse type of pain. I initially had swelling on the outside of my left knee then the whole leg from knee to whole thigh was swollen tight and extremely painful. The next day my kneecap was covered in a deep purple bruise. I have not got this checked yet and wonder if I should check if I have a ruptured tendon. The pain is really bad at night and keeps me awake and the pain seems to affect the left calf as well. I also have a condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and we have soft skin and tissues and break blood vessels easily.

Comment from: DES57, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 16

I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2007. I went through 8 weeks of chemotherapy and worst of all, radiation before they would operate. Two feet of my colon were removed and I had a colostomy for 8 months. I hated every minute of the bag and was so happy to have the resection. Now 7 years later, the damage the radiation did to my colon has made it useless. I have fought constant pain and constipation for 3 years and have to use a catheter to get my bowel empty. So this Friday 12/18/15 the surgeons are going to remove my entire colon and I will have a permanent bag. I want to live but am very depressed about the situation. I would never have gone through the radiation if I only knew what I know now.

Comment from: wanda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 25

After a day like all others I all of a sudden had severe pain in lower stomach. I went to the emergency room and found I had perforated bowel from diverticulitis, and had emergency surgery the next morning. The colostomy bag (which I call ole faithful) was a blessing to me; the pain I had was horrific. After surgery the pain was gone, but replaced by the bag. Yeah, it was very hard a t first trying to figure the bag out but after 6 months of wearing it I am ok with it. I will be going for reversal surgery on September the 3rd. Anyone who has to wear the bag should consider it a blessing to be able to wear it and live!


Colorectal Cancer: Symptoms, Signs, Screening, Stages See Slideshow
Comment from: BobB015, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 10

I had to have a colostomy due to diverticulitis. The CAT scan showed an abscess with a micro-perforation. At first they weren't worried about it and were treating me with medicines in the hospital. For some reason my surgeon didn't like what he was seeing and during surgery found a large abscess that was hidden in the CAT scan that required removal of part of my colon. I owe that man my life, I really do believe if that abscess had ruptured I'd have died. So now I have a colostomy bag while they wait for my colon to heal enough to do a reversal. I keep reading about cleaning out the bag and I went through that at first, but now have a 2 piece bag that is wonderful. I just remove the bag, throw it away, clean around the stoma, and snap a new bag into place. This really is the way to go. I was really depressed about the bag until my VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) nurse showed me this setup; now life is bearable while I wait for the reversal.

Comment from: Stonell, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I had my colostomy in August of 2010 as a result of diverticulitis. I was diagnosed with the disease in June of that same year. I was very sick and it took almost 2 weeks before I started to feel better. I had a lot of stressful things going on in my life at the time and when the disease reared its ugly head again not 3 months later one of the diverticula became cystic and ruptured. I was very sick and full of infection. I was lucky enough to get to the emergency room and had surgery that same night. I was a preschool teacher at the time and couldn"t go back to work due to lifting requirements. I recovered quickly and within 3 months had my reversal and am currently living a normal life free of the diverticulitis. I will agree that a sense of humor and a positive attitude are a necessary part of the recovery process.

Comment from: Lolla, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

Three to five weeks ago my colon raptured and an ulcer burst. I had an emergency operation where they removed 90% of my stomach, part of my small intestine, one whole part of my colon, one ovary and my appendix. I now have a colostomy that doctor hope to reverse end March 2014.

Comment from: motchambers1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

Hi, everyone. I had colon surgery October 19, 2011. I had to wait six months for my diseased colon to heal (about 8 inches had to be removed). My colostomy reversal surgery was done six weeks ago and I am healing, just problems with pinned up gas. One tip for colostomy wearers who are female: I always emptied and cleaned my bag on my knees in front of the toilet. I am short and it just did not work for me to sit on the toilet and do it. After my first surgery I was very depressed and cried a lot, had a lot of self-pity. I have always exercised and been able to control my weight. I put on about 25 pounds between my surgeries (6 months). However, I had quit smoking during this time also. I know my October surgery saved my life and I am grateful for my surgery and my surgeons. There is life after colon surgery, good luck and follow doctor's orders and do keep your sense of humor. My husband and I used to joke about us praying for poop, but our prayers were answered.

Comment from: gaspasserman, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 14

I had a colostomy done about 5 weeks ago and I am very appreciative of this article. It answered a few of the little nagging questions about care of the device. I will now carry an extra one with me. I also work in the medical profession. I fell, landing on my back, fracturing 3 ribs, and resulting in a diaphragmatic hernia with bowel in the chest. The surgery also required a chest tube for a pneumothorax. All resolved but now I still have, shall I say a bloated feeling, and only am able to eat smaller meals, but do use protein drinks and snacks in between with fluids. One definite necessity is to have a nurse (WIFE) to make you do all to get well.

Comment from: Never2old, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

Good article, happy to know that recovery from the reversal isn't as painful or time-consuming. Suggestion for cleaning the bag when away from home. After you unclamp the bag, fold it back on itself like a cuff. After you have emptied it, wipe off the new end, then unfold the cuff. At this point, I lay it on my leg and with the "male" side of the clip, scrape the residual back up the bag a little way. This keeps the end cleaner and keeps the clip from squeezing feces out. I would be careful about how much olive oil you put in it, because it will cause the adhesive patch to release. Also, DON’T use Alli for dieting purposes, because it really works! And it turns any fat you consume into liquid grease, and the adhesive won't work, AT ALL.

Comment from: Colon One, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 25

Mine started as a lower bowel resection for diverticulitis. The colon was reattached but began leaking, and a colostomy was performed. It was reversed three months later, but once the surgeon went back in, most of my colon had gone bad and required resection. Two years passed and three operations later, all seems well.

Comment from: Jan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

I had a lot of pain and was in septic shock when my stomach collapsed had several surgeries and they did the colostomy I want it reversed now having too many problems.


Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer
Comment from: desperate w., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 25

I had Cancer, radiation caused a severe rectal burn. The pain was so excruciating I couldn't see going on with it. My surgeon offered a colostomy and after a while I knew we had to do it. I also have Interstitial cystitis, which means no control over urination. Well to act like a woman and wife again is more than I can deal with. Does anybody have a suggestion? Please, desperate w.

Comment from: Sharon, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I have had a colostomy since 1988 as a result of cancer. There have been relatively few problems except for the occasional blow out and a few bowl obstructions. One that required surgery. The main issue was learning how to cope and accept that this was a permanent problem. A realization that I am going to have to learn how to live with it. I was only 46 years old, divorced, with 4 kids. This took a major adjustment to maintain my quality of life. I'm now 70. The whole key to getting through this ordeal is attitude and a sense of humor.

Comment from: angelgirlamor, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

hello everyone I’m 31 years old and have had a colostomy since birth. There is time I fall down and cry. I have been wanting to have a baby, but no luck. Can you be pregnant and have a colostomy?

Comment from: 3cancers2years, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I have colon cancer and find out next week when surgery is. Because of where the tumor is almost positive of colostomy. I agree keep the sense of humor. These articles have helped immensely. I have no idea what I am in for, but I do expect to have the latest fashion accessory that everyone will want.

Comment from: mike\vins little bro, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 16

My brother had the operation (colostomy) 10-24-11. He now says he feels like a freak, he won’t go anywhere because he says he always has a smell. He also was given 3 to 6 months to live. That was two months ago. I want to make him as happy as I can, I’d like to get him to go out. If anyone knows how to stop the smell from the mucus from his rectum, we appreciate your help.

Comment from: Penny, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I just had an emergency Colostomy 6 weeks ago my doctor said if I had waited 1-2 more days I would have died. I was basically horrified by the whole thing and having to have the "Bag" but I got a great tip from my home visiting nurse who got it from one of her patients for emptying the bag and let me tell you it's a Godsend. Just take a little vegetable or olive oil and put about 1/2 tsp in the (Unused) bag and rub it all over the inside of the bag and it lubricates it so when you empty it well it just slides right out I am a female and I just can stand in front of the toilet and do it, and the inside of the bag is left practically like new you don't have to clean it out, just a little around the opening. So I hope this reaches a lot of people because it will be a huge benefit.

Comment from: classylady1004, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I will be having the colon resection surgery in a week and the colostomy bag is probable but hopefully temporary. I have a great deal of diverticulosis for my age and a rupture which created a fistula through my vaginal wall. I wasn't prepared for this diagnosis so my head is spinning. I really appreciated this article to answer basic fundamental everyday questions about living with a stoma. Thank You!

Comment from: lucky_dancer, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

There was a small tear in my colon. The pain was horrible. They say it was caused by diverticulitis. They also say my being on prednisone was a major factor in the tear. While it isn't something I would wish on ANYONE, I am thankful I have gotten through it. My reversal was done 2 weeks ago, exactly 3 months after the emergency colostomy. I even learned I'm allergic to wheat. So I feel better even as I learn to make adjustments to my diet.

Comment from: Daniel, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 02

Perforated diverticulitis and peritonitis. Had to go to the hospital ER after going face-down on my bed with horrible abdominal pain. Currently living with the colostomy and it is hell. The author of this article has described my own experience as if it were his own. My reversal surgery is in 17 days. I can't wait. It is truly amazing how life can just suddenly pull the rug out from underneath you. It's also amazing how resilient and tough you can be when put to it. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but it's not the end of the world. As this author says, there are MUCH worse things that could happen.

Comment from: Dubber01, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 25

I had anal cancer and the radiation caused so much damage (scarring and shrinkage) there was no other option - tried several things and nothing helped. The pain upon having a BM (which was few and far between) was so horrible I would vomit every time. It took almost 2 years for these problems to rear their ugly head - post radiation.