Choosing colostomy over anastomoses

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Choosing colostomy over anastomoses

by Mawiz on Sat May 30, 2015 01:41 PM

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hello fellow travelers. I am 62 year old woman in Boston working as a psychotherapist. Good health overall. A small rectal cancer tumor was discovered in a routine colonoscopy. I was seen by two doctors as a good candidate for the "simple surgery" due size and location of the tumor. I had the Transanal resection TEM April 7. Then back in the hospital Due to an infection, which turned into a vaginal fistula (these are horrible), then had an iliostomy, and finally the pathology came Back with additional cancer spots, so now heading in for a rectum removal. I have a choice of reconstruction anastomoses or permanent colostomy. The reconstruction sounds very difficult and lengthy to recover from with all sort of bowel symptoms. I am not ready to quit work, and need to be able to sit quietly for an hour at a time, not running to the bathroom. Plus there is also real risk of the vaginal fistula returning if I have the reconstruction, which if possible I never want to happen again.. The stool comes out thru the vagina. Then again maybe reconstruction will work fine...... But best choice at this time in my life seems to be a colostomy, quicker complete recovery, I'm told easier to move back into regular life. Time is precious always but at this time I'm still strong and I want to finish off my career launch my daughters who are graduating high school and college, maybe travel with my husband while I'm still strong enough to get around. I don't want to give up on any prime time in my 60s to reconstruction complications. But I'm scared about making the wrong choice. Since clearly from my experience thus far all of these surgeries are complex and unpredictable. Has anyone chosen permanent colostomy or have regrets about their decisions. Thanks for being here. Mary

RE: Choosing colostomy over anastomoses

by floridanursekim on Mon Jun 29, 2015 04:22 AM

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I have not had my surgery yet, but there is a chance that I will have a colostomy afterward. I have no personal experience, but I have a friend who is a nurse too and she had  colostomy and is perfectly happy leaving well enough alone.  I am also considering  asking for the more radical surgery which could involve the colostomy. I can easily understand why you might lean toward the permanant colostomy verses more surgery and possible complications. If you have a good outlook on having a colostomy then that is worth considering. My friend Sand isn't bothered at all, going swimming and working in the O.R. for years until she retired. Good luck,let me know how things go.

Kim

RE: Choosing colostomy over anastomoses

by RangerGirl on Fri Sep 09, 2016 03:07 AM

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Maria, I am currently in your shoes when you posted. I would very much like to hear what you decided and how things are. Thank you for your time.
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