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Laparoscopic Colostomy Reversal


  • Laparoscopic (lap-ah-ROS-ko-pik) colostomy (ko-LOS-to-me) reversal is surgery to reconnect your colon (large intestine) with your rectum after a previous colostomy. A colostomy is an opening in the abdomen (stomach) to drain stool (bowel movements) into a bag. A laparoscopic colostomy reversal restores the appearance and function of your abdomen, intestines, and rectum. The intestines are part of the gastrointestinal (GI) system where food is digested (broken down). The small intestine is the tube that runs from the stomach to the colon. It is made up of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The colon is the long tube that connects the small bowel with the rectum. The colon absorbs water from digested foods and turns the digested food into stool. The rectum and anus are where the stool leaves your body.
    Picture of a normal digestive system
  • In a laparoscopic colostomy reversal, your caregiver makes small incisions (cuts) in the abdomen. He uses a laparoscope and other special tools to do the surgery. A laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and tiny video camera on the end. This gives your caregiver a clear view of the abdominal area while watching the images on a screen. The ends of your rectum and large intestine are then connected, and the incisions are closed with stitches. With a laparoscopic colostomy reversal, you may be able to have bowel movements normally again. You may also be freed from the trouble of taking care of a colostomy, and return to your usual activities.


Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
  • Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Ask your caregiver when you need to return to have your wound checked and the stitches removed.

Prevent constipation:

High-fiber foods, extra liquids, and regular exercise can help you prevent constipation. Examples of high-fiber foods are fruit and bran. Prune juice and water are good liquids to drink. Regular exercise helps your digestive system work. You may also be told to take over-the-counter fiber and stool softener medicines. Take these items as directed.

Eat healthy foods:

Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.

Drinking liquids:

Adults should drink about 9 to 13 cups of liquid each day. One cup is 8 ounces. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Coffee, soup, and fruit may be counted in your daily liquid amount. Ask your caregiver how much liquid you should drink each day.

Rest when you need to while you heal after surgery.

Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have a feeling of being too full or bloated.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have more BM's in one day than before your surgery.
  • You have nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
  • You have not had a BM for two or three days.
  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, surgery, or medicine.


  • You feel very full and you cannot burp or vomit (throw up).
  • You have problems having a bowel movement or passing flatus (gas) or urine.
  • Your abdomen becomes tender and hard.
  • Your incisions are swollen, red, have pus coming from them, or they have come apart.
  • Your stools are black or have blood in them.
  • Your vomit is greenish in color, looks like coffee grounds, or has blood in it.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
  • You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.