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Laparoscopic Colostomy Reversal


Laparoscopic colostomy reversal is surgery to close your colostomy and reconnect your colon.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine helps prevent an infection caused by bacteria. You may get them before, during, or after your surgery.
  • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

During your surgery:

Your healthcare provider will make 2 to 5 small incisions in your abdomen. The laparoscope and other small tools will be passed through these incisions. Your abdomen will be filled with a gas to lift the abdominal wall away from your organs. Your healthcare provider will cut away your colostomy from the skin. He will reconnect the cut ends to the rest of your colon with staples or stitches. The incisions on your abdomen will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will watch you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room.

  • Medicines:
    • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Pain medicine: Healthcare providers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a healthcare provider when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.
    • Laxatives: This medicine helps your bowel movements move through your intestines more easily.
  • Nasogastric tube: This is a flexible tube that is put into your nose during surgery. It is passed down your throat and into your stomach. The tube helps keep your stomach empty while your bowels start to work again after surgery. Food and medicine may be given through it until you can start to eat.
  • Pressure stockings: These are long, tight stockings that put pressure on your legs to promote blood flow and prevent clots.
  • You may need to wear inflatable boots after surgery. The boots have an air pump that tightens and loosens different areas of the boots. This device improves blood flow and helps prevent clots.
  • Activity: Your healthcare provider may have you get out of bed and walk as soon as possible after surgery. This will help your bowels start working sooner. Call your healthcare provider before you get up for the first time. If you feel weak or dizzy when you stand up, sit or lie down right away, and press your call button.
  • Foods after surgery: Your healthcare provider will listen to your stomach for bowel sounds using a stethoscope. You may be able to eat when bowel sounds are heard. Tell your healthcare provider when you begin to pass gas and feel hungry after surgery. You may be given ice chips at first, and then liquids, such as water, broth, juice, or soft drinks. If you do not have problems after drinking liquids, healthcare providers may then give you soft foods. Some examples of soft foods are ice cream, applesauce, or custard. Once you can eat soft food easily, you may begin to eat normally.


  • You may bleed more than expected during or after your surgery. There is a chance that your ureters, bladder, or bowels may be damaged during surgery. You may have problems that require open surgery. Your healthcare provider may not be able to reconnect your colon. If this happens, you will need to keep your colostomy. You may get an infection of the skin and other tissue around your wounds. Your colon may leak or pull apart around the area where it was put back together. This can cause a serious infection. The carbon dioxide used during your surgery may rise and cause shoulder or chest pain for up to 2 days after your surgery.
  • You are at risk for skin damage around your stoma. You may get an itchy rash and your skin may become red, swollen, and sore. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs. This can be life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

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