Weighing the pros and cons of revision surgery

Clare Mee
Clare Mee
The thought of more surgery can bring on anxiety, so weighing up the pros and cons can help.

I have a very irregular shape to the base of my stoma and I have always had trouble cutting the wafer hole correctly.  If I manage it the odd time, I need it to be placed absolutely correctly. How does everyone else manage who have strange shapes?

I know that I need further surgery for stoma revision but am quite anxious about the outcome. I have some pros for stoma revision but also a few cons.

THE PROS

I have a fistula connecting from the small bowel to the skin at the base of the stoma, so surgery could get rid of that and I wouldn't poo from there as well as the stoma, therefore the bag would be easier to cut and the skin wouldn't be raw around the fistula site. (This is the biggest pro and I often imagine a stoma without this and how easier and less painful it would be).

The stoma would look cuter (believe me this is a thing. I can get jealous of a normal neat perfect stoma, ok cute might be a bit much but I do think there are perfect stomas out there).

THE CONS

If my surgeon moves the stoma to the other side of my tummy it would feel like starting again.  I would have another scar to add to the mix, and the awful healing process of a raw connection between stoma and skin ( this was quite painful when poo got into it until it healed properly). Would I get used to putting the bag on that side? I suppose so, but it would be very strange.

If my surgeon can re-fashion the same stoma at the same site there is a much higher chance of a prolapse or hernia because the site will be weaker. Is this inevitable or rare? There are no clear answers.

I need more time off work and doing things I enjoy as I am having a big surgery in October for a perineal/ vaginal fistula where I am likely to be off for 6-8 weeks or more.

Decisions decisions. It's so hard when both options have possible complications.

The thing is, apart from the fistula everything else about my stoma is exactly what I want.  I can eat more less whatever I like without consequences, the length is pretty good and my skin is fine except near the fistula.

If anyone has experience of a stoma site change or re-fashion, leave a comment and we can have a chat!