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Permanent Colostomy

I am just wondering if there is anyone out there who was not able to have a reversal after having a colostomy and debulking surgery?


  • Hi @Cecile21 , I'm not aware of anyone. Perhaps our moderator, @Flowergirl , or @MarilynOCC at Ovarian Cancer Canada will be able to direct you.
  • I’m in an unusual situation. I was in Europe when my symptoms became evident . I was taken to the ED when I arrived in Toronto . They discovered my tumour there and the on call surgeon performed an emergency colostomy but did not remove the tumour . I was then referred to a surgical oncologist in London 
    my chemo was in Windsor then debulking and set up for reversal then 3 more chemo in Windsor 
    The London surgeon doesn’t normally do reversals 
    He said the original colostomy surgeon does 
    That isn’t happening since he ( the original surgeon) felt the colostomy would be permanent . I’m thinking to try to get a referral to a surgeon in Windsor 
    The London surgical oncologist felt that I should leave well enough alone
  • kastoyles
    edited July 2020
    @Cecile21 - oh dear, what a run around! With the conflicting opinions you have had, talking to another surgeon might be a good idea. Perhaps there is nothing more they can do with the colostomy, but you will feel better knowing you have exhausted every avenue. I'm so sorry you are going through this situation. Having cancer is enough of a challenge, we/you don't need anything extra to deal with. Stay strong Cecile 21!
  • Hi @Cecile21.  Wow, I'm sorry that all this is happening to you.  As @kastoyles said, it is enough to deal with having cancer without all this other apparent confusion and differing opinions.  It is not clear to me if you have had your debulking surgery yet.  I am also not clear if it was your gynecologic oncologist in London who said they wouldn't do a reversal or if it was a general surgeon.  A gynecologic oncologist is the type of specialist that should do your debulking surgery for the cancer. 

    I have heard of some women who have had a colostomy and then once treatment was finished it was reversed.  This may not happen in every case but perhaps this is something to consider and ask about.  Another issue may be that debulking surgery is enough to deal with rather than adding another procedure like the reversal of the colostomy in the same surgery. 

    Maybe consider taking just one step at a time.  As I said, I am not clear if you have had your surgery yet or not.  If you see another general surgeon in Windsor, I would encourage you to have these 2 doctors discuss your situation so everyone is on the same page and timing.  

    If you want to seek a second opinion with another gynecologic oncologist, you can ask to see another doctor in London or  perhaps at another cancer centre.  I don't believe that Windsor has a gynecologic oncologist on staff.  There is a cancer centre in Kitchener, Hamilton and, of course, Toronto.  

    Please feel free to call or email me if you would like to discuss this further.  1-877-413-7970 x231.

    Hope this helps!
  • Hello @MarilynOCC
    Yes, I have had debulking surgery along with 3 rounds of chemo before and 3 rounds after, 
    I am waiting results of genetic testing at this point. 
    Right now I am just unsure as to whether to request a referral to a surgeon in Windsor to get an opinion regarding the advisability of reversing the colostomy.
    My Windsor oncologist and I both assumed that the surgical oncologist in London would do the reversal. Apparently he does not. Although he said he has done them in the past but not on an ongoing basis. 
    To make a long discussion short, he seemed reluctant. 
    So I agreed to let things be. 
    My Windsor oncologist doesn’t know about this yet, unless he has been notified by London. 
    So my question is should I call my Windsor oncologist and start the conversation. My next appointment with him is not until Nov 30 
    Thanks for your interest 
  • @MarilynOCC Moderator An update since July 2020. I did request a consult with a colorectal surgeon in Windsor. I know that she is an excellent surgeon; having worked at the same hospital where  she currently practices. She contacted my surgical oncologist in London and she will do with his approval.(I think he is relieved). Even though my gastrografin study and CT were good, she did a flexible sigmoidoscopy to see for herself. She said all is good to go. We just wait for the COVID numbers to go down in Windsor Essex before elective surgeries are allowed to be scheduled. I have been in remission since May 2020 and am currently on niraparib. Thank You for your attention.