Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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Colonoscopy prior to reversal

Hi, just had a call [unexpected in a sunday] from the hospital to book my colonoscopy prior to eventual rejoin. My anxiety has gone through the roof for some reason! Can anyone advise me on what they do, is it like a normal colonoscopy but without the prep? Do they just go as far as the join? Last time I was having one was when I got the cancer news so I feel so apprehensive! :x:


hi @rockyroo try not to worry over it too much, it's very straightforward. I have an ileostomy and have an enema prior to the colonoscopy and it's much easier than the prep! I am not having a reversal, so they go past the join, but point it out to me on route lol. take care, you will be okay P :x:


Hi @rockyroo . Is it definately a colonoscopy or a check that the join is ok? I had my join checked before my reversal but it was done in the xray dept by inserting a small tube then putting some dye in so they can check the join isn’t leaking. It’s a lot less invasive than a colonoscopy and no prep required?:x:


Hi @rockyroo just seen that we had our diagnosis on the same day last year 🥲 I’ve also got a temporary Ileostomy and had a water soluble contrast enema :x:-ray to check joins all was ok but I have a Rectovaginal vaginal fistula so that needs to heal prior to a reversal :x::x:

Hi @Poppies how do they do a colonoscopy if you have a Ileostomy? Do they go through the stoma or rectum? Thanks :x::x:


hi @Worried_Jay they go through the rectum, but I know they can through the stoma, but i don't in what circumstances. The enema is to rid you of the mucus that can build up. Px

Mark McC

Hi @rockyroo

I didn’t have a colonoscopy before my reversal but did have a water soluble enema which is to assess that my low colorectal anastomosis was strong enough ie wasn’t leaking. It was totally painless, they insert a tube to introduce the contrast so they can see how the joins doing on the monitor.

I’m about 10 weeks on from my reversal and have my 1st anniversary(of the initial low bowel resection) colonoscopy due in March.

The only warning I’d give about the soluble enema is that what goes in comes out, 😬, in my case initially quite hurriedly with a small amount of seepage over the following 24 hours.

Good luck with your appointment, I appreciate the a anxiety, but it’s pretty straightforward.

Liz Blakelands

@rockyroo Please don't worry, I think it is pretty standard to have a colonoscopy before your reversal and to have the water soluble enema. I had both, I think the colonscopy is actually the first surveillance one and as it gives them sight of the join if 1st anniversaries is close to reversal they do the colonscopy before reversal.

The prep isn't taken because it will not get to where required as will come out through your stoma. If they need to clear debris (mucus etc) out of the way they use water during the colonscopy. A pair of tenor pants for the journey home is a good idea.

I also had one about 6 months after reversal which was part of surveillance and will have one this year (4 years plus from diagnosis).

Please try not to worry it is all part of the reversal and surveillance program :x::x:


Thank you all for your reassurance, it is my 12 monthly check, so not prior to reversal, which is what through me because I’m no where near ready for that due to a large clot in my stomach. Not quite as worried now, just need to take some padding by the sounds of it!!😀 :x: