Barbie Butt Or Reconnection?

Barbie Butt Or Reconnection

Hey everyone!

My first blog post with SecuriCare was all about the initial dealings I had with colitis and how it resulted in my first operation to have an ileostomy created. In this blog post, I want to share with you the next step in my recovery from colitis.

Back in 2008 when I had the surgery to remove my colon and create an ileostomy, I was too ill to have it completed.

I had been on the operating table for nine hours when the surgeons decided it was best to do no more. Prolonged surgery time would have been another factor that could have killed me! They opted to give me a temporary ileostomy so I would have time to decide if I wanted to make my stoma permanent or have it reconnected at a later date. If permanent, I’d have my entire rectum removed – something that’s often referred to as a Barbie Butt (after the popular dolls that have a distinct lack of orifices!).

After five years, the colitis was still active in my rectal stump…

I was still passing blood and mucus daily like an additional bowel movement. I was given various treatments over the years including suppositories for the rectal stump, but nothing was getting rid of it. I was also incredibly drained and tired all the time so I decided that the only way I was going to get my life back on track was to have my stump removed.

Having the rectal stump removed carried a lot of potential complications, including things such as damage to certain nerves which could cause impotency. It was a small chance, but a possibility none the less so I had to freeze my sperm. This was probably one of my biggest worries about the second operation. A 23-year-old guy, not being able to do what 23-year-old guys want to do, after already having so much of my life taken away by Ulcerative Colitis, was probably one of the hardest things I dealt with after the first operation.

The day of the operation, I was absolutely petrified of what was going to happen.

The last time I was in hospital, I was ill and didn’t have much choice. This time, I was going in well. I was aware of everything that was happening and that made it a thousand times harder! The operation took less time than the first - roughly three hours on the operation table, but the surgeons said this one was actually harder to do.

I came out of the operation feeling well, nothing like the first time!

The hardest part of this operation was not being able to sit on my bum or bend for about six weeks! Having to sit on my side and lay all the time, even when I was eating, was tough! Being in such an awkward place too, it took quite a while to heal.

I wasn’t able to return to work for around three months and even then, I still had to pack the wound! Having said this, it was worth it. I finally had my energy back and felt somewhat normal, and I had no complications with the operation. Apart from the occasional tearing of the scar from squatting too low, but this heals easily and it becomes less and less over time.

Having a ‘Barbie Butt’ simply means that the rectum is removed and closed up, but it still looks like a normal butt!

I get questions about this over my social channels and in person, and you wouldn’t know I didn’t have a rectum, even to look at! It’s a very clever procedure.

There are lots of things to think about when presented with the option of a reversal and the right choice will vary from person to person. Speaking of my own experience, it was an incredibly hard decision to make but opting for the permeant ileostomy and a Barbie Butt really was the best thing I have ever done in terms of getting my life back on track!

If there is one piece of advice that I can give you with this operation is, ask questions! It’s not embarrassing, it’s your body and you should all feel comfortable in your own skin.

“The hardest part of my Barbie Butt operation was not being able to sit on my bum or bend for about six weeks!” -@thatsnathan

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by Nathan Wheeler

Nathan Wheeler

About the author

Hello - I'm Nathan Wheeler! I'm a YouTuber and I've had an ileostomy since 2007 when I was just 17, so I have a pretty good idea about how to deal with the struggles of a stoma! I want to share my experiences with you and bring a light-hearted approach to all the questions that no one wants to ask! You can follow me an Instagram and YouTube.

Recent Comments

  • robert mc govern

    Hi nathan,I had a proctectomy done on the 20th March,I know what you mean about not being able to sit down properly after the procedure,I'm almost 8 weeks after my procedure,still packing the wound,I still have feelings like I'm leaking out of the back passage,the nurses are happy with how its healing and the how clean it is,I've been at home and only go for short walks to the shop 3mins down the road from me,my question is,do you think I should be walking more,im into me golf,I'm supposed to be going to Spain on the 13th June for 4days,3 days golf with a buggy,I was thinking to golf with me friends this evening and rent a buggy to see how I get on,how long was it before you were able to get back to your normal self after the operation ?

  • Pam

    I'm due to have a stoma bag again after being without it for 12 years they have said I need a barbie butt I'm very scared I know its fir the best stoma I'm not bothered about but the bum thing is freaking me out help me please

  • Susan Gregersen

    Crud. I'm getting a permanent iliostomy and Barbie butt in a week and a 1/2, and nobody told me any of that about not being able to sit. Now I am freaking out.

  • Darlene Bolender

    I been experiencing. Alot leaking from rectum i have a permanent ileostomy an I have it for 4 years now an started having problems in last six months of drainage an severe pain coming out it now happens every other day.i have collected it an its black, pus an dark blood looking stuff.went to a gi doctor he did a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy.
    It show a black tissue an pus an inflammatory in rectum .I was also told infection. Today I go see another doctor to see what they was going to do an I was so disappointed in this doctor he said but therapy to stronger the muscles. An he was more concerned with me dehydration more then the stuff falling out mind you I tried to explain my pain the pressure an leaking from rectum an still got no answers I am sick all the time nausea an pain an discomfort. Has anyone had these issues an is it normal have had so many doctors seems like no one wants to fix the problems.

  • Patty

    I too get this .But mines mucus and sometimes blood with clots . It's really sore at the minute. The doc said I have phantom rectum syndrome where your brain thinks you need a big dump , but nothing can come out apart from mucus and blood sometimes . It really hurts like I'm constipated. They said I have to live with it.

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