.Well it has been five weeks now since I had the surgery. It was a ten hour procedure. Tissue from inside my mouth was harvested for the patches, the skin grafts. A 270 degree incision was made around my rectum and I was opened up like a can of beans. This provided easy access to the rectal cavity and all the problem areas. My prostate floor had to be rebuilt having been badly eroded by the ulceration. A divot, the track the ulcer took, from my rectum, up the colon between the prostate and urethra had to be repaired. Basically a tuck was made and sutured. The perforation through the colon wall where is ate through the urethra had to be patched. And a new section of urethra had to be built. It was not a simple fistula. A section of the urethra was gone - completely.
Two muscles, abductor muscles were removed from each leg, the inner thigh area, and these were used to pack the rectal cavity to hold everything in place.
Everything went pretty much as planned. Now it is wait and see, to see how well the skin grafts take stitched to the irradiated tissue.
The surgeon, Dr. Zinman, of the Leahy Clinic in Burlington Ma. has performed more of these procedures than anyone. This particular procedure he has done 150 times, with 40 of those cases for radiation damage like myself. His success rate is 80%. So, I am saying my prayers, keeping my fingers crossed, lots of protein, doing everything possible to fall into that 80% group.
In three weeks I go back for a follow-up. Hopefully at that time he will be able to remove my Foley catheter. That will still leave me with a supra-pubic.
He mentioned the possibility of having to re-operate sometimes, when a certain patch hasn't held. That would be minor surgery. The big procedure is over.
I am hoping by August we can schedule a reversal of my colostomy.