If you scroll down, you will see pictures of my ostomy and disemboweled colon and rectum!

This is me!

My pre-surgery belly.

My ostomy nurse marking the location of my stoma.

The location that my ostomy nurse marked for the surgeon so she would know where to place the stoma.

Trying to smile post-op.

This is where they took the drain out. One of the keyhole incisions on the left side of my abdomen.

My mom made an ostomy bag for my pet rat, Henry.

My undetectable pouch!

My ileostomy...stoma with fresh pouch attached!

My stoma.

Colon 01

Colon 02

Colon 03

Colon 04

Colon 05

Colon 06

Rectum 01

Rectum 02

Rectum 03

Rectum 04

Rectum 05


38 Responses to “Photos (Warning: May Be Graphic)”

  1. Steve said

    Piper,kinda went down the same track some what. In the military after 1st gulf war,hurricane andrew claen-up somalia, and gitmo i became sick 15-20 bloody bowel movements at 25 when i was 10 foot tall and bullet proof. did the prednisone and such then had surgery released from the Army struggled 14 yrs trying to handle it then had surgery tried many types of meds to no avail. Now 40 and the prednisone has kicked my butt. trying to keep a positive attitude but some days i slip but just try to back up and re-group.If you look on edgepark medical a company called Phoenix makes a belt that goes around your tummy snaps and then tuck the bag into a pouch and snap it up. has made a huge difference in my ability to sleep and be active. I will get you the page number and item number to send to you. ii try to think i am in my mid 20’s but truth is i am getting old but keep fighting it. i put pics of my stoma which i named Fat Stanley like flat stanley and the idea was to take pics so folks could try and figure out were he was. I did add pics to face book so my familiy and friends could see as i believe it has been made taboo and people are scarred to talk about it. I will be following you blog.

  2. Piper Lee said

    Thanks for the feedback, Steven! I think it is great how the internet enables us to communicate with others with similar experiences. Prednisone kicked my butt too… I became dependent on it near the end. Very glad to be tapering off of it.

    I think that people are either grossed out and don’t want to talk about it or they are actually really very interested in it. I post the pictures here on my blog so family and friends can come here at their own risk if they want to.

    I have seen the belt online. I don’t really have trouble with the ostomy doing normal everyday things, but I have been thinking about getting a bike and it would probably help keep things in place while exercising. I also work in an animal hospital; when I go back to work, it might be nice to have everything secure while wrestling with rottweilers. Does insurance cover things like this?

  3. Lea said

    Hi Piper,

    I followed your link from the YODAA site. I love your blog! I also love your hair cut, it’s really cute. I also love the ostomy bag for your pet rat, lol. I think it’s a great idea that you put all this up and I’m gonna check out the other blogs too.

    ~Lea (Waif)

  4. Piper Lee said

    Thanks, Lea! I thought the little rat bag was hilarious. 😛 I figured I would write about what I was going through because it helped me a lot to read other people’s blogs before I had my surgery.

  5. thailainthesky said

    I wish I had gotten to see the bits of my colon that they removed. Is it weird that I’m totally jealous that you got to see yours? 😉
    Loving the mini-ostomy bag for the rat! I might make one for my teddy!

    • Piper Lee said

      Haha, definitely not weird! Er… or maybe it is really weird and I’m just weird too. 😛 Isn’t the ratty bag awesome? xD My mom made it and took a picture of it while I was still in the hospital and I was like IT IS SO COOL THAT YOU DID THAT!

  6. JohnNotKen said

    Hi you ok? Thanks for adding me on facebook. I thought id better look you up since your on my list. Looks like your surgary was quite recent. Iv had a loop colostomy for the past 2 years and it doesnt work properly because i still go through my botom as well as the bag. Iv also got crohns desease and my meds arent realy working for me.
    Well anyway i look forward to chating with you at some point. I have lots of stories to tell and im sure you do too. I love how your so open about everything. JNK

    • Piper Lee said

      Hi! I’m doing great so far. The ileostomy has cured me of all of my pre-surgery Crohn’s symptoms. The only medications that ever really worked for me were prednisone (which didn’t work that great and was a bad idea to use long-term anyway) and remicade (which stopped working after almost 2 years). I’m pretty much an open book, plus I think it is important to raise awareness.

  7. Jackie said

    You’re the only person I know who had pictures of their rectum and colon, like me! Did your surgeon look at you like you were nuts like mine did?

    • Piper Lee said

      Haha! I think my surgeon was fine with it, but some of the nurses looked a little disconcerted. I took in a digital camera for them to take pictures with, but Dr. Vachon just took them with the laparoscope and printed them out for me! I was like just waking up from surgery all drugged up and going “where are my pictures?” 😛

      • Jackie said

        Yea I think im gonna start pushing for pictures of the insides or maybe a video. I mean its not like I can go back and get it all later! Its gotta be now or never!!

  8. Stacey said

    I thought I was the only one who wanted to have pictures to see just how rotten my innards are!!! I’m getting ready to have my surgery and just happened to find your blog and I enjoyed reading it. I’m nervous and wondering all kinds of things so I’m reading a lot on the net. GL with everything!

  9. Don said

    Are your photographs available to be used for educational purposes? If they are available, what acknowledgment information would you like displayed with the images? We are interested specifically in your stoma site marking images.

  10. christina garris said

    Cool pictures. My grandma has a colostomy bag and i take care of her alot so i learned alot about this.

  11. Marsha B said


    I’m the marketing manager for the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board. http://WWW.WOCNCB.org

    We are interested in using the photo of you and your nurses – where she’s marking the stoma – on the cover of a scholarly nursing literature review.

    Please contact me so we can discuss the possibility.

    Marsha B

  12. gillian said

    going for the surgery this week….good to see what to expect. thanks for sharing. do you have any tips for finding or making bag covers and or belts? thanks so much!

  13. Anonymous said

    Piper you are a wonderful woman, don’t know how you do it! I go on the 16 th of October to find out if I have to have a colostomy , all I do is cry! I can’t leave my house because I need a bathroom at all times! I just hope I can be as strong as you are!!

    • Piper Lee said

      Good luck with your consultation! One of the biggest things that comforted me about getting my ostomy was the fact that I was in such pain and lived my life in the bathroom, and I knew that painful life would go away if I had the surgery. It is also nice to have a great support group on the internet. I have found some nice pages on Facebook, and there are also some forums out there. Check out UCVLOG.com and lifewithapouch.wordpress.com for some extra inspiration. Doing my research before my surgery really solidified the fact that I wanted to go through with it. There are definitely posts that are negative, but I think it’s important to keep a positive attitude and realize it may be something you need to really live your life. I think you’ll find the overwhelming response is actually positive.

  14. Samuel Joseph Oldfield said

    Hiii I’m an ostomate and I remember seeing your pet rat online before Henry is soooo cute.
    I just wanted to say hi and to thank you for sharing.

  15. T-Onymous said

    I know this post is old, but I’ve been going through the same process. I didn’t even want to see my colon afterwards. Dealing with crohn’s since I was 17 and even after the surgery I have been dealing with multiple problems for a little over a year. First huge output and a strange blockage kept me in the hospital for over a month and I failed my college classes that semester. I was only supposed to be in the hospital for a week. The surgery wound that was left after the permanent ostomy surgery has left me stuck at home for the better part of 7 months. An abcess has been pressing up against the wound that happened after the surgery. It has left me in pain for these months on pain meds whenever it gets bad. And although I can’t work I have to wait for hospital appointments before anything even gets done. I’m glad to see other’s reaction to the surgery and wish you the best if you even follow this anymore.

  16. I absolutely loved seeing Henry with his very own pouch. This made my day 🙂

  17. Ron said

    My surgery is just two weeks ago,so far things went ok. But the place they put my stoma is not good, as I have no clue how to wear my pants anymore. I also was supposed to get pain pump for the first days after surgery, didn´t happen ,right before surgery where it was supposed to get done, they said it was nowhere in the papers and decided against it.. I even ASKED to see at least photos of my removed colon, but nope. And I wished they removed the rectum too, as I have many bad fissures and it looks devastated ,but still they won´t, because they are almost pushing me to get a pouch later, without asking me if I wanted, while I said clearly that I don´t. So I will have to go through another surgery somewhen. Also i´m close to starving and still things run through way too fast, but noone seems to care about that at all. Also was tha tlucky that my stoma has a big bump, so I´ll probably never be able to use premade plates. hm well this all ain´t so great. The only thing i´m really upset about is the bad spot of the stoma though, since I simply can´t change it.
    In case someone would like to write me, please do so via email, since I don´t have a wordpress account.

  18. Karinda Virdee said

    Hi piper. I’m a radiography student at the university of Hertfordshire. I think your blog is great. I’m currently doing a project on Crohn’s disease, and I was wondering if I could use the picture of your ileostomy with fresh bag attached picture. Thanks for your help.

  19. angel said

    Why is it that there’s a colon that just got out?
    Sorry for my ignorance

  20. Katrin said

    Dear Piper,
    I just googled stoma out of curiosity and am amazed with your positive attitude and the acceptance of your situation. It´s a great help for others who are still suffering, you are a great role model. Wishing you all health and the best of luck.

  21. Karen said

    You are so strong and amazing to go through this with a smile and educate people about this!

  22. You haven’t posted in a year, hope are still fighting the brave fight!

  23. tammie said

    You are so strong and brave. I am about to go thru the same thing. I hv stage 4 colon and liver cancer. I will hv to hv a colostomy bag the rest of my life.

  24. Anonymous said

    This was so very helpful explaining to my daughter what I may be having done. Thank you for your bravery and best wishes.

  25. Karen said

    you look so young! Why did you need an ileostomy?

  26. ARTHUR J. SELHORN 11 said

    My husband had a ruptured colon and has a colostomy bag. It was done on January 18, 2017. It can be reversed in May. How do they reverse it to put him back to eliminate the normal way.

    • Piper Lee said

      I’m not sure exactly what they did, so this would be a better question for the surgeon. However, I’m assuming he probably has two ends of intestine that they will suturing re back together (like a resection).

    • jterryed said

      He may have what is called a double-barrel or loop colostomy. They can reverse it after his colon heals up.

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