First Dates star Merlin Griffiths reveals he’s had his stoma removed

‘This will take some getting used to!’ First Dates star Merlin Griffiths reveals he’s had his stoma removed after nine months amid bowel cancer battle

First Dates star Merlin Griffiths has given fans an update on his health amid his bowel cancer battle.

The barman and TV personality, 47, revealed on Twitter on Monday that he has had his stoma removed after nine months during a five-night stay in hospital.

Merlin was first diagnosed with the disease in September last year and has previously undergone radiotherapy treatment on his road to recovery.

First Dates star Merlin Griffiths reveals he’s had his stoma removed

Moving forward: First Dates star Merlin Griffiths has given fans an update on his health amid his bowel cancer battle telling how he has had his stoma removed after nine months

Sharing a snap in his hospital gown after the operation he wrote in an update: ‘Gosh, it’s very odd knowing all my insides are actually inside me again after 9 months of a #stoma.

‘Next step, farting. Then food. #NHS #Cancer #Surgery.’

In a further tweet he said: ‘My plumbing works then. Cor blimey. This will take some training and getting used to. Thank goodness for Kegels! Essential!!

‘Pull up nappy deployed for safety. Need a biscuit. #Stoma #Reversal #Cancer.’

Tough: Merlin was first diagnosed with the disease in September last year and has previously undergone radiotherapy treatment on his road to recovery (pictured on First Dates)

Tough: Merlin was first diagnosed with the disease in September last year and has previously undergone radiotherapy treatment on his road to recovery (pictured on First Dates)

A stoma is an opening which is made on the abdomen with surgery, to divert waste out of the body and into a colostomy bag.

Merlin received his bleak diagnosis from doctors at Northampton General Hospital, saying at the time that he was trying to keep a ‘positive outlook’.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror last year, Merlin said: ‘I’m keeping that positive outlook, but I’ve a morbid sense of humour. I tell people, ‘I have colorectal cancer… it’s a real pain in the ar*e!’

Update: In a further tweet he said: 'My plumbing works then. Cor blimey. This will take some training and getting used to. Thank goodness for Kegels! Essential!!'

Update: In a further tweet he said: ‘My plumbing works then. Cor blimey. This will take some training and getting used to. Thank goodness for Kegels! Essential!!’

Merlin has a seven-year-old daughter called Alix with his partner Lucille, 40, who he has been with for more than a decade and was by his side as he faced a year of life-saving treatment.

When the barman told his young daughter of the troubling diagnosis he reassured her of the powers of modern medicine and gushed about the public healthcare system.

At the time, he said: ‘I have so much faith in medicine and the NHS in this country, which is just so incredible.’

Sharing his journey: Before he told how he was going to be in hospital for five days for his final operation

Sharing his journey: Before he told how he was going to be in hospital for five days for his final operation

Keeping his emotions behind closed doors, Merlin admitted: ‘I’ve shed a tear in private. But you can choose ‘to do’ or ‘not to do’. I chose to lead my life as normal, to stick to the facts about it, and to keep putting one step in front of the other.’

The TV personality, who became a household name alongside Fred Sirieix in the First Dates restaurant, started to feel pain in June but thought it was caused by an old stomach injury from a car accident in his 20s.

Merlin was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year and said his tumour looked like an alien and felt like a walnut stuck inside of him.

Doctors discovered the tumour when they gave the barman an emergency sigmoidoscopy to probe his lower intestine after the star spent three months telling people he felt something wrong in his body.

Scary: Merlin received his bleak diagnosis from doctors at Northampton General Hospital, saying at the time that he was trying to keep a 'positive outlook'

Scary: Merlin received his bleak diagnosis from doctors at Northampton General Hospital, saying at the time that he was trying to keep a ‘positive outlook’

Merlin admitted he was terrified by the ordeal but immediately focused on his chances of survival following his diagnosis.

The star revealed that his tumour wanted to move into the tissue surrounding it but wasn’t ‘lymph’ – meaning the cancer thankfully hadn’t spread.

Merlin told his co-workers in the First Dates restaurant, including maitre d’hotel Fred and waiters Grant Urquhart and CiCi Coleman, about his diagnosis just a week after he told his family.

The barman admitted his peers were shocked and couldn’t help but question why bad things happen to good people.

On the mend: Merlin was discharged from hospital six days after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour, back in April 2022

On the mend: Merlin was discharged from hospital six days after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour, back in April 2022

BOWEL CANCER: THE SYMPTOMS YOU SHOULDN’T IGNORE

Bowel, or colorectal, cancer affects the large bowel, which is made up of the colon and rectum.

Such tumours usually develop from pre-cancerous growths, called polyps.

Symptoms include:

-Bleeding from the bottom

-Blood in stools

-A change in bowel habits lasting at least three weeks

-Unexplained weight loss

-Extreme, unexplained tiredness

-Abdominal pain

Most cases have no clear cause, however, people are more at risk if they:

-Are over 50

-Have a family history of the condition

– Have a personal history of polyps in their bowel

-Suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease

-Lead an unhealthy lifestyle

Most cases have no clear cause, however, people are more at risk if they:

Treatment usually involves surgery, and chemo- and radiotherapy.

More than nine out of 10 people with stage one bowel cancer survive five years or more after their diagnosis.

This drops significantly if it is diagnosed in later stages.

According to Bowel Cancer UK figures, more than 41,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK.

It affects around 40 per 100,000 adults per year in the US, according to the National Cancer Institute

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