The ileostomy procedure is one where there is an opening that’s surgically made, which connects the ileum to the abdominal wall. This is on the lower end of your small intestine. Through the opening of the abdominal wall, or the stoma, the lower intestine is then stitched into place. You then might be given a pouch that you’ll wear in an external sense, and that will collect all of the food which is digested.
This is done if your rectum or colon isn’t properly functioning. Usually, this will be reattached to the intestinal tract once healing happens, making it temporary.
For permanent options, it might bypass the rectum, anus, and the colon, so you’ll have a pouch that collects the waste products, whether externally or internally.
Why do you have these? Well, if you have a problem with a large intestine that can’t be treated with normal medications, then this might happen. Inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are usually treated with this. Crohn’s disease involves any part of your digestive tract, causing sores and inflammation. UC also has inflammation, scarring, and sores, but it involves the rectum and large intestine. Those with IBD usually find mucus and blood within their stool, and oftentimes will experience abdominal pain, lack of nutrition, and weight loss.
Sometimes, cancer, polyps, birth defects that happen in the intestinal tract, and injuries and accidents within the intestines may also call for an ileostomy since that oftentimes can be a big problem for lots of people, and it can cause a lot of issues for you too.
To prepare for this, usually you’ll be given the training to make sure that it’s easier. You should let your doctor know of any supplements, herbs, and medications that you’re taking since they do slow down the intestinal function. You may need to take some of these drugs less and less a couple of weeks before surgery. You should let your doctor know of any colds, the flu, a herpes breakout, or a fever. You shouldn’t smoke cigarettes after surgery, and make sure to drink water and eat well for up to the weeks to surgery. You should make sure that you follow what the doctor says about your diet, and make sure to not consume anything 12 hours before surgery.
Your surgeon might also prescribe enemas and laxatives in order to empty the intestines as well.
This procedure is simple. First, you’re given general anesthesia, and from there, the surgeon will cut down the midline, or it might be a laparoscopic procedure using lighted instruments and smaller cuts. Depending on the condition, you might need the colon and the rectum is taken out. Sometimes, there are permanent ones done or a temporary one.
Usually, the incision is done at the site of the ileostomy, then it’s looped around and through this, and then it’s turned inside out, then it will create a stoma, and usually, this will then be put into a pouch, since people don’t’ have control over this.
After that, you’ll learn how to use a stoma pouch and how this helps you. This is the best way for you to get the most out of this, and to learn to cope with this as much as you can. You’ll be able to, with this, create the best experience possible, and feel good about your body after an ileostomy.