Ileostomy is a surgical procedure that involves creating an opening in the abdominal wall, through which a portion of the small intestine is brought out to form a stoma. The stoma is then attached to a collection bag, which collects waste material from the intestine. This procedure is commonly performed in individuals who have had their large intestine removed or who have a disease that affects the large intestine, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In this article, we will discuss the details of ileostomy under multiple headings.

What is an ileostomy?

An ileostomy is a surgical procedure that involves creating a stoma in the abdominal wall to allow the passage of waste material from the small intestine. The stoma is typically located on the right side of the abdomen and is connected to a collection bag that is worn outside the body.

Reasons for an ileostomy:

An ileostomy may be performed for a number of reasons, including:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Cancer of the colon or rectum
  • Congenital abnormalities of the colon or rectum
  • Trauma to the abdomen
  • Fecal incontinence

Types of ileostomy:

There are several types of ileostomy, including:

  • End ileostomy: This is the most common type of ileostomy, which involves bringing the end of the small intestine out through the abdominal wall to form a stoma.
  • Loop ileostomy: This involves bringing a loop of small intestine out through the abdominal wall to form a stoma. This type of ileostomy is usually temporary and is used to allow the bowel to heal after surgery.
  • Continent ileostomy: This involves creating a pouch from a portion of the small intestine, which is then connected to a stoma on the abdominal wall. The pouch is emptied periodically by inserting a catheter into the stoma.

Pre-operative preparation:

Before an ileostomy is performed, several preparations must be made. These may include:

  • Bowel preparation: The patient may be required to follow a special diet or take laxatives to clean out the bowel before surgery.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests may be performed to check the patient’s overall health and to ensure that they are not anemic.
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, may be performed to evaluate the bowel and surrounding structures.
Post-operative care:

After an ileostomy is performed, the patient will require ongoing care to manage the stoma and collection bag. This may include:

  • Stoma care: The stoma must be cleaned regularly to prevent infection and irritation.
  • Diet modifications: The patient may need to modify their diet to reduce the risk of blockages or other complications.
  • Medications: The patient may require medications to manage pain or prevent infection.
  • Follow-up appointments: The patient will need to see their surgeon regularly to monitor their progress and to ensure that the stoma is functioning properly.

An ileostomy is a surgical procedure that can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. However, with proper preparation, care, and management, many individuals with an ileostomy can lead full and active lives. If you are considering an ileostomy, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure and to develop a plan for ongoing care and management.