Originally published on: April 6th, 2017. Last modified on June 17th, 2021
What is an Ileostomy?
An Ileostomy is created when your bowel is redirected out of your abdomen. An Ileostomy normally involves removing the colon and in some cases the rectum. The Ileium (last part of the small intestine) is brought to the abdominal surface to form a stoma.
You will no longer go to the toilet to empty your bowels; your faeces will be collected in a bag. As the waste material has not been through the colon, there will be a lot of water that has not been absorbed. Faeces will therefore be runny with some wind.
What will ileostomy surgery involve?
An Ileostomy is normally created to sit on your right side on your abdomen. Sizes will be dependent on the person, however, normally; it will be about the size of a 50 pence piece. The stoma will appear moist and may bleed when touched, this is not something to be alarmed about, this should decrease with time. The stoma will appear to look like the inside of your mouth.
Ilestomies are sometimes created to be a temporary measure ensuring that the remaining intestine has a chance to heal, reconnection then takes place once healing has been successful.
Your Ileostomy will begin to work a few days after your surgery. Your hospital stay will be between 1 – 2 weeks and you will be looked after by a special stoma nurse who will be able to provide all the information and stoma related products that you will need.
Why would someone need an ileostomy?
Ileostomy surgery is conducted for a number of different conditions and reasons. These conditions include Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Ileostomy surgery is usually elected when the colon is so damaged that it cannot be treated in another way.