The surgical procedure aimed at bringing a part of the small bowel out through a cut in the belly is known as ileostomy surgery. An ileostomy is essentially a diversion created on the small bowel. The part of the small bowel, aka ileum, brought out through a cut in the tummy is known as a stoma.
You will have to wear an ostomy bag over the stoma to manage your waste evacuations. Your stools will pass out without passing through your colon and rectum.
Ileostomy procedure is more common throughout the world.
When is an ileostomy needed?
The purpose of creating an ileostomy is to stop digestive wastes to pass through the entire length of the bowel. You may need an ileostomy for various reasons, including bowel cancer treatment, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions related to the colon, rectum, and anus.
The ileostomy procedure
Before undergoing ileostomy surgery, you will see an ostomy care nurse with whom you can discuss the stoma placement options. You can also get information regarding how to live with an ileostomy.
There are two types of ileostomy: loop ileostomy and end ileostomy. During loop ileostomy surgery, the surgeon brings a loop of the ileum out through a cut in the belly. He then makes an incision on the top of that loop to create a stoma. He stitches the edges of that cut with the abdominal skin.
When creating an end ileostomy, the surgeon disconnects the ileum from the colon and brings the end of the ileum out through an incision in the belly. The inactive part of the bowel is either removed or rested.
Some people also undergo a surgical procedure for the creation of an internal pouch that connects to their anus. This internal diversion is known as the ileoanal pouch. This pouch allows the patient to get rid of bodily wastes through the anus.
End ileostomies and ileoanal pouches are usually permanent. Loop ileostomies, on the other hand, are temporary. A temporary ileostomy is reversed through another surgical procedure.
Your post-operative hospital stay may extend to two weeks. During this time, the surgical staff will monitor your recovery progress. The purpose of keeping you hospitalized for that many days is to make sure that you do not develop any post-surgery complications. An ostomy care nurse will visit you regularly to tell you about ostomy care and life with an ostomy. He or she will teach you how to empty or change your ostomy pouch. You will also learn a lot about peristomal skincare during these days.
After getting back home, you may not be able to ensure optimum ostomy care during the first few days or weeks. There will be errors and resultant complications. Eventually, you will learn everything, and ostomy care will become your second nature. During this entire time, you can get help from your healthcare provider and ostomy care nurse. You can also join an ostomy support group to get psychological help. Proper practice and patience will help you live to the fullest.