During an ileostomy (say "ill-ee-AW-stuh-mee"), the doctor attaches the end of the small intestine to an opening in the skin. This allows waste to leave the body through a new opening called a stoma. A pouch attaches to the skin around the stoma. Stools collect in the pouch. You must empty the pouch several times each day.
You may have this surgery if:
You may feel self-conscious when you first get the ileostomy. But you will soon learn how to take care of it.
You will probably need to take off from work at least 6 weeks, depending on your job. In time, you should be able to live a full life, including taking part in sports, sex, and other activities.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 27, 2018
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth Bark MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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