Ileostomy Surgery

Get the latest information in ileostomy bag, ileostomy pouch, continent ileostomy, ileostomy care, ileostomy diet and all other related to this type of surgery.
Ileostomy Surgery

        There are about 75 000 people that undergo ileostomy surgery every year, in the United States of America. If you take into consideration the entire world, their number rises to a spectacular 500 000. Every single year. Ever since the ileostomy surgery has started to be practiced at a large scale, about four million people have had it. More than ninety percent of them undergo the irreversible type of the ileostomy surgery.

       But what is the ileostomy surgery exactly? Well, the medical textbook definition goes a little bit like this: the ileostomy surgery consists of the attachment of the smaller intestine to the abdominal wall. At the exact location where the smaller intestine touches the abdomen, a hole is created. That hole is called a stoma (from the Greek word that means "mouth"). On the outside of the body, on top of the stoma, a pouch is attached to the hole. Said pouch has one purpose only: to collect the wastes that your body would normally eliminate through the disease - full areas, like your colon or your anus.

       Many things can be said about the ileostomy surgery, but the one that every surgeon in the world agrees on is that it is one of the most delicate and complicated medical procedures out there. Not only do the physicians need be very specific about the place where the separate the larger intestine from its smaller sibling, but they also need to cut just the right length of intestine for the bypass to work. Because that is what the ileostomy surgery really is: a bypass of the lower digestive tract, starting, usually, at the colon.

Ileostomy surgery pictures

Ileostomy surgery Ileostomy surgery Ileostomy surgery

       Now, you might have understood what the ileostomy surgery is, but what could possibly be its purpose? Well, when you body is sick and the illness is located in your digestive system, then the entire digestive process is modified. Unfortunately, no one can live without a proper digestion, be them healthy or seriously sick. This is where the ileostomy surgery comes into play: for example, when your colon is suffering from cancer, you need to stop putting it through the hardships of digesting and eliminating the food you eat. Therefore, the physician will recommend you that you agree to an intestinal bypass, also known as an ileostomy surgery. In the more fortunate case of a very serious, but hardly life - threatening digestive condition, the ileostomy surgery is used to give your low digestive tract a break from functioning. Not a permanent one, like in the case of the colon cancer, but rather a temporary one. However weird it might sound, not many people actually agree to the ileostomy reversal procedure. Sure, you may think it impossible to live with that pouch on the outside of your body, but the reversal procedure is very dangerous and has a low success rate. Usually, people that try it will be back on the pouch in about a year or two.

       Just like with any other surgery out there, of course that there are complications. Most of them are the general ones, which every patient should be made aware of when agreeing to any form of surgery: infection, excessive bleeding, respiratory arrest or even cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, they cannot be predicted and very rarely can they be prevented. Now, the ones that are specific to this surgery can be prevented. For example, the size of the pouch must be just right: if it is too small, that the stoma could be damaged permanently and you would need a new surgery to repair it. If it is too large, some leakage could happen and the skin surrounding the stoma could be affected seriously.

       As a conclusion, you should take into consideration everything that your physician tells you about this surgery, both its merits and its downsizes and answer honestly to the question: do you want to do it?