The term Ileostomy is a surgical procedure which usually involves removing the whole of the large intestine or colon and in some cases the rectum, In many cases it can dramatically improve a person’s quality-of-life, especially in cases of serious illness.
It is used to treat many conditions including Ulcerative Colitis, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer.
The Ileostomy may be temporary or permanent depending on the reason behind the operation. The end of the small intestine or ileum (A) is cut and brought through the surface of the abdomen creating a stoma; this would normally be on the right hand side of the abdomen.
“Panproctocolectomy” – is the removal of the entire colon, rectum and anal canal. This type of stoma is permanent.
“Total Colectomy” – is the removal of the entire colon, the rectum is left in place. This type of stoma is reversible.
“Anterior resection” – is the removal of the upper part of the rectum, the remaining colon is then sewn onto the remaining rectum.
A loop Ileostomy is usually formed to allow the bowel to heal then reversed at a later date.
A temporary Ileostomy may be used when the part of the colon needs time to heal after trauma or surgery. After a period of time it would then be reversed, and the stoma area in the abdomen is closed.