Just The Basics


What is an Ileostomy?

An ileostomy is an opening made by a surgeon into the small intestine to allow stool to follow a different path.  The ileostomy allows the diverted stool to leave the body without the use of the rest of the digestive tract.

What is a Stoma?

A stoma is the part of the small intestine that shows when it is brought outside the body, fashioned into a cuff, and attached to the abdomen in a secure way to allow for drainage.  The stoma resembles the tissue on the inside of your cheek.

Why Would a Person Need an Ileostomy?

There are many reasons why a person would need an ileostomy.  Medical conditions like injury, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or birth defects can lead to an ileostomy.

There are three main kinds of ileostomies.

End Ileostomy: The colon, rectum, and anus are removed.  This is a permanent procedure.

End Ileostomy with a Rectal Stump: The colon is removed but the rectum and anus are left intact.  This procedure can be reversed with a second surgery.

Loop Ileostomy:  This procedure diverts stool from diseased or injured bowel to allow time for healing.

I have the Permanent End Ileostomy.

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