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What is Ileostomy? – Life with Ileostomy Appliances

An ileostomy is the name of a surgical opening in the abdomen of a patient. During this surgery, doctors bring a loop of the small intestine or ileum to the belly skin. Well, the hole or opening they create is called a stoma. It collects the waste of the patient’s body into a bag that is attached to the hole. This stoma is on the right side of the abdomen. When a person is unable to pass out the waste from the natural pathway, then doctors have to create an artificial track for this purpose.

Why is Ileostomy Necessary for a Person?

Well, it is obvious that when a person has some diseases or problems in excreting the waste or in the ileum, then he/she needs the ileostomy surgery. However, it is necessary when a patient has an injury in the small intestine, blockage in the ileum, the bowel does not work, cancer in the ileum, defect in the process of passing the waste from small to the large intestine, or removal of the bowel (partially or wholly).

Some diseases that need ileostomy surgery are Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, familial adenomatous polyposis, a side effect of cancer radiation treatment, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, tumor in the small intestine, dysfunction of ileum, or Hirschsprung’s disease. In a few cases, the ileostomy is temporary such as obstruction of the small intestine. When ileum heals and can perform its duties, doctors close the artificial opening and attach the ileum back to its original location.

Temporary Ileostomy and Permanent Ileostomy

Well, the duration of the ileostomy opening depends on the type of surgery. It has two main types: permanent ileostomy and temporary ileostomy.

In some cases, a patient needs the ileostomy surgery for a few months. Thus, doctors create a stoma in the abdomen but keep the lower portion as it is for future reattachment of the ileum. Once the internal organs, ileum, and stoma heal, and the small intestine can perform its function, then surgeons reattach the ileum to the colon and close the stoma. But, for permanent ostomates, it is impossible to bring back the ileum to its original position. They have to use an artificial path for the excretion purpose. The type of surgery depends on the seriousness of the illness and the capabilities of the small intestine.

Life of a Patient with Ileostomy Appliances

Well, ileostomy brings a few tools along with it. Therefore, a patient has to welcome an opening in the abdomen plus some appliances. These are some necessary things for the ostomate and stoma. Well, the first equipment is an ostomy bag or pouch. Every ostomate needs this. The stoma pouch collects the waste ileum passes to the opening. A person can wear it with their own hands. However, an ostomate has to learn about the ostomy tools from the nurse or doctor in the hospital. Well, your healthcare team will guide you about the pouch, skin barrier, flanges, and adhesive when you will be in the hospital.

Once you are home, you will have to change and wear the tools on your own. The stoma pouch comes in two forms and that is a one-piece ostomy pouching system and two-piece ostomy pouching system. These appliances are waterproof. A person can live his life freely with the stoma bag and other appliances. It does not irritate a patient. Of course, you will face some changes and issues in the initial days, but by the time, you will get used to the new normal life. The key to the happy ostomy life is you should know which type of pouching system is suitable for you and when to empty and change the stoma pouch.

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An Ileostomy Surgery – Procedure of the Surgery – Stoma Tools

An ileostomy is a surgery in which surgeons disconnect the ileum and colon they bring a minor portion of the small intestine to the outer surface of the abdomen. There, they create a small round hole, called a stoma. It collects the stool in a sack, called ostomy pouch or bag.

Ileostomy surgery could be permanent and temporary. It depends on the patient’s condition and disease. Well, the permanent ileostomy is usually for cancer and other Crohn’s disease. Moreover, it is for elderly patients. Well, females too suffer from this disease. If they have an ovary cancer or cyst, they will have to go through the ileostomy surgery. It does not mean that a female cannot give birth to a child after this surgery. They can do everything but after the permission of the doctor. Well, a temporary ileostomy is for those who suffer from minor injuries, blockage in the ileum, or infection in the small intestine. Once their inner organ heals and able to perform their function, doctors reverse the process and close the stoma. So, for temporary ostomates, there will be two surgeries; one for bringing ileum to the abdomen opening and the other is for closing the stoma and bringing the ileum back to the natural location. After that, an ostomate will discharge the stool through the natural path.

The Procedure of the Ileostomy Surgery

Well, after the diagnosis of a disease that needs ileostomy surgery, your doctor will call you for a preoperative session with the team of doctors and nurses. You must go to this session. You can ask questions related to your surgery, condition, ileostomy, and overall health. If you have any confusion, you can ask the doctors and clear it. Well, after this, they will send you to the next procedure. You will have to sign consensual documents. After this, you will have to go to the anesthesia department. They will guide you in detail about this drug that will numb your defected area. You will feel no pain after this injection. Moreover, they will guide you about what to eat and whatnot. Finally, you will have to go to the laboratory to give your blood samples. If your reports give the green signal, then you are ready for the operation.

After the Ileostomy Surgery

Right after the surgery, you feel pain and a big change in your body. There will be a stoma in the abdomen for the collection of output. At that time, the opening will be swollen and big. However, with time it will get small and normal. A patient usually takes seven to eight weeks to reduce the swelling and get a normal stoma size. The hole will be red. There will be a sack/bag affixed to the stoma. It will have some more appliances like; adhesive, skin barrier, and flanges. You will learn the names and uses with the time.

Stoma Appliances

Well, ostomy has a complete pouching system. You will not need only a bag or a pouch. It needs some other accessories to help the pouching system. A patient will need adhesive, adhesive remover, flanges, skin barrier, and wipes.

Moreover, it has some types like; drainable pouching system, a disposable pouching system, a one-piece ostomy pouching system, and a two-piece ostomy pouching system.

Usually, ileostomy patients wear a drainable pouching system. When they feel their bag is one-third full, they go to the toilet, empty the pouch, clean the stoma, wash the peristomal skin, and wear it again. Well, you can wear a disposable bag if you do not have a frequent discharge of stool or diarrhea.