If you have ulcerative colitis or another auto immune disorder that may require the removal of your colon, don’t wait until it’s too late to find a colorectal surgeon.
Doing so may land you in an operating room with an unfamiliar surgeon who only offers the Brooke ilesotomy or typical ostomy with a bag. If you don’t research physicians and types of ileostomies, you could later discover that you missed an opportunity for a more convenient ileostomy that offers bag-free living.
People with ulcerative colitis live with chronic inflammation that causes belly pain, bloating, cramps, diarrhea and loss of appetite. The condition can also cause polyps that grow quickly and can become cancerous if not removed.
Most people can control colitis with medication and regular colonoscopies. But if those methods don’t work, surgery to the remove the entire colon is required. Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease, meaning it attacks the entire colon. When symptoms are uncontrolled, malnutrition will cause your overall health to deteriorate and your colon could ultimately rupture.
Waiting until this point causes myriad other health concerns and could be life threatening. That’s why it’s vital to forge a relationship with a colorectral surgeon who will watch your symptoms over time, monitor risks and recommend the appropriate time for an ileostomy.
A Brooke Ilesotomy is the traditional type of ostomy procedure. After the colon is removed, the small intestine is pulled through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma. Since waste flows constantly, a bag must be worn over the stoma to catch the waste. The stoma is somewhat raised to prevent waste from coming into contact with skin. Many people adjust to life with a ileostomy bag but there are other options to consider.
The Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir allows you to empty waste when it’s convenient for you. Here’s how it works:
A reservoir is created from your small intestine and a nipple valve connects to reservoir to a small stoma on your lower abdomen. The nipple valve is created using your intestine and is not an artificial device. The valve is self sealing so no waste or gas comes out of the stoma until you’re ready. To empty the reservoir, you insert a tube into the stoma and waste flows through the tube into the toilet. The process is painless and must be done between 3 to 5 times daily. You’ll wear a small covering over the stoma to absorb mucous.
When you’re ready to learn more about your ileostomy options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Don Schiller, an expert in BCIR specialist.