An ileostomy is a type of surgery in which a surgeon creates an opening in the abdominal wall and then attaches the end of the small intestine to this opening. This is done so that waste can be excreted into a bag adhered over the opening, instead of having to be excreted through the typical digestive tract. This may be necessary for people with conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rectal or colon cancer, and congenital defects.
At The Center for Ileostomy Surgery at Olympia Medical Center, ileostomy specialist Dr. Don Schiller, MD, FACS performs many types of ileostomy procedures with true excellence in care and best-practice techniques. In many cases, ileostomies are permanent and become a part of the patient’s daily life and self-care routine.
However, sometimes an ileostomy may be reversed.
There are a number of reasons why an ileostomy may be intended to be temporary and/or end up being reversed, and any ostomy reversal case should be considered on an individual basis (especially because not all ileostomies are reversible). Some of the most common reasons we see at our surgical center include:
An ileostomy closure surgery is generally done through the opening itself (called the stoma). Using precise surgical techniques and equipment, the surgeon re-attaches the end of your small intestine to the rest of the digestive tract, then closes up the stoma. Rarely, the surgeon will need to create an addition incision in order to reattach the small intestine.
Ultimately, this should allow you to go to the bathroom in a typical way again, but it’s important to realize that your bowels won’t necessarily start working "correctly" again right away. Also, it can take upwards of six weeks for the closed up stoma to heal. So, careful management of the healing incision as well as observation for complications is key in the post-reversal period.
Are you looking for a consultation about your ileostomy or ileostomy reversal? Contact the office of Dr. Don Schiller today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Schiller is a leading Los Angeles ileostomy specialist who has brought the most innovative and cutting-edge approaches to ostomy care, including the Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir (BCIR) technique and Kock Pouch.