Certain conditions, such as ulcerative colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis, require the removal of the colon and the rectum. After having this procedure, you will need a new way to eliminate waste known as an “ostomy.” Several different ostomy options are available, each with different advantages and disadvantages.
In a conventional ostomy procedure, your surgeon will connect your small intestine to a stoma, which is a small opening in the wall of your abdomen. With this type of ostomy, your waste will flow into an external collection bag through this opening.
This procedure can allow you to eliminate waste successfully, but it also has some disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages include:
Dietary changes may be necessary
Food blockage, leakage and other complications may occur
External bag must be worn continuously
No ability to control elimination, as waste flows continuously
Another option available to patients who need an ostomy is the ileoanal J-pouch. If you opt for this procedure, your surgeon will create a small reservoir using a portion of your small intestine. This reservoir is connected to your anal canal. This procedure allows you to have more control over your bowel movements, and you won’t need an external collection bag. However, you will still experience disadvantages with this option. Some of the disadvantages of the J-pouch include:
Pain and irritation
Need to have a bowel movement quickly after feeling the urge
Several stools every day
The Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir, or BCIR, is another option available for patients who need an ostomy. If you choose this procedure, your surgeon will create an internal reservoir using a portion of your small intestine. He or she will also create a nipple valve and connect it to a stoma in your lower abdomen. You will use this valve to release waste through the stoma.
The BCIR offers several advantages over other procedures. With a BCIR, you won’t need to wear an external collection bag. Instead, you will release waste from the reservoir when it is convenient for you using a small catheter. Most patients have to empty the reservoir three to five times each day. The valve seals itself when it isn’t in use, so you won’t have to worry about the leakage of waste or gas.
If you are in need of an ostomy, the best thing you can do is consult an experienced surgeon. To learn more about the advantages of the BCIR, please contact Dr. Don Schiller.