If you have certain conditions, such as cancer or adenomatous familial polyposis, having an ileostomy may be the best course of action to protect your health. Although living with an ileostomy may not be an ideal situation, you can maintain your quality of life with the right preparation. Here are some tips to help you deal with your ileostomy and live a full life for many years to come.
Several different types of ileostomies are available, including a conventional ileostomy, J-pouch and Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir. Each of these options requires a slightly different procedure and will leave you with a different type of ileostomy. With a conventional ileostomy, your small intestine will be connected to an ostomy in your lower abdomen that will empty continuously into an external collection bag. With a J-pouch, waste will be stored internally and released from the anus. With a Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir, waste will be stored in a reservoir that you will empty with a catheter.
Each of these options offers different advantages. For example, both the J-pouch and Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir allow you some control over the release of waste, while the conventional ileostomy does not. While the J-pouch must be emptied many times each day, the Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir will need to be emptied only three to five times each day. For this reason, many patients opt for the Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir after reviewing their options. However, you should discuss the issue with your doctor before making a final decision.
Before you schedule your ileostomy procedure, learn about how the procedure works. Ask your doctor to explain what will happen during the procedure, and be sure to inquire about success rates and possible complications. In addition, ask the doctor what you should expect on the day of surgery, and follow all of your pre-op instructions carefully.
Recovering from ileostomy surgery takes several weeks. Be sure that you understand how the recovery period will work before you undergo the procedure. Pack your hospital bag well in advance, and be prepared to remain in the hospital for a couple weeks after surgery. When you return home, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to avoid complications and promote faster healing.
To learn more about the ileostomy procedure, please contact Dr. Don Schiller today.