While many people have had successful ileostomies and gone on to enjoy a positive quality of life, others continue to struggle physically and/or emotionally with adjusting to life following a Brooke ileostomy, J-pouch or Kock pouch procedure. But there’s another option for ulcerative colitis or familial adenomatous polyposis patients who had their large intestines removed: ileostomy reversal with the Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir (BCIR) ileostomy.
What Is the BCIR Ileostomy?
A major modification of the Kock pouch continent ileostomy, The BCIR involves the creation of an internal reservoir using the patient’s small intestine, which connects to a nipple valve — also fashioned from the intestine — and small, self-healing stoma on the abdominal wall. There’s no risk of waste coming out of the ostomy site until patients intubate themselves — approximately 3-5 times a day — and allow the waste to flow through the catheter and into the toilet.
Unlike conventional ileostomies, the BCIR lies completely flat with no outward profusion, and completely eliminates the need for the external collection bag of a Brooke ileostomy.
The BCIR also circumvents complications associated with a failed J-pouch or traditional Kock pouch.
Even better? Patients with BCIR ileostomies are able to resume normal physical activities, can defer evacuations longer, and are at decreased risk of waste leakage, skin irritation and burning. They also have shorter hospital stays.
Am I Eligible for Ileostomy Reversal?
If you are in good health and living with a conventional Brooke ileostomy, you may be a good candidate to surgically convert your ileostomy to a BCIR.
Patients experiencing poor J-pouch outcomes — such as pain, incontinence and excessive stool frequency — are also potential candidates. In fact, in many cases, intestinal length can be preserved by using J-pouch tissue to create the BCIR. Even if your failed J-pouch was previously removed, ileostomy reversal surgery is a possibility.
Many patients also suffer complications due to malfunctions of the traditional Kock pouch. If you have difficulty with intubation, incontinence, or fistulas, the Kock pouch can be surgically revised into the BCIR, solving your issues and sparing you a traditional ostomy.
In short, if you are unhappy with your Brooke ileostomy, J-pouch or Koch pouch, ileostomy reversal through the “bagless” BCIR offers transformational potential. Many patients now enjoy forgotten freedom and enhanced quality of life thanks to this innovative procedure.