Ileostomy closure surgery

What is closure of a loop ileostomy?

A loop ileostomy is a type of stoma (your bowel opening onto your skin) and was made with two ends of your small bowel. It was expected that this would be only temporary and that your bowel ends would be put back together, and then your bowels will then open in the usual way.

What are the benefits of surgery?

You should be able to open your bowels in the normal way and you should no longer have a stoma bag.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about an hour. Your surgeon will make a cut on your skin around the ileostomy. They will free up the loops of small bowel used to make the ileostomy. Your surgeon will join the two ends back together and place the joined bowel back inside your abdominal cavity

What complications can happen?

Like all surgical procedures, there are some complications that can be serious and can even cause death. Please bear in mind the general and specific complications regarding this type of operation.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Developing a hernia in the scar
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Chest infection
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung
  • Difficulty passing urine

Specific complications of this operation

  • Anastomotic leak
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Continued bowel paralysis
  • Diarrhoea
  • Developing an abnormal connection (fistula) between your bowel and your skin

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after 1 to 3 days, and you should feel strong enough to return to normal activities within a few weeks of going home. Additionally, exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Most people make a good recovery. You will be followed up as planned after your original operation.

Summary

Surgery to join the two ends of your bowel back together should allow you to open your bowels in the normal way. You will no longer need a stoma bag. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Jonathan Lund DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)

Illustrator: Medical Illustration

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