An ileostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall created through surgery. When the procedure is performed the end of the ileum (the lowest section of the small intestine) is directed through an abdominal opening to create a stoma. The stoma is made from the lining of the small intestine, called the mucosa. It will look like the inside of a cheek. It will shrink following surgery and be round to oval in shape. Unlike the anus, the stoma will not have a valve or shut-off muscle, meaning that patients will not control the passage of stool from the stoma. The stoma is not a source of pain or discomfort as there are no nerve endings there.
When the colon and rectum are removed from the body, waste cannot come out via the rectum or anus. Digestive contents will now exit the body through the stoma. The drainage is gathered in a pouch which adheres to the skin surrounding the stoma. The pouch is custom fitted to each patient. It will be worn at all times and can be drained as required. Since the output is continuous, patients will need to empty the pouch 5 to 8 times each day. The major work of the small intestine is to absorb water and nutrients from the food and drink a person consumes. Enzymes are used by the small intestine to break food into tiny elements to allow the body to take in these nutrients. These enzymes will also be in the ileostomy output and can aggravate the skin. So it will be important to protect the skin around the stoma.
Ileostomy surgery is performed at the practice as a treatment for several diseases and conditions. It is customarily performed when the bowel has been damaged or is very diseased, and other methods of treatment are not or will not be successful. The most frequent reason for undergoing this surgery is inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Ileostomies are also performed to treat familial polyposis (FAP), birth defects, injury, or cancer.
Our practice accepts most major insurance plans and most of the smaller insurance plans. If we do not participate with your insurance and your plan allows out of network benefits, our office staff will assist you with the necessary paperwork so you can receive reimbursement directly from your insurance company. If you do not see your insurance listed below, please call the office to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members about your individual coverage.