I spend a lot of time researching and learning about ostomy
. I have read countless articles on ileostomy
, what it is, how it works, and how to help people live their best life with one. An ileostomy
is a surgically created opening in the abdominal wall. With an ileostomy the ileum, the lowest part of the small intestine, is brought through the abdominal wall to form a stoma. The stoma is actually the intestine. The stoma is usually pink or red and it does not have nerve endings. Right after surgery it is generally larger than it will be say, 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Sometimes an ileostomy is permanent and sometimes it is reversed. Whether you have your ileostomy for a short time or forever depends on why you were given an ileo in the first place. There are many reasons people have an ileostomy. Cancer, accident or trauma, Crohn's disease, and severe IBD are only a few examples of reasons a person could have an ileostomy.
After your ileostomy, you will need to use an ostomy pouch
. An ileostomy has a more liquid output and is nearly constant, your pouch will need to be emptied 5 to 8 times a day. Each person is unique so amount of output and type of output will vary. Drainable pouches
will generally work better for people with an ileostomy. There are a lot of choices when it comes to ostomy supplies
. The best way to know what works for you is trial and error. Don't be afraid to experiment! The internet is a great source of information when it comes to having and living with an ostomy. There are some awesome ostomy blogs
that give a ton of information. When you are in the hospital to have your ostomy surgery, don't be afraid to ask questions! Even knowing you can look things up online, you still need to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. No website in the world is better than speaking to your actual healthcare provider because they are going to be able to give you information that is specific to you and your health!
In this post I have linked resources to help you learn what it means to have an ileostomy. The most important thing to know is this, an ileostomy is a life saving procedure.
It is not the end. It is for many people a brand new beginning. For many people the road that led to an ileostomy was painful, there was extreme sickness and pain. Before your ileostomy you may have had to spend large amounts of time fighting your illness. The ileostomy is not a failure, it is not giving up on your best life, it is a life changing new lease on life. There is a healing time after surgery. There is a learning curve to knowing how to use your new ostomy supplies. Accidents and leaks will happen. However, with your new ostomy and ostomy supplies you can run, swim, jump,
food, meet new friends, get married, have babies, you can do many things
that you could not do before! What are some things you are able to enjoy again after your surgery that you could not do before?