Laparoscopic Fecal Diversion
A loop stoma can be made in the ileum ("loop ileostomy") or colon ("loop colostomy"). A loop stoma often is made when the stoma will be temporary. However, not all loop stomas are temporary.
To make the loop stoma, a small loop of intestine will be brought up through the abdominal wall to skin level. A plastic rod will be passed underneath the loop to keep the new stoma in place. The loop will be cut half way through to make the site for the bowel opening. Each open end of the bowel created by this cut will appear as two openings in the stoma. If you are having a loop colostomy, the end of the intestine will be stitched to your skin. If you are having a loop ileostomy, the loop will be turned back on itself like a small cuff and then stitched just below your skin. The abdominal cavity will be carefully inspected and the incisions will be stitched closed. The rod will be removed several days after surgery.
Recovery From Fecal Diversion
Hospital stays after fecal diversion average two to three days. You will be fitted with a pouch as soon as your surgery is complete. It will take a day or two for your digestive system to become active again. When it does start functioning, you will notice changes in the consistency of your stoma output.
While you are recovering, your enterostomal therapist (ET), a nurse specially trained in stoma care, will change your pouch for you. You will learn a lot about changing the pouch by watching the ET nurse. You also will be given instructions and coached through the process so you are able to care for the stoma when you return home.
You are bound to go through many psychological and physical adjustments after surgery. It will take time to cope with all of these changes and, at times, you may feel overwhelmed. Your ET nurse is a great resource. Do not hesitate to call him or her after surgery for support.