What to Expect After an Ileostomy

Hide Video Transcript

Video Transcript

Having an ostomy now is much different than it used to be. Obviously, nobody wants to have this procedure, but if there is a medical condition, and you have to have this procedure, the equipment that we have, the management that we have has come so far. So after an ileostomy, patients have a stoma or an opening in their abdomen. It's usually in the right lower quadrant. And now, fortunately, the technology for ileostomies have been improved dramatically. So there's multiple different types of bags that people can use for their ileostomies. There will be an ostomy nurse that will sit down with you and fit you to the appropriate size bag, the products that are easiest for you to use. So that is the most intensive part of what to expect after procedure-- is actually how to care for the ostomy and the products to use. The other things that people need to expect after the procedure is that it's very common for patients to become dehydrated. The main function of the colon is to absorb water. And so until the patient has had an ileostomy for quite some time, making sure that you stay hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids -- that would be very important after the ileostomy. Also, there are certain dietary adjustments that may need to happen. People may need to go on a low fiber diet for a while. You would have to be careful about eating things that may potentially block the ostomy until it has been established. So there are certain foods that your physician may want you to avoid. As far as medications, occasionally, there are certain medications also that may not be absorbed as well. So those might have to be adjusted. Complications can happen -- rashes, leaking. Most of those things are very easily managed with either dietary changes, equipment changes, occasionally, topical creams, and things like that. So living a very active, healthy, normal life is my patient's main concern. And that absolutely is something that can be achieved.