Ileostomy

Living with an ileostomy can be a major change, but knowing what to expect and how to deal with it can help you adjust to it. The following videos and resources have been created to help patients learn more about caring for and living with their ileostomy.

What is an Ileostomy?

An ileostomy is a surgical opening on the abdominal wall created to allow waste to leave the body when the colon or rectum cannot function properly. A part of the small intestine is brought through the skin of the abdomen. An ileostomy is a specific type of stoma. Other types include colostomy and urostomy.

If the surgical opening is created at the end of the small bowel (called the “ileum”) the stool will be a pasty consistency. If the opening is created higher in the small intestine the stool will pass through the stoma more quickly and the stool consistency will vary between pasty and liquid. An ileostomy may be temporary or permanent.

If your ileostomy is temporary, it usually means all of your large intestine was removed but you still have at least part of your rectum. If you have surgery on part of your large intestine, your doctor may want the rest of your intestine to rest for a while. You will use the ileostomy while you recover from this surgery. When you do not need it anymore, you will have another surgery to reattach the ends of the small intestine, and you will no longer need the ileostomy. If your ileostomy is permanent, it usually means all of your large intestine and rectum have been removed.

To create the ileostomy, the surgeon makes a small surgical cut in the wall of your belly. Part of your small intestine that is farthest from your stomach is brought up and used to make an opening, called a stoma. When you look at your stoma, you are actually looking at the lining of your intestine. It looks a lot like the inside of your cheek.

To help you prepare for this procedure, be sure to tell your health care team what medicines and products you take, including dietary supplements, herbs, and prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you have any questions or concerns about living with an ileostomy.

Watch the videos below to learn more about your ileostomy care, including preventing dehydration, nutrition, changing the appliance, recovery progression, and quality of life.

Shane A. Backman, PA-C

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital
University Hospital

Specialties: Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Physician Assistant, Surgery, General

David J. Bjorkman, M.S.P.H., S.M., M.D.

Locations
Redwood Health Center
South Jordan Health Center
University Hospital (801) 581-7803

Specialties: Barrett's Esophagus, Colon Cancer, Constipation, Diarrhea, Endoscopy, Esophageal Diseases, Gastroenterology, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Peptic Ulcers

Samuel R.G. Finlayson, M.D., M.P.H.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-9670
University Hospital (801) 585-9670

Specialties: Colon Cancer, Gallstones, Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery

Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, M.D., Ph.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0193
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266

Specialties: Biliary Cancer, Colon Cancer, Oncology, Pancreatic Cancer

Robert E. Glasgow, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-6035
University Hospital (801) 585-6035

Specialties: Acute Care Surgery, Barrett's Esophagus, Colorectal Surgery, Endocrine Surgery (Adrenal, Thyroid, Parathyroid), Esophageal Diseases, Esophageal Surgery, GI Motility, Gastric/Esophageal Surgery, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hepatopancreatobiliary (Liver/Pancreas/Biliary) Surgery, Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery, Minimally Invasive Lung & Esophageal Surgery, Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, Surgery, General, Therapeutic Endoscopy, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery

Priyanka Kanth, M.D., M.S.C.I

Locations
Redwood Health Center (801) 213-9797
University Hospital (801) 213-9797
University Hospital (801) 213-9797

Specialties: Barrett's Esophagus, Colon Cancer, Constipation, Diarrhea, Endoscopy, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Esophageal Diseases, Fecal Incontinence, Gastroenterology, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Polyposis (FAP), Women's GI Health

William J. Peche, M.S.P.H., M.D.

Specialties: Colon Cancer, Colorectal Surgery, Endoscopy, Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Crohn's/Ulcerative Colitis, Surgery, General

Bartley Pickron, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 587-5854
University Hospital (801) 587-5854

Specialties: Colorectal Surgery

N. Jewel Samadder, M.Sc., M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 213-9797

Specialties: Clinical Genetics, Colon Cancer, Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Cancers, Pancreatic Cancer

Mark Savarise, M.D., FACS

Locations
South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-5026

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Breast Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Endoscopy, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Sclerotherapy, Spider Veins, Surgery, General, Therapeutic Endoscopy

Courtney L. Scaife, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-6911
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-6911
University Hospital (801) 585-6911

Specialties: Colorectal Surgery, Esophageal Surgery, Gastric/Esophageal Surgery, Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors, Hepatopancreatobiliary (Liver/Pancreas/Biliary) Surgery, Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery, Oncology Surgery, Pancreatic Cancer, Sarcoma, Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, Surgery, General, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery

Sunil Sharma, M.D., FACP, M.B.A.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266

Specialties: Clinical Scientist, Colon Cancer, Liver Cancer, Oncology, Pancreatic Cancer

Matthew H. Steenblik, M.D.

Locations
South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-9797

Specialties: Barrett's Esophagus, Colon Cancer, Constipation, Diarrhea, Endoscopy, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Esophageal Diseases, Fecal Incontinence, Gastroenterology, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hepatology, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Liver Disease, Women's GI Health

Michael J. Walker, M.D.

Locations
Farmington Health Center (801) 213-9797

Specialties: Barrett's Esophagus, Colon Cancer, Constipation, Diarrhea, Endoscopy, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Esophageal Diseases, Fecal Incontinence, Gastroenterology, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hepatology, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Liver Disease, Women's GI Health

John R. Weis, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0262

Specialties: Colon Cancer, Oncology, Pancreatic Cancer