An ileostomy is when the end of your small bowel is brought through an opening made in your tummy, called a stoma.
An ileostomy is done when there's a problem with your large bowel, such as bowel cancer or inflammation, which means it needs to be removed or rested.
Alternative procedures to an ileostomy, including a colostomy or ileoanal pouch, may be possible depending on why it's being done.
Before an ileostomy you'll usually see a stoma nurse to talk about where your stoma will be placed and how to prepare for the surgery.
During an ileostomy, an opening is made in your tummy and the end of your small bowel is pulled through then stitched to your tummy, forming a stoma.
It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to recover from an ileostomy. After the operation you'll use a stoma bag and may need to make changes to your diet.
Complications from an ileostomy are not common, but can include dehydration, infection, and a bowel blockage or obstruction.
Page last reviewed: 01/01/1970
Next review due: 01/01/1970