What is proctocolectomy and ileostomy?

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Proctocolectomy: Overview

In proctocolectomy, the large intestine and rectum are removed, leaving the lower end of the small intestine (the ileum). The doctor sews the anus closed and makes a small opening called a stoma in the skin of the lower belly. The surgery to create the stoma (or any other artificial opening) is called an ostomy.

The ileum is connected to the stoma, creating an opening to the outside of the body. The surgery that creates the opening to the intestine is called an ileostomy.

Stool empties into a small plastic pouch called an ostomy bag. The bag is applied to the skin around the stoma.

How well does a proctocolectomy and ileostomy for inflammatory bowel disease work?

This surgery cures ulcerative colitis. Most people have long-term success with this surgery.

Surgery will not cure Crohn's disease. But it may give people some time without symptoms. Crohn's disease usually comes back after surgery.

What is proctocolectomy?

Proctocolectomy is surgery to remove the large intestine (colon) and rectum. During surgery, a new opening (stoma) is made in the abdomen. Stool now empties into an ostomy bag applied to the skin around the stoma. Or proctocolectomy is used with J-pouch surgery in the anal area so stool passes through the anus.

What can you expect as you recover from a proctocolectomy?

Most people stay in the hospital for a few days to a week.

Why is a proctocolectomy done?

The main use of this surgery is for inflammatory bowel disease. It may be used in several situations, such as when medicines don't help ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, or when holes form in the large intestine.

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