An ileostomy involves constructing a stoma (small opening on the abdomen) from the small intestine to the surface of the skin. From there, intestinal matter will pass through the stoma into a receptacle outside of the body instead of passing through the digestive system the normal way. These receptacles are called ileostomy bags.
Ileostomy bags, or pouches, are similar to colostomy bags and other appliances that involve the disposal of body matter from a stoma in the abdomen. These bags are usually located above the groin on the right hand side of the midsection, and can be temporary or permanent. Typical causes for this type of procedure include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and familial adenomatous polyposis.
When one of these conditions exists in the body, the large intestine is usually no longer capable of efficiently and safely processing waste in the intestines, sometimes due also to the removal of the colon. No matter the reason for the installation of a stoma, the remedies are the same. Patients must wear an ileostomy bag daily and change it one to six times a day. It is important to keep all your supplies clean and away from direct heat and cold at all times to ensure proper use and function.
In addition to ileostomy bags, you can also consider other alternatives with your healthcare provider. These include an ileo-anal pouch made of existing portions of the ileum connected to the anus directly. This eliminates the need for an external pouch and can be more discreet. However, people often don't qualify for this procedure, so check out our selection of external supplies online at www.sgvmedical.com or give us a call at 800-395-6099.