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Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2004

What is 'ileostomy'? I've seen the word mentioned a few times lately, but I don't know what it means. Thanks!!

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

An ileostomy is similar to a colostomy. In a colostomy, a piece of colon is brought up to the skin surface and opened to divert intestinal contents from entering the colon distal to that point. The difference is that in an ileostomy, the ileum,which is the very end of the small intestine, is the point of diversion, rather than an area lower down in the colon.

Although ileostomies can be permanent, in a number of cases these placed temporarily. They are used so that the colon below can heal from a surgery without having to have intestinal contents irritate it. They can go back and close it a few months later.

Because the diversion is above the colon which absorbs water from the intestinal contents, the secretions tend to be more watery and irritating to the skin, but the general method of care for them is, I believe, fairly similar.


StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003


You are SO knowledgable! You have such a wonderful way of explaining things, that nothing more needs to be said!


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