Loop Ileostomy Reversal

A loop ileostomy reversal is surgery that reverses a temporary loop ileostomy. The small intestine is disconnected from the opening in the abdomen (stoma). It is then reconnected inside the body. A stoma and bag are no longer needed. Bowel movements can resume through the rectum. A reversal may be done after another part of your bowel has had time to heal and your caregiver feels that you are healthy enough to have surgery.

LET YOUR CAREGIVER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • Medicines taken, including vitamins, health supplements, herbs, eyedrops, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medicines.

  • History of bleeding problems or blood clots.

  • Previous surgery.

  • Other health problems, including diabetes and kidney problems.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

  • Reaction to anesthesia.

  • Infection inside the abdominal cavity (abscess).

  • Wound infection where the stoma was.

  • Blood clot.

  • Bleeding.

  • Scarring.

  • Slow recovery of intestinal function (ileus).

  • Intestinal blockage.

  • Intestinal leakage.

  • Narrowing of the joined area.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

It is important to follow your caregiver's instructions prior to your procedure. This helps to avoid complications. Steps before your procedure may include:

  • A physical exam, rectal exam, X-rays, and other procedures.

  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy if your ileostomy was done as part of a cancer surgery.

  • A review of the procedure, the anesthesia being used, and what to expect after the procedure.

You may be asked to:

  • Stop taking certain medicines for several days prior to your procedure. This may include blood thinners (such as aspirin).

  • Take certain medicines, such as stool softeners.

  • Follow a special diet for several days prior to the procedure.

  • Avoid eating and drinking after midnight the night before the procedure. This will help you to avoid complications from the anesthesia.

  • Quit smoking. Smoking increases the chances of a healing problem after your procedure.

PROCEDURE

You will be given medicine that makes you sleep (general anesthetic). The surgeon will make a small cut (incision) around the stoma. The surgeon will then stitch or staple the 2 ends of the intestine back together, leaving the joined intestine inside the abdominal cavity.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You will be given pain medicine.

  • Your caregivers will slowly increase your diet and movement.

  • You can expect to be in the hospital for about 3 to 5 days.

  • You should arrange for someone to help you with activities at home while you recover.