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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.


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.


  • 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.