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Ileostomy is a surgical procedure which is conducted in the case of serious diseases of gastrointestinal track. It means the forming of artificial opening on the front side of the abdomen so the stool does not take the usual path. The stool is then passed into the sac which is attached to the stoma.

There are several types of ileostomy, loop ileostomy, end ileostomy, ileo-anal pouch and continent ileostomy. The first one means that small intestine is ending in stoma. This is short-term option done when a surgeon removes only the part of the large intestine and right after the healing is complete the small intestine is back into the abdominal cavity. This is done mainly in cases of colon cancers. The end ileostomy is basically for a life time as it is done when the colon and rectum are removed due to serious illnesses and the ileum is surgically connected to the stoma. Ileo anal pouch (J pouch) is used in case of colon and rectal removal. This pouch is surgically created out of the ileum and is finally connected to the sphincter muscle of the anus. These pouches are more esthetic than other forms of ileostomy. On the other hand a person may have difficulties with prompt urge to empty the pouch. A continent ileostomy is rather similar to the previous one but there is also a valve implanted into the skin which has a role of empting the pouch. This is done by a tiny tube.

The complications of the ileostomy are numerous and some may eventually disappear while others stay for a lifetime. Severe hemorrhage after the surgery is taken care of by blood transfusions. Infections are dealt with the antibiotics as after any other surgical procedure. One of the serious complications includes the damage of the nearby abdominal organ or even perforation of the hollow organ which eventually may lead to serious peritonitis. In people who are suffering from heart conditions ileostomy may induce a heart attack or a stroke. These patients need to be monitored more so these potentially lethal complications may be noticed on time.

In rare cases ilestomy does not function properly in the beginning. But if the stoma does not show any signs of activity within 6 hours and this is followed by nausea or even cramps there is high possibility that obstruction has developed. This is immediately reported to the doctor. To avoid these complications patients are due to follow dietary regimes.

Pouching is an inflammation of the pouch. The symptoms and signs of this condition include diarrhea (with traces of blood), abdominal pain and cramps and high body temperature. As in case of any other infection this is treated with antibiotics.

Discomfort and stoma difficulties include irritation and inflammation of the stoma's nearby skin, shrinkage or widening of the stoma. In case of stoma stricture or even a prolapse there is need for additional correcting procedure. Corrections are also performed in a case of valve malfunction.

And finally most people are affected with so called phantom rectum. This condition tends to keep the feeling that the rectum is still present in their bodies therefore have an urge to go to the toilet despite the fact that their colon is not functioning like it used to.

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