Medicine
Fact-checked

At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a Continent Ileostomy?

A continent ileostomy is a surgical procedure creating an internal pouch from the small intestine, allowing stool to be stored and later removed through a valve. This innovative technique offers an alternative to traditional ostomy bags, enhancing quality of life. Intrigued by how this procedure could redefine living with an ileostomy? Join us as we examine its impact in detail.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A continent ileostomy is a surgical procedure where a patient's ileum, the connection between the large and small bowel, is severed to address bowel cancer or another problem in the bowel. Instead of creating an opening through the abdomen to allow the ileum drain directly into a collection pouch, the surgeon creates an internal pouch so the patient can drain feces as needed. This procedure is an alternative to the traditional ileostomy, where the patient will have to manage a fecal collection pouch after surgery, and may experience discomfort and social anxiety as a result.

Ileostomies are recommended when the bowel is so badly damaged that either a segment needs to be removed, or it needs to be completely rested to allow it to recover. Common causes can include cancers, severe inflammation, or trauma to the bowel. In a continent ileostomy, the surgeon creates an artificial pouch inside the abdomen and connects the ileum to a stoma covered with a patch when it is not in use.

Ileostomies can be performed when patients have severe digestive issues.
Ileostomies can be performed when patients have severe digestive issues.

Fecal material is collected in the internal pouch and the patient can control the expression of feces by inserting a catheter into the stoma when the pouch fills. The pouch inside the abdomen will hold the contents tightly sealed until the patient removes the patch and inserts a lubricated catheter. The continent ileostomy patient can use the bathroom when the need for a bowel movement develops and will not need to manage an external collection pouch.

Bowel cancer may have to be treated through the surgical procedure known as continent ileostomy.
Bowel cancer may have to be treated through the surgical procedure known as continent ileostomy.

A continent ileostomy procedure may be proposed as an option when procedures involving the connection of the severed section of ileum to the anus and rectum are not possible due to tissue damage, infection, and other issues. It eliminates some of the problems associated with a regular ostomy procedure. The patient will not develop skin irritation associated with having to tape or strap the collection bag in place. Usually, patients can resume normal physical activity after surgery as well.

Abdominal infections are one of the potential risks of a continent ileostomy surgical procedure.
Abdominal infections are one of the potential risks of a continent ileostomy surgical procedure.

When a surgeon recommends the continent ileostomy, the patient may want to ask about available alternatives, and the risks and benefits of the various options. This can help patients reach informed decisions about their medical care. Potential risks of this procedure include abdominal infection, both around the pouch and the stoma, along with adverse reactions to anesthesia. Patients will also need to receive training in how to care for the surgical site and how to manage the drainage of the internal pouch with a catheter.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a TheHealthBoard researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a TheHealthBoard researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Ileostomies can be performed when patients have severe digestive issues.
      By: inesbazdar
      Ileostomies can be performed when patients have severe digestive issues.
    • Bowel cancer may have to be treated through the surgical procedure known as continent ileostomy.
      By: naypong
      Bowel cancer may have to be treated through the surgical procedure known as continent ileostomy.
    • Abdominal infections are one of the potential risks of a continent ileostomy surgical procedure.
      By: redcarpett
      Abdominal infections are one of the potential risks of a continent ileostomy surgical procedure.
    • A catheter may be used to perform drainage of a person's internal pouch.
      By: Jacob Kearns
      A catheter may be used to perform drainage of a person's internal pouch.
    • An adverse reaction to anesthesia is among the risks of a continent ileostomy.
      By: Tyler Olson
      An adverse reaction to anesthesia is among the risks of a continent ileostomy.
    • An infected ileostomy closure may cause vomiting.
      By: Piotr Marcinski
      An infected ileostomy closure may cause vomiting.