Ileostomy

An ileostomy is an opening in your belly made by your Digestive Health Center surgeon when the colon or rectum is not working properly. This procedure reroutes your body’s waste to a pouch attached to your body.

The lowest part of the small intestine, the ileum, is extended through the opening called a stoma – typically in the lower right side of the abdomen – where the attached pouch collects waste. The pouch is emptied, as needed, throughout the day.


Why Do I Need an Ileostomy?

Here are some conditions that might require an ileostomy:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • Rectal cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Familial polyposis: Polyps, potentially cancerous, that form in the colon. This is an inherited condition.
  • Intestinal birth defect (congenital)

Temporary or Permanent Ileostomy?

A ileostomy is either temporary or permanent, depending on your condition. If you’ve had colorectal cancer surgery or diverticulitis surgery, for example, you will have a temporary ileostomy. If, however, part of your large intestine has been removed and it’s not possible to reconnect to the anus after surgery for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the ileostomy will be permanent.


What to Expect in Surgery

While you’re under general anesthesia, your doctor will complete a ileostomy using one of two methods: open surgery (with a large incision in your abdomen) or laparoscopic surgery (several small incisions before inserting a fiber-optic instrument called a laparoscope, which includes a small camera).

Most patients remain in the hospital for up to a week. During recovery, which can take up to two months, your diet will be limited as your small intestine heals. If you have a temporary ileostomy, expect reversal surgery in about three months – after the small intestine has healed.


Make an Appointment

Call to schedule an appointment with a GI specialist at Hartford Hospital.
Ask your doctor for a referral before you call.

Call 833.431.0004


Meet our Ileostomy Specialists

Name Specialties Location
Cohen, Jeffrey Lewis, MD, FACS, FASCRS 860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Farmington
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Hernon, Michael J., MD 860.246.2071
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Critical Care Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Bloomfield
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Holder, Jaime, PA-C 860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Johnson, Kristina Hope, MD, FACS, FASCRS
4.9 /5
109 surveys
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Farmington
  • Bloomfield
  • Glastonbury
  • Hartford
  • Hartford
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Sardella, William Vincent, MD
5.0 /5
54 surveys
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
  • Hartford
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Stoddard, Ann Lindahl, APRN 860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Thurston, Kristy Tyler, MD
5.0 /5
61 surveys
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Bloomfield
  • Hartford
  • Manchester
  • Manchester
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Vignati, Paul Vincent, MD
4.9 /5
142 surveys
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Hartford
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