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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- An ileostomy closure is surgery to close your temporary ileostomy. An ileostomy is part of your ileum that is brought outside your body through a cut in your abdomen. Your ileum is the end part of your small intestine (bowel). The ileostomy forms a stoma (opening) for your bowel movements (BMs) to pass through. The stoma is secured to your skin and your BMs collect in a pouch or bag. You may have needed an ileostomy to protect your large intestine (colon) after surgery. You may have a temporary ileostomy if you had a diseased colon or a colon injury. A temporary ileostomy keeps your BMs out of your colon to prevent problems, such as an infection.
- An ileostomy closure is done once your colon has healed from surgery, disease, or injury. A temporary ileostomy is commonly closed within 8 to 12 weeks. During ileostomy closure, the cut ends of your ileum are reattached (sewn back together). Your BMs will begin to pass through your colon and out of your body through your anus again. Having your ileostomy closed may allow you more freedom to do your normal daily activities. Ileostomy closure may make you feel more at-ease when out in public.
- Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Eat healthy foods:
Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.
Follow your caregiver's instructions about how to care for your wound after surgery.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
- You have tenderness (pain when touched) in your abdomen.
- Your wound is red, warm, and swollen.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery, medicine, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You are unable to pass any BMs.
- You have blood in your BMs, or your BMs look black.
- You have pain in your abdomen, and you are vomiting.
- You have pus draining from your stoma.
- Your abdomen is swollen and hard.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.