What happens later at home?
The person with a traditional procedure has no muscle control over the stoma. Stool discharge is continuous and liquid. Drainage bags, or pouches, must be worn at all times. The size of the opening and the pouch size will vary at first. The stoma is often checked 3 weeks after surgery, when swelling has gone away. The final size and type of appliance is selected after approximately 3 months, when the person's weight and stoma size are stable. Bag changing and other wound care should be done as instructed.
A low residue diet is followed for the first 6 to 8 weeks. Strained fruits and vegetables may be given. Later, there may be few dietary restrictions. Foods that are high in fiber are generally avoided. Otherwise, normal activity is usually permitted after recovery.
What are the potential complications after the procedure?
Surgery may cause bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia. Antibiotics can cause allergic reactions and stomach upset.
The ileostomy itself may cause problems, including the following:
incisional hernia, or bulging of bowel through the incision
narrowing of the stoma
scar tissue and bowel obstruction
skin irritation from stool that leaks under the drainage bag
Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.