Patients with severe bowel diseases such as colon cancer or ulcerative colitis may need to have their large intestine (colon and rectum) removed. An Ileal pouch (or J pouch) procedure will help restore more normal control and passing of stool.
This procedure is often done in 2 stages depending on your own situation.
What happens during ileal pouch anal anastomosis?
Ileal pouch anal anastomosis is performed under general anaesthetic. During the first stage of this procedure your surgeon will remove your large intestine. They will also create a pouch using the end of your small intestine (or ileum).
You may need a temporary ileostomy to allow stool to pass from your small intestine to an opening in your abdomen called a stoma. This will mean faeces will empty from your body into a bag that is emptied or replaced periodically. This procedure will allow the area to heal without the danger of infection.
About 2 months later during a second procedure, your surgeon will then attach the pouch to your anus (back passage). The medical term for joining or connecting tube-like structures in your body is anastomosis. This pouch will now allow you to store stool and pass it as normal through your anus. They will close the opening in your abdomen.
After ileal pouch anal anastomosis
You will be given medication to control any post-operative pain. Be sure and tell one of our healthcare team if you are uncomfortable. Recovery from the first stage surgery can require 5-7 days stay in hospital. Once you begin to pass wind and stool, you can begin to take fluids by mouth. Your diet will by gradually increased over the next few days. A nurse will teach you all about managing your temporary stoma.
Recovery from the second stage of surgery may be shorter based on your own medical condition. You may find your bowel move more frequently.
Follow dietary or activity restrictions. It is important to attend any follow-up hospital visits.
It can take up to 12 months for the frequency of your bowel movements to decrease.
As with any surgical procedure there could be complications including:
Specific complications of ileal pouch anal anastomosis may include:
- Leaking of the pouch
- Infection in the pouch (Pouchitis)
- Obstruction or blockage in your intestine
- Drainage from the anus
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