End ileostomy - colectomy or proctocolectomy - discharge; Continent ileostomy - discharge; Ostomy - colectomy or proctocolectomy - discharge; Restorative proctocolectomy - discharge; Ileal-anal resection - discharge; Ileal-anal pouch - discharge; J-pouch - discharge; S-pouch - discharge; Pelvic pouch - discharge; Ileal-anal anastomosis - discharge; Ileal-anal pouch - discharge; Ileal pouch - anal anastomosis - discharge; IPAA - discharge; Ileal-anal reservoir surgery - discharge
You had surgery to remove your large intestine. Your anus and rectum also may have been removed. You also may have had an ileostomy.
This article describes what to expect after surgery and how to take care of yourself at home.
During and after surgery, you received intravenous (IV) fluids. You also may have had a tube placed through your nose and into your stomach. You may have received antibiotics.
Follow your surgeon's instructions for how to take care of yourself at home.
If your rectum or anus remains, you may still have the feeling that you need to move your bowels. You may also leak stool or mucus during the first few weeks.
If your rectum has been removed, you may feel the stitches in this area. It may feel tender when you sit.
You will probably have pain when you cough, sneeze, or make sudden movements. This may last for several weeks but will improve over time.
Your surgeon will prescribe pain medicines for you to take at home.
Ask your surgeon when you should begin taking your regular medicines again after surgery.
If your staples have been removed, you will probably have small pieces of tape placed across your incision. These pieces of tape will fall off on their own. If your incision was closed with dissolving sutures, you may have glue covering the incision. This glue will loosen and come off on its own. Or, it can be peeled off after a few weeks.
Ask your health care provider when you can shower or soak in a bathtub.
If you have a dressing, your provider will tell you how often to change it and when you can stop using it.
Do not wear tight clothing that rubs against your wound while it is healing. Use a thin gauze pad over it to protect it if needed.
If you have an ileostomy, follow care instructions from your provider.
Eat small amounts of food several times a day. Avoid eating 3 big meals. You should:
Some foods may cause gas, loose stools, or constipation as you recover. Avoid foods that cause problems.
If you become sick to your stomach or have diarrhea, call your provider.
Ask your provider how much fluid you should drink each day to prevent getting dehydrated.
Return to work only when you feel ready. These tips may help:
Contact your provider if you have any of the following:
Galandiuk S, Netz U, Morpurgo E, Tosato SM, Abu-Freha N, Ellis CT. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 52.
Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M. Perioperative care. In: Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M, eds. Clinical Nursing Skills: Basic to Advanced Skills. 9th ed. New York, NY: Pearson; 2016:chap 26.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 8/22/2022
Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery Practice Specializing in Breast Cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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