- What is an ileostomy?
- How your digestive system works
- Types of ileostomies
- Managing your ileostomy
- Choosing an ileostomy pouching system
- Emptying and changing the ileostomy pouching system
- Ordering and storing ileostomy supplies
- Caring for an ileostomy
- Avoiding and managing ileostomy problems
- If you are hospitalized while you have an ileostomy
- Living with an ileostomy
- Telling others about your ileostomy
- What to wear when you have an ileostomy
- Eating and digestion with a ileostomy
- Returning to work after getting an ileostomy
- Intimacy and sexuality when you have an ileostomy
- Playing sports and staying active with an ileostomy
- Traveling when you have an ileostomy
- For parents of children with ileostomies
- Getting help, information, and support
- To learn more
To learn more
More information from your American Cancer Society
We have selected some related information that may also be helpful to you. These materials may be read online or ordered from our toll-free number.
After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)
Sexuality for the Man With Cancer (also in Spanish)
Sexuality for the Woman With Cancer (also in Spanish)
Colorectal Cancer: Detailed Guide (also in Spanish)
Colorectal Cancer Overview (also in Spanish)
National organizations and websites*
Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN)
Toll-free number: 1-888-224-9626
The WOC nurse is a specialist in ostomy care and rehabilitation. These nurses care for and teach people with ostomies, coordinate patient care, teach nursing staff in hospitals and clinics, and work closely with the nursing and medical professions to improve the quality of ostomy rehabilitation programs. The WOCN Society can help you find a WOC nurse in your area. The “Patient Information” section of their website contains resources for patients and families.
United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (UOAA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-826-0826
For local support group information; the interactive website includes discussion boards and online support groups
International Ostomy Association (IOA)
Advocates for and outlines the rights of people with ostomies worldwide
A web-only resource that offers information on ostomies, blogs, discussion forums, and more
Has inspirational stories and support groups; offers hope to others facing life changing disease and transitioning to a new life after ostomy surgery.
Toll-free number: 1-877-678-6690
A non-profit organization that accepts donations of unused ostomy products and provides products to uninsured people for the cost of shipping and handling.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Toll-free number: 1-800-633-4227
Ileostomy care and supplies are covered under part B of Medicare. These same supplies and care may be covered under Medicaid (this is state regulated and varies). Check with an ostomy nurse about which health department or agency in your state may be able to help you.
No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Emory University Wound, Ostomy& Continence Nursing Education Program: Ostomy and Continent Diversions Module. Nursing Management of the Patient with an Ileostomy. September 2008. Pages 67-75.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Ostomy Surgery of the Bowel. Accessed at http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ostomy/index.aspx on November 12, 2014.
US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus: Ileostomy. Accessed at www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007378.htm on November 12, 2014.
US National Library of Medicine, PebMed Health. Short bowel syndrome. Accessed at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001284/ on November 12, 2014.
United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. Ileostomy Guide. 2011. Accessed at www.ostomy.org/uploaded/files/ostomy_info/IleostomyGuide.pdf?direct=1 on November 12, 2014.
United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. What is an Ostomy? Accessed at www.ostomy.org/What_is_an_Ostomy.html on November 11, 2014.
Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society. Basic Ostomy Skin Care. 2007. Accessed at www.ostomy.org/uploaded/files/ostomy_info/wocn_basic_ostomy_skin_care.pdf?direct=1 on November 21, 2014.
Last Medical Review: 12/02/2014
Last Revised: 12/02/2014