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Ileostomy: A Guide

Ileostomy surgery is done for many different diseases and problems. Some of the conditions that can lead to ileostomy surgery are ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, familial polyposis, and cancer.

For the thousands of people who have serious digestive diseases, an ileostomy can be the start of a new and healthier life. If you have had a chronic (long-term) problem or a life-threatening disease like cancer, you can look forward to feeling better after you recover from this surgery. You can also look forward to returning to most, if not all of the activities you enjoyed in the past.

This guide will help you better understand ileostomy – what it is, why it's needed, how it affects the normal digestive system, and what changes it brings to a person's life. Many of the terms you will hear from your health care team are used and defined here.

Last Medical Review: 03/17/2011
Last Revised: 03/17/2011