What is a proctocolectomy?
During a proctocolectomy, the large intestine and rectum are removed, leaving the lower end of the small intestine (the ileum). The doctor sews the anus closed and makes a small opening called a stoma in the skin of the lower abdomen. The surgical procedure to create the stoma (or any other artificial opening) is called an ostomy.
The ileum is connected to the stoma, creating an opening to the outside of the body. The surgery that creates the opening to the intestine is called an ileostomy.
Stool empties into a small plastic pouch called an ostomy bag that is applied to the skin around the stoma.
Why is a proctocolectomy and ileostomy done?
Several situations may require surgery for ulcerative colitis or surgery for Crohn's disease, such as when medicines fail to manage your symptoms or when holes develop in the large intestine.
How well does a proctocolectomy and ileostomy work?
This surgery cures ulcerative colitis. About 7 to 8 out of 10 people have long-term success with this surgery.
Surgery will not cure Crohn's disease. But it may give people some time without symptoms. Crohn's disease usually comes back after surgery.
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