Frequently Asked Questions on Ileostomy


What is an ileostomy?
Ileostomy is a surgical operation in which the end of the small intestine, the ileum, is brought out through an opening in the abdomen. The contents of the intestine, unformed stool, are expelled through this opening into a bag.
The stoma is moist, pinky red in color and protrudes slightly from the abdomen. However, there is no sensation in the stoma and it is not painful.
When is an ileostomy needed?
An ileostomy is needed when the large intestine (colon) cannot be used and must be by-passed or removed.
What kind of a collection bag should be used for ileostomy?
An open bag is often used for ileostomy as the waste products of an ileostomist are often relatively liquid and produced in a continuous flow. If you empty the bag you do not need to change the appliance so often and it can protect your skin. There are 1-piece and 2-piece systems available:
  • 1-piece systems
    In 1-piece systems the bag and the adhesive are attached together as one component. The advantage of using a 1-piece appliance is that it is easy to apply and the bag is flexible and soft.
  • 2-piece systems
    In 2-piece systems the bag and the adhesive are two separate components. If your skin is sensitive, the 2-piece system might be preferable as you do not need to remove the adhesive frequently. The adhesive can stay on for several days whereas the bag can be changed as required.