Barium Enema with Loop Ileostomy: Which Hole to Use? Experiences and Advice Needed!

Nov 22, 2019 1:24 am

Hi. I would like to direct this question to those who have a loop ileostomy (one stoma, two holes). I have a barium enema scheduled for next week (oh joy). I will self-administer the enema the night before. Then in the morning, the techs will put a tube into one of the holes in the stoma and add barium fluid. Supposedly during one of my hospital stays (I don't remember this - could have been the morphine dreams), they attempted the same test and my stoma said "you keep knocking but you can't come in". They couldn't perform the test. So I'm wondering if it matters which hole they use. What happened when you had the test? Did it hurt? Do you remember which hole they used? Any difficulties?

Nov 22, 2019 3:51 am


I know nothing about this but am curious, do you have output from both holes?

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Nov 22, 2019 7:37 am

Hello newyorktorque.

Sorry for sounding so ignorant but I too, know virtually nothing about loop ileostomies. However, thanks for your post, I have looked it up and found a fairly simple explanation, which I will post below for anyone else on here that doesn't know abou this.

I seems to me that they will use whatever hole leads to the part of the intestine they wish to examine and for what!  I have been contemplating asking them to look at mine but I would want them to look at both sections of the tube because I have pains in both.

I do hope someone replies with a more personally informed experience of this as I too am curious .

Best wishes


Loop ileostomy
To form a loop ileostomy, a loop of small intestine is pulled out through a cut in your abdomen.

This section of intestine is then opened up and stitched to the skin to form a stoma. The colon and rectum are left in place.

In these cases, the stoma will have 2 openings, although they'll be close together and you may not be able to see both.

One of the openings is connected to the functioning part of your bowel. This is where waste products leave your body after the operation.

The other opening is connected to the "inactive" part of your bowel that leads down to your rectum.

The loop ileostomy is usually temporary and may be reversed during a second operation at a later date.

Nov 22, 2019 6:23 pm

Thanks Bill,

That clears a few things for us folks that were too lazy to go do the research. Seems like time gets away from me but I did have plans to research something so interesting.

Nov 23, 2019 5:34 pm

Yeah, when I was talking to Torquey offline she explained to me what a loop ostomy was... I had no idea. So basically, if you can think of any way to tap into your bowels... they can do it. Pretty amazing stuff. I'm still struggling with how it all works, but it sure seems the medical profession can slice and dice us just about any which way. Didn't mean to steal your post Torqster... but I think you'll find most ostomates don't have any experience with loop ostomies... so we're like a moth drawn to a flame.



Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Nov 23, 2019 9:21 pm

I had no idea either as the surgeon told me it was a colostomy. I should have listened to the nurses who referred to it as a double barrel ileostomy. If it weren't for this site and the kind folks within, I would have gone on thinking this was a colostomy. So a big thank you to all. I am also thankful that I recognized the truth before I started having all these tests. The techs said they will put a tube in one of the holes so they can pour the barium fluid in. So I said, I guess all this fluid is gonna flow right out of me when you're done. Lifestyles of the high liquid output ileostomies. She said yes....bring a couple of bags with Supposedly the buck doesn't stop there. They said the doctor ordered some type of bowel study to be performed shortly after the barium enema (in a few days). I haven't seen a copy of the doctor's orders, but I will get a copy Monday. Oh, the joys of being poked and prodded.

Nov 24, 2019 1:46 am I have to ask.....are your two holes side by side or one on top of the other? Because either way you can make them into a great shotgun tattoo........looking straight down the barrels. KA-POW!



Nov 25, 2019 12:53 am

Tonight was a nightmare. I got as far as one or two squirts of that enema in and it burned like heck. My butt was burning for two hours. What little I did get in, did push out two big globs of mucus. I felt 'clearer' too. I will go to the radiology department tomorrow and tell them what happened and let them decide if they feel that was sufficient or not. I will also have to contact the doctor as he wants a bowel scan as well and I'm guessing another enema will be needed. Has this happened to any of you? I used a generic enema kit similar to Fleet brand.