Changing from Ileostomy to Colostomy

Jan 31, 2024 6:22 am

After 3 years, my ileostomy is being reversed and reconnected, and I'm having a colostomy moved to the other side of my abdomen. I'm curious about the difference between the two. Doctors tell me what to expect, but I'd love to hear from anyone here who's had a similar change and from people who have a colostomy and can tell me what to expect. I.e., changing a two-piece appliance, how often I'll need to change, and stuff like that...

Jan 31, 2024 8:07 am

Good evening,

I only had an ileostomy for a couple of days before getting a permanent colostomy. The one thing I discovered was your stool will be more solid than liquid (like "normal" people poo). Because of that, emptying the bag is a little bit messier. I like having a clean bag at all times, so I started cleaning the inside of the bag with water. (My doctor said it was completely fine to do that.) I empty my bag 2x or 3x a day, depending on how active things are. When I empty, I keep a small cup by the sink and fill it with warm water to help the stool exit the bag easier. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat. I change my bag twice a week.
Drink a lot of water. It's very important, and moving a couple of times a day will make a world of difference. I ate a lot of soups because I was nervous about blockage. If you eat when you're hungry and listen to your body, you should be fine.

I too am new to all this, so if what I've mentioned is already common sense, then oops. Those things work for me ;)

Good luck and feel free to reach out :)


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Jan 31, 2024 11:55 am

I've had a colostomy for over a year. As mentioned by Ahdillydilly, output will be thicker and not acidic. I use a Hollister 2-piece system. I've never had a leak or bag blowout. I change the wafer every 7 days. I put on a new bag every 3 days. I work full time, 6 days a week. I don't have facilities or time at work to wash out the bag when I empty it. I developed a peristomal hernia, so my stoma sticks out quite a bit. Wearing a support belt helps hold it in. I use belts from Nu-Hope Corp.

I drink lots of water and electrolyte beverages. Dehydration will knock you out. It happened to me at work. I ended up in the hospital for 2 days.

Take care

Jan 31, 2024 10:23 pm

I've had both, but in the opposite order from you. I started with a colostomy, had it for 8 months or so before the ileo. Yes, your output will probably be more solid, so just drink lots of fluids, which you had to do with the ileo anyway. One big difference that you will probably notice is that your output with a colostomy will be less caustic, and therefore not as hard on your peristomal skin. You will be less likely to have skin problems with the colostomy, which is a positive. You most likely won't have to empty as much. I used to go through the night without emptying, which is not the case now with the ileo, so another positive for you. Your stoma with a colostomy will be slightly bigger, simply because the section of bowel they bring to the surface is bigger with a colostomy. Those are the main differences. I hope it turns out to be a good change for you!



Feb 02, 2024 3:27 am
Reply to Ahdillydilly

I was the exact same way. I went from an ileostomy to a colostomy. I liked how the poo wasn't so watery, and I also use water to clean out my bag. I usually eat what I want but am always mindful of what could happen if I eat certain things.

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