Does the Skill of the Surgeon Affect Ileostomy Blockages?

May 25, 2024 10:49 pm

Had my ileostomy surgery a year and a half ago, and since then I've seen numerous reports on this site about blockages. I eat anything I want, probably don't chew as well as I should, but I've never had any problems with blockages. The thing I'm curious about is whether the skill of the surgeon who's performing the ileostomy would have any bearing on whether or not you're going to have blockages. The surgeon I had, as far as I'm concerned, did an excellent job, with absolutely no complications or problems since the surgery.

May 26, 2024 3:21 am


Would the doc have any bearing on blockages? You mean an understanding of how they form? And why? Perhaps... if he tells you.

He never told me anything about them 8 years ago. And like you, I eat everything and no blockages... I am learning about blockages from members here.

First hearing of it... Wow... how painful is that!?$%#&

Is it your thought that it might be the surgeon's skill here that has responsibility? I think yes for other things, but not blockages.

Blockages occur for what reason? Food intake? Diet? Stuff we aren't supposed to eat, that is documented could lead to blockage?

No... it's our fault. You may have seen osties trying the no-list food list on here?

Popcorn... veggies... others will chime in.

Of course, the chew chew chew theory applies unless you basically inhale whatever you eat.

I'd blame or hold the doctor responsible for...

A leaking butt hole he created by sewing up your assโ€”Ken or Barbie butt. Post-op leaks.

A second repair to the above.

An infection resulting from that second repair where he chose not to prescribe an antibiotic afterwards.

Yep. For sure. The skill of the surgeon... the experience does matter for obvious reasons.

But a bearing on blockages? Only if he decides to inform you of his experience with other patients... but lucky us... we know to ask him now.

Let's see what others say... good topic. Thank you.

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May 26, 2024 3:58 am

The skill of the surgeon has nothing to do with food blockages. You may be fortunate that the foods you are eating are not causing you blockages and/or for the foods you are eating you are chewing well enough. You can eat most things if you chew the food well and also slowly. The problem is large particles of food that don't break down easily. These particles can get stuck where the intestine comes through the abdominal wall (stoma), creating a blockage. If you have an ileostomy and don't chew well, it's like playing roulette with one bullet in the chamber of a gun and putting it to your head and pulling the trigger โ€” eventually, the odds catch up to you. The same is true of an ileostomate that flaunts not chewing well. I have a colostomy, and I know I can get away with a lot more with my chewing than a person with an ileostomy. But, I am conscious to chew my food well โ€” my surgeon admonished me to chew each bite 60 times. Any food that I know of that has been identified as a potential to cause a blockage, I chew 60 times. Chewing is analogous to an anti-theft device; it's my anti-blockage device โ€” it's not perfect in protecting against blockages, but it is better than not doing anything and ignoring the risk. Remember, four things can happen if you get a blockage: 1) it clears up on its own; 2) it clears up with medicine/medical assistance; 3) it requires surgery; 4) death. I encourage you to take it seriously and not think surgical skill is your protection against a blockage.

May 26, 2024 6:26 am

Not just down to being lucky, I've never been into over-chewing food, although I was told from the start to by my aunt, who was a nurse on a colorectal ward for most of her working life. I didn't have my first blockage until about 10 years after surgery, and as a nurse once told me, when you have a blockage, you will know about it. She was right! As I often say, our digestive system is just like life, always changing. Just because we can eat something without getting a blockage today, it can change overnight. Quite a few foods I can't eat now that I could eat problem-free 30 years ago. Even scar tissue, that people often blame for blockages, can hit you years after surgery, as I've found out from my own personal experience.

May 26, 2024 7:17 am

My surgeon, whom I know fairly well and who also coincidentally does colonoscopies in my hometown, told me blockages are caused by adhesions. When the intestine is fastened to the abdominal wall because of this, it cannot move adequately to perform the typical digestive process, and blockages occur. He has been inside me multiple times and was always surprised that he never found any adhesions in me from the previous surgery; he says this is unusual.

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May 26, 2024 7:49 am

Hi, happy to still be here.

I think you may be blowing smoke up your surgeon's ass, which I'm sure he doesn't need. Unfortunately, we all are different, and our insides differ from the next person. What I can say is no matter how great of a surgeon you have, it must be a big problem because it's well documented in medical journals, ostomy sites, and so forth. Xx

May 26, 2024 9:16 am

Before we had our stoma, we would eat anything, and if something like a pea or a cadomin seed or anything that today would block us up, our sphincter muscle would force it out when we strained. But our stoma isn't able to strain like that. So "HappytostillBeHere" read TerryLT's story about complacency. And when you get yours, let's hope it's not a trip to the ER. Regards, Iggie

May 26, 2024 10:44 am

Has absolutely nothing at all to do with the surgeon. It's your body and how your body is able to digest and process those foods from your mouth and how your stomach digests and how it moves from your stomach to your intestine. But trust me, it is so far away from anything to do with a doctor. And honestly, my body and my ileo, how it is with food, isn't even documented in journals. Lol, my body is the opposite. Weird backwards things make me thick, and things they say should make you thick don't, and my thick is not a normal ileo thick. It gets beyond thick like if I had a colostomy, no matter how much liquids I have.

It's your body, and all our bodies work differently, and we can or can't eat certain things, and none of us are the exact same.

May 26, 2024 11:45 am
Reply to Caz67

I'd love to blow smoke up my surgeon's ass. Give him a clue as to how it feels and how he failed me. ๐Ÿ˜”

Oh, and by the way, I think of him as a very good guy and surgeon. The infection I spoke of above developed into an abscess, which required a third trip to the hospital for draining and left as an open wound requiring dressing changes, visiting nurses, and longer recovery time. Damn it.

May 29, 2024 1:06 am

I think, like the others said, that eating things we are not supposed to and not chewing enough can cause issues. I had a whole lot of blockages before my parastomal hernia repair, so I guess the hernias can play a part too. I've only had a couple since my repair, but I knew better and ate stuff I should not have.