Passing Stool Years After Ileostomy Surgery

May 29, 2024 6:27 pm

Hi there, I'm brand-new to this site, but I'm hoping this community can help ease some worries I'm having! 

I originally had my ileostomy performed back in August of 2019, and in all that time, it's been one of the best things I ever had done to me. 

The only times in the original "post-op timeframe" that I was still passing stool were not even a week after, and then around 7 months later. So since ~2020 I've not had any major instances of needing to pass anything. Occasionally I'll do what I've called "phantom movements," wherein I feel like I have to go and nothing actually happens. Maybe some mucus, nothing more.

Today, out of seemingly nowhere, that sort of phantom movement wasn't a phantom. Or mucus. And they've begun to occur more frequently throughout the day, so I'm a little on edge right now... I really hope this isn't something major -- after nearly five years, I'm shocked this is happening. 

The only thing I can think of that may have caused it is that yesterday, I walked quite a bit given I had some family come into town for the holiday weekend. Altogether, we walked nearly ten miles through the day, which is more than I've walked in a very long time. Could it be that such continued exertion caused things to sort of flare up? 

Thank you all in advance! 

May 29, 2024 8:34 pm

Hey there,

The only thing that should be coming out is mucus. You could have had a buildup of mucus in there that finally made its way out. If you don't think it is or you are worried or having pain, pus, really foul odor, etc., call your surgeon and have it looked at.

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Mysterious Mose
May 29, 2024 10:44 pm
Reply to Beth22

I agree with Beth here. If you are having chunks of stuff all of a sudden, it should be investigated.

Welcome to the group!


May 30, 2024 2:34 am

Thank you both for the warm welcomes and responses!
I wouldn't say they were "chunks," though. More like... I guess drops?

It's the fact that they weren't putty-like in color and more straight-up brown that got me worried. I had been reading things all day that were explaining how mucus usually takes on that putty color.

It's been a few hours now and the movements have slowed a bit, so that's good, I'd say! I reached out to my old ostomy nurse from when my surgery was current; hoping to hear back from her tomorrow. :)

May 30, 2024 4:35 pm
Reply to hyperhunt621

Honestly, that's not something to talk with an ostomy nurse about. She isn't going to know much. I would contact your surgeon so he can do an exam and check it out.

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Mysterious Mose
May 30, 2024 7:59 pm
Reply to Beth22

Precisely. Or a gastro doctor. My occasional mucus discharge recently turned to daily seepage and bleeding. A proctoscopy and subsequent biopsy show ulcerative material, either colitis or Crohn's. But thankfully, no cancer. My situation is different than HyperHunt621, but things out of the ordinary should be looked at.

May 31, 2024 8:31 am
Reply to Mysterious Mose

Yes, most definitely! Anytime your body is doing something it isn't supposed to, or weird and off the wall, or pain that shouldn't be, should be checked out by the doctor. It's your body's way of alerting you, telling you something is wrong. I am glad yours did not turn out to be cancer; that is a blessing.

Mysterious Mose
May 31, 2024 3:25 pm
Reply to Beth22

Thanks, Beth. I will admit to being a bit relieved when the result showed up. Since undergoing my resection and joining this site, I have considered myself quite fortunate that I did not lose my colon due to cancer. I've always considered myself a lucky guy, and reading about some of the journeys of others here has only reinforced that feeling. So many have been through so much more than I have.


Jun 01, 2024 12:54 am

Hey all!

I see you guys weren't too fond of me speaking to my ostomy nurse, but after speaking to her yesterday and today, she did ease a lot of my worries. She explained to me that, given my specific case (it's a long story, but the long story short of it is that my colon is entirely distended with stool and simply doesn't function), it's possible that some overflow may have managed to be shaken loose given all the walking I had done the day before. Ultimately, she said it was something she had heard many times before and that it was nothing to raise any concerns over. 

But even had I not spoken to her, it seems like it was more of a one-off mucus buildup rather than a full bowel movement, and since Wednesday, I've not experienced anything of the sort! :) 

Either way, I appreciate the input and knowing I have a new community of folks to turn to! 

Jun 01, 2024 2:30 am
Reply to hyperhunt621

Hey, we are just looking out for you and for what's in your best interest. When it comes to certain things, a lot of certain problems and questions that arise with a stoma or the bum end, the doctor is the most qualified person to answer those questions and should be the one to answer the questions and be thorough and do an exam, check the issues out, and if need be, order tests. Heads up, an ostomy nurse will not give you what your doctor can, and they aren't qualified either. Just saying for your health and well-being, and I have seen it more than once firsthand from an ostomy nurse. I actually had one send me home with a stoma that was necrotic after I told her something was wrong and the color and smell, etc. Sat there for half an hour telling her it was wrong and even had them page the doctor because she brushed it off and sent me home, and wouldn't you know, was rushed to emergency surgery almost 2 weeks later.

Jun 01, 2024 12:55 pm
Reply to Mysterious Mose

Absolutely, you were relieved. That's amazing. I didn't have cancer, but believe me, I have had my fair share in just a year of climbing that mountain. It's been rough, and I've been through a lot. But I still thank God for what He has done and how He pulled me through and gave me His strength to keep going.

Jun 01, 2024 2:31 pm

I could give you god-awful examples of ER doctors here.

Can't wait to sell my house and go home!