" Your doctor may recommend a proctocolectomy if your colon and your rectum (together known as the large intestine) are diseased and must be removed. There are variations of this procedure, but patients with Crohn’s disease are generally recommended for a proctocolectomy with end ileostomy. In an end ileostomy, the end of the small intestine is inverted through a small hole made in the abdominal wall (stoma) to divert waste into an ostomy bag. Patients with ulcerative colitis may have the option to undergo a proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, which creates an internal j-pouch using the end of the small intestine and eliminates the need to permanently wear an ostomy bag. That procedure, however, is generally not recommended for patients with Crohn’s disease because the disease frequently recurs in the internal pouch.
You can live a long, active, and productive life with an ileostomy. In many cases, ileostomy patients can participate in the same activities they did before the surgery, including sports, outdoor activities, swimming and other watersports, travel, and work. It is common for patients to initially feel self-conscious about their ostomy bag and you may notice a change in how you feel about your body image. We can assure you that the bag lays fairly flat under your clothing and is not visible to others. No one needs to know that you have an ostomy bag unless you choose to tell them."