Diet After Colostomy Surgery

Diet will be one of the most significant concerns for you if you have just undergone colostomy surgery. A change in your diet, at least until your bowel fully recovers, would be inevitable, but you may wonder if you will be able to have dinners with your family and friends.

It is most crucial to understand what you cannot eat with your bowel recovering. It will help you get back to your favorite diet regimen as soon as your body is fully fit and healthy.

Tips for colostomy diet

A common myth about diet after a colostomy is that it restricts you to a specific diet plan for the rest of your life. It is not true. If you take care of your colostomy well during the recovery phase, you will be able to have your favorite foods on the table six weeks or so after surgery.

What you will need to be concerned about is your underlying medical condition. If you have a disease that restricts you from eating processed foods, you will not be able to eat them with a colostomy. Similarly, you should avoid any foods that may trigger a flare-up in IBD symptoms. It means that you can eat pretty everything that your doctor had allowed you before colostomy surgery.

Preventing gas and odor should also be your primary concern. A complete and functional GI tract can help you manage the impact of foods that cause gas and odor, but with a colostomy, you will no longer have that control. It doesn’t mean that you will need to say goodbye to those foods entirely, but you will need to limit the intake of those to the extent that wouldn’t turn out to be problematic. You may want to discuss those foods with your doctor.

Your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to check the healing progress of your stoma. The doctor will ask about the foods that you eat and also about the ones that cause discomfort or any other problem.

Whether or not you can return to eating your favorite foods depends on your medical condition and food allergies that you have. The doctor will take into consideration these factors, including the pace of your postoperative recovery.

Colostomy diet suggestions

Keeping your ability to digest your foods and the response of your bowel with a colostomy in consideration, your doctor will give you a few diet tips, which are generally applicable for all of the ostomy patients. Those suggestions may include the following.

  • Make sure to eat slowly.
  • While eating, chew your foods well.
  • Instead of eating fewer large meals a day, consider eating several small meals. It will help you digest your foods more easily.
  • Do not be too quick to re-introduce your favorite foods that you have been eating before surgery. Do it only when after your doctor’s approval.
  • With a specific length of the colon gone, your body will not absorb fluids in the ideal amount. Make sure to stay hydrated to compensate for any loss of fluids.

In case any problem occurs, talk to your doctor.

What is Ileo-Anal Reservoir or J-Pouch? – Its Procedure

When a person is discovered with an intestinal disease, it needs surgery. Sometimes, when the infection or injury is not much serious, it can be treated with medicines. However, in severe cases, patients require operation and a new organ in the body. For every specific disease, there is special treatment and surgery. For the large intestine or colon and rectum, there is a colostomy. For the small intestine, there is ileostomy, and for bladder and kidney-related blockages, cancer, and diseases, there is urostomy.

The Procedure of Ileo-Anal Reservoir or J-Pouch

Well, during the surgery of ostomy, doctors will have to remove the infected part of the intestines and bladder. Thus, they need a new organ to release the waste of the body. This new part appears in the abdomen of a patient, called a stoma. It has a few tools to cover it, protect it, and collect the stool or urine that comes out from this opening. Every disease needs a special and specific removal of the intestinal section. In some cases, surgeons eliminate the entire colon and bring an end of the ileum to the abdominal hole. So, the feces comes out through the stoma without going through the process of the large intestine or colon. In this situation, the solid stool does not touch the colon and cannot go to the anus, this is ileostomy. The waste material comes out in the form of thick or thin liquid. As the stool does not pass under the colon procedure; therefore, it cannot get into solid form like normal feces. Moreover, sometimes, a patient does not need a stoma or opening on the outer side of the belly. They do not need an external ostomy pouching system to collect the stool. In this condition, surgeons have to fabricate a pouch in the ileum or small intestine. The bag can be in J, W, S shape. The process of the collection of the stool will be the same. The small intestine will pass the waste material of the body to the J, S, or W shape pouch. It will store the stool until the next movement of the bowel. And, it directly goes to the anus for excretion. Yes, the waste material will eject through the natural anal canal. This procedure is called a J-Pouch or Ileo-anal reservoir.

Why You Need J-Pouch or Ileo-Anal Reservior Surgery?

The digestive patients who have ulcerative colitis (UC) or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) require the J-Pouch or Ileo-anal reservoir operation. Well, this is an optional procedure for the ileostomy. Not every UC or FAP patients need J-pouching surgery. For the fabrication of the internal bag in the small intestine of the patients need multiple incisions. Moreover, in very few cases, a doctor will suggest you ileoanal reservoir procedure. It will demand a few adjustments in the lifestyle. Moreover, a person needs a minimum of six and a maximum of twelve months to adapt to the change in the digestive tracks. A patient needs internal motivation, strength, and emotional balance to control the situations and adjust quickly.

Well, the J-Pouch or Ileoanal reservoir is not appropriate surgery for the persons who have a poor digestive function and slow functioning anal sphincters. Patients who have a chronic disease or ulcerative colitis cannot bear the internal pouch in every case. Thus, there are few conditions in which an intestinal patient can go through the IAR operation. It is your doctor who can suggest you the treatment according to the functioning ability of the sphincter and requirement of the colon and ileum. Moreover, age matters a lot in this operation. The IAR procedure needs two to three surgeries; thus, every patient cannot survive it.

Going Back To Work After Ileostomy Surgery

After ileostomy surgery, you can begin to get back to your routine life, which includes physical activity, diet, and going back to work. In this article, we will talk about how you can get back to work after ostomy surgery.

If you think that you do not have enough energy to start full-time work, you can talk to your employer about the possibility of starting part-time and adding hours until they make the job full-time. You can also talk about the resources available to help you with your condition while you adapt to the work environment with your ostomy situation. You can bring a letter from your doctor to better explain your condition to your employer.

The best approach is to make an appointment with your supervisor. During this meeting, you can discuss with them what they can expect from you during the next couple of months. You may need to discuss your particular needs, such as long breaks and late arrival, and explain to them you have these particular needs.

You may want to discuss with your doctor regarding when to get back to work if your job requires physical exertion. They will examine your condition and tell you whether or not you are likely to suffer the consequences of lifting heavy objects. They will also tell you about the maximum weight you can carry. One of the consequences that people with ostomy suffer from after carrying heavy objects is the herniated stoma. Your doctor may suggest you use a hernia belt or stoma guard to prevent such conditions.

A few tips that may help you get back to your work with convenience include the following.

  • Pay attention to the clothes that you are going to wear during working hours. You may not want to wear tight clothes due to their ability to squeeze the bag to cause leakage or flowing of the stomal output back into the stoma. You might have to say goodbye to tight pants. Instead, you can wear pants that have an elastic belt.
  • If walking takes a lot of energy for you, you can consider applying for a temporary handicapped parking pass.
  • If your ostomy care regimen requires you to take medication, make sure that you have got a few medicines in your office desk drawer. It will help you prevent the trouble of rushing back home if you need your medication on an emergency basis.
  • Keep extra ostomy supplies in your desk drawer. It will help you deal with the leakage.
  • You may also want to keep a heating pad in your desk drawer if the sore abdomen is your issue.

These tips will hopefully help you to remain comfortable when you go back to work. You can talk to your ostomy care nurse about the thing you need to do to remain comfortable at your workplace.