Always tell your provider if you have a cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illnesses before your surgery.
Eat high fiber foods and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day.
The day before your surgery:
You may be asked to drink only clear liquids, such as broth, clear juice, and water, after a certain time.
Follow the instructions you have been given about when to stop eating and drinking.
You may need to use enemas or laxatives to clear out your intestines. Your provider will give you instructions for this.
On the day of your surgery:
Take the drugs you have been told to take with a small sip of water.
You will be told when to arrive at the hospital.
After the Procedure
You will be in the hospital for 3 to 7 days. You may have to stay longer if you had this surgery because of an emergency.
You may be given ice chips to ease your thirst on the same day as your surgery. By the next day, you will probably be allowed to drink clear liquids. You will slowly be able to add thicker fluids and then soft foods to your diet as your bowels begin to work again. You may be eating a soft diet 2 days after your surgery.
While you are in the hospital, you will learn how to care for your ileostomy.
You will have an ileostomy pouch that is fitted for you. Drainage into your pouch will be constant. You will need to wear the pouch at all times.
Most people who have total proctocolectomy with ileostomy are able to do most activities they were doing before their surgery. This includes most sports, travel, gardening, hiking, and other outdoor activities, and most types of work.
If you have a chronic condition, such as Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis, you may need ongoing medical treatment.
Fry RD, Mahmoud N, Maron DJ, Ross HM, Rombeau J. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 52.
Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.