How will I feel after an ileostomy operation?
Following surgery, it’s not surprising that you will feel weak. You may go through a whole range of emotions – and these will obviously vary from person to person. It’s important to remember that it may take a while for you to recover and to get back to feeling your normal self again – both emotionally and physically.
When you wake up after the operation, you’ll be wearing your first bag. This will probably be a clear one to make it easier for your nurses to check on your new stoma. At first, your stoma may be swollen, but it will gradually decrease in size over several weeks.
Your stoma will begin to work shortly after your operation, usually within a few days. At first, the output will be a watery liquid and may smell strongly as your bowel hasn’t been working for a while. Also your bowel movements may be mixed with blood. However, be reassured that the consistency will thicken slightly and the smell will settle as you begin a more balanced diet. Initially, it’s also likely that a certain amount of noisy wind (or flatus) will come from the stoma – but this is perfectly normal.
You might feel the need to go to the toilet as you did before. This is normal and should reduce with time.
How will it affect your body?
You’ve had to deal with a lot of changes in your life, so don’t expect to be back to your old self straight away after the operation. Having any type of surgery can affect how you look and feel about your body. Try and accept that it is going to take time to adjust. It’s not just about your stoma, but your whole body.
Everyone is different, and you should take whatever time you need to come to terms with everything.
See advice for before and after your ileostomy operation.