Ileal Pouch Surgery

You may be frustrated that medications or other therapies have failed to reduce your painful symptoms of ulcerative colitis. You might also be frightened by the thought of surgery to remove your colon.

Ileal pouch surgery at Henry Ford

Ileal pouch surgery, or ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA), is an advanced surgical therapy that allows patients to live a normal, pain-free life, without the inconvenience of an external ileostomy bag.

This is a sphincter-sparing procedure, which means you will be able to maintain full control of your bowels and will not need an external bag to collect waste. At Henry Ford, we perform this procedure on many patients using minimally invasive bowel surgery instead of open-abdomen surgery. This means you’ll recover from your surgery with less pain, and in less time.

What is an ileal pouch?

The ileal pouch procedure removes your diseased colon and rectum and reshapes the intestine to form an internal reservoir for collecting waste. The ileal pouch is an alternative to an external bag for collecting waste (an ileostomy). One of the benefits of this procedure is that is allows you to maintain complete and normal control of your bowels and pass stool through your anus.

How will an ileal pouch affect my life?

Our colorectal surgeons are leaders in this technique and have performed many ileal pouch surgeries with minimally invasive techniques. While you may need a temporary ileostomy bag when the colon is first removed, this ileostomy is then reversed a few months later. Many of our patients do not need a temporary ileostomy at all. You will be able to return to normal activity and maintain excellent control of you bowel functions.

One potential complication of ileal pouch surgery is pouchitis—an inflammation of the pouch lining that can cause pain and bleeding. Our surgeons and gastrointestinal doctors are expert at pouchitis diagnosis and treatment, as well.

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