Closure of Loop Colostomy

This document will give you information about closure of loop colostomy. If you have any questions, you should ask your doctor or other relevant health professional.

What is closure of a loop colostomy?

A loop colostomy is a type of stoma (your bowel opening onto your skin) and was made with two ends of your large bowel (colon) (see figure 1). It was expected that this would be only temporary and that your bowel ends would be put back together. Your bowels will then open in the usual way.

What are the benefits of surgery?

You should be able to open your bowels in the normal way and you should no longer have a stoma bag.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 45 minutes.

Your surgeon will make a cut on your skin around the colostomy. They will free up the loops of colon used to make the colostomy. Your surgeon will join the two ends back together and place the loops back inside your abdominal cavity.

What complications can happen?

1 General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Developing a hernia
  • Infection of the surgical site
  • Blood clots
  • Chest infection
  • Difficulty passing urine

2 Specific complications

  • Anastomotic leak
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Diarrhoea

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after three to five days.

You should feel strong enough to return to normal activities within a few weeks of going home.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Most people make a good recovery. You will be followed up as planned after your original operation.

Summary

Surgery to join the two ends of your large bowel back together should allow you to open your bowels in the normal way. You will no longer need a stoma bag.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Jonathan Lund DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Medical-Artist.com

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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