Always let your provider know about any cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illnesses you may have before your surgery
The day before your surgery:
Eat a light breakfast and lunch.
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.
Your may need to use enemas or laxatives to clear out your intestines. Your provider will give you instructions on how to use them.
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. By the second day, you will most likely be able to drink clear liquids. You will be able to add thicker fluids and then soft foods to your diet as your bowel begins to work again.
While you are in the hospital for the first stage of your surgery, you will learn how to care for your ileostomy.
You will probably have 4 to 8 bowel movements a day after this surgery. You will need to adjust your lifestyle for this.
Most people recover fully. They 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.
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.