Always let your doctor 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 noon.
Do NOT drink anything after midnight, including water. Sometimes you will not be able to drink anything for up to 12 hours before surgery.
Your doctor or nurse may ask you to use enemas or laxatives to clear out your intestines. They will give you instructions.
On the day of your surgery:
Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
Your doctor or nurse will tell you 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. Your doctor or nurse will slowly add thicker fluids and then soft foods as your bowel begins to work again.
While you are in the hospital for the first stage of your surgery, your nurse and doctor will teach you 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.
Scriver G, Hyman N. Ileostomy construction. Operative Techniques in General Surgery. 2007;9(1): 43-49.
George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.