Can an ileostomy fail?

I have a question – can an ileostomy fail? I mean, can a functioning ileostomy that has healed and been in operation for a decent period of time pack it in?

If so, how, and what would happen next? Another surgery?

Original Post

The only I've heard of are due to skin problems including bag appliances causing irritation, flush stomas, stoma prolapse, stoma location and obstructions. They can operate to fix ileostomies and/or a brand of appliance is found that doesn't cause skin irritation. 

Thanks, TE Marie and Saff. If I do have to go to an ileostomy, I don't want to have to worry that the bl**dy thing can fail like my j-pouch did!

Knowing how my j-pouch failure has affected me now, I wish I had just gotten an ileostomy when I was 20. Hindsight is always twenty twenty! The devastation the failure of my pouch has caused is far greater than the advantage it offered me for a few years of not having a bag. Of course I don't have a time machine, so it's all moot. My younger self would probably refuse to listen to my older self anyway :-)

I did read of someone (maybe on this board?) who originally had a stoma created, but his/her skin reacted so adversely to the bag/adhesives and became so irritated that a j-pouch was the only option.

I wonder what would happen to someone with a failed pouch who then couldn't tolerate a stoma? Must be very rare.

Fortunately, there are two procedures available for those with failed J pouches and problem ileostomies.  These are the K pouch and the BCIR.  There is a lot of information available on the internet and both have a high success rate and degree of satisfaction by those who have them.  These procedures do not require having an external bag with its associated issues and the stoma is button hole in size and located 2-3 inches lower than the stoma for a conventional ileostomy.  As with any major surgery, there is the risk of complications, most of which can be fixed with additional surgery, antibiotics or probiotics.  The failure rate for BCIR’s (defined as the need to remove the pouch and go to an ileostomy) is only around 6%.  I have a BCIR and am able to live a normal life.  I am completely satisfied with my decision to get this option.

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