Closure of Loop Ileostomy

What is closure of a loop ileostomy?

A loop ileostomy is a type of stoma and was made with two ends of your small bowel (see figure). 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 anaeshetic and usually takes about 45 minutes. Your surgeon will make a cut on your skin around the ileostomy. They will free up the loops of small bowel used to make the ileostomy and then join the two ends back together.

What complications can happen?

1. General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Blood clots
  • Chest infection
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Developing hernia
  • 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 of your GP for advice.
Most people make a good recovery. You will be followed up as planned after your original operation.


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


Author: Mr Jonathan Lund DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.), Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright ©

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