J Pouch Surgery

Patients suffering from chronic ulcerative colitis or other types of colon conditions who are concerned about a permanent ileostomy can now benefit from a minimally invasive surgical option called the J pouch procedure.  Instead of permanently routing the lowest part of the small intestine (the ileum) to an opening created in the abdomen (called an ileostomy), surgeons create an internal pouch using the small intestine that allows patients to pass stools normally.

J Pouch Procedure for Chronic Colon Conditions at UMass Memorial Medical Center

Patients seeking alternatives to a permanent ileostomy may find a solution with the advanced J pouch procedure at UMass Memorial Medical Center. This surgery replaces the traditional open surgery that results in the need for a permanent ileostomy.

Advantages of J Pouch Surgery

This type of surgery can help restore health as well as quality of life, since it is designed to:

  • Eliminate the disease
  • Allow stools to pass through the anus, rather than through a surgical opening (ileostomy)
  • Reduce the need for a permanent ileostomy

What Happens During J Pouch Surgery?

During this procedure, your surgeon uses the small intestine to create a pouch, which serves as a storage reservoir, and connects it to the anal sphincter (the circular muscle that controls the opening of the anus). Once the J pouch heals, you can continue passing stools through the anus. This is typically done in two steps:

  1. The surgeon removes the colon and rectum, creates the J pouch and connects it to the anus. To allow the J pouch time to heal, the surgeon also creates a temporary ileostomy through which your stools will pass.
  2. About two to three months after the initial surgery, the ileostomy is closed and stools are now rerouted through the J pouch and out through the anus.