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What is an ileoanal pouch procedure (ileoanal anastomosis)?

Often referred to as a J-Pouch, this procedure creates an internal pouch from part of the small intestine. This pouch provides a storage place for stool in the absence of the large intestine, allowing the patient to pass waste through the anus in a normal manner.

Some studies suggest that fertility may be decreased after an ileoanal pouch procedure, possibly as a result of internal scarring. However, women of child-bearing age have spontaneously conceived and given birth successfully after this procedure. Laparoscopic techniques used at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital are attractive in that they reduce the amount of internal scarring.
There are several surgical options for ulcerative colitis. One of these is the creation of a fake rectum after the entire colon is removed. This is called an ileoanal pouch. It allows you to have bowel movements naturally through your sphincter.

Most people think that surgery for ulcerative colitis automatically means that you're stuck with a bag for the rest of your life, and that's absolutely not the case.

One of the most difficult concerns for patients with conditions such as ulcerative colitis, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), and other diseases that involve the entire large intestine and rectum is the loss of continence. Depending on the condition, some people may require surgery that would leave them reliant on external appliances for collection of urine and stools.

In the ileoanal pouch (also called J-pouch) procedure, surgeons create a new internal reservoir, or pouch, out of a portion of the small intestine where the rectum used to be. The pouch is attached to the anus, allowing people to maintain continence and avoid a permanent ostomy after rectal or colon resection. If a person has suffered pouch failure, we are able to offer highly advanced options, including revisional pouch surgeries, conversion of a J-pouch into a continent ileostomy (K-pouch) and other options available in very few centers. We are frequently able to devise surgical solutions to avoid a permanent ostomy, even in such adverse circumstances as multiple previous operations, complicated or severe inflammatory bowel disease or advanced colon or rectal cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.