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Out of the Bag: Getting an ileoscopy

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I’m sure at some point in every ostomate’s life, he or she will have to undergo an ileoscopy. For me, that day was yesterday. And I’m sure there will be more in the future, but this was my first one since my surgery over two years ago. I was a little nervous simply because I didn’t really know what to expect. But I am happy to say that, especially compared to a colonoscopy, it was an easy procedure and there was nothing to worry about it. But here’s a little of what you can expect…

First of all, for anyone who does not know, an ileoscopy is simply a scope of the small intestine. It is the same thing as a colonoscopy… just without the colon. It’s a quick procedure, but they do put you under anesthesia. For a person with an ostomy, they take the camera through the stoma and take a quick look around the small intestine for any signs of inflammation.

stoma colon ostomy ileostomy ileoscopy hospital procedure IV stomach stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd blog ostomySo let me say that the best part of having an ostomy is that you no longer have to go through the horrible, awful bowel prep that usually precedes a colonoscopy. (At least in most cases you do not. I do know of someone who is still doing a prep before an ileoscopy.) For me, I was told to not eat anything after midnight the day before and to consume only clear liquids on the day of the procedure. This was a little difficult since my appointment was not until 3:30 in the afternoon, but it’s not so bad to just miss a couple of meals.

I had a cup of coffee in the morning and then drank a liter and a half of water during the day. It is very important to stay hydrated. I had to stop drinking three hours before the procedure, so I did my best to get as much down as I could before that time. I still felt a little dehydrated by the time I was going in for my ileoscopy and my veins were definitely not working with me that day. It took three pokes to finally get in a good IV. (Although that’s pretty typical.)
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