Question: Seeking Alternatives Post-Extensive Small Bowel Removal

Hello, I’ve had a temporary ileostomy for over five years. Two years ago, due to a medical emergency, surgeons removed an additional 70 cm of my small bowel. Consequently, I’ve been informed that I am no longer a candidate for J-pouch surgery as there isn’t enough small bowel to reach the anus. I’m inquiring if there are any other surgical options available for someone in my situation. Also, could you recommend other surgeons or hospitals in Canada for a second opinion? I have been consulting with Mount Sinai, known for their expertise in this area.

Response: Navigating Limited Surgical Options with Shortened Bowel

Unfortunately, if your surgeon has determined that there isn’t enough small bowel for a J-pouch procedure, it’s likely that other surgical options may also be limited. This situation is not uncommon among patients with conditions like ulcerative colitis. While Mount Sinai is indeed renowned for their surgical expertise, seeking a second opinion is always a prudent step.

  1. Kingston General Hospital: You might consider exploring options at Kingston General Hospital. They have experienced surgeons who could provide a second opinion. You can find more information and contact details on their website: Kingston General Hospital – Surgeries.
  2. FIND A NSWOC Nurse: Utilize the FIND A NSWOC nurse feature on the websites I previously mentioned. They can guide you to a knowledgeable surgeon at Kingston General Hospital.
  3. Ostomy Toronto: This non-profit organization, run by individuals with ostomies, might offer additional support and information. Their experiences and network could be valuable in your search for alternatives. Visit their website for more details: Ostomy Toronto.

Remember, each case is unique, and what might be a limitation for one patient could be different for another. A second opinion can provide clarity on your specific situation and any potential alternative surgical options.

Karen Bruton, RN BScN MCISc-WH WOCC(C)
Nurse Education Consultant – Interprofessional Practice Support
Indigenous Services Canada, Government of Canada
Ostomy Canada (Volunteer)
Medical and Lifestyle Advisory Team Lead


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