Ask an Ostomy Lifestyle Expert

Bowel Movement with a new Ileostomy

August 2017


I just had an ileostomy three weeks ago and just had a bowel movement (only one turd) plus brown, poopy mucus. Is this normal?


You and your body are only 3 weeks post-surgery, it will take a while to adjust both physically and psychologically to your new body function change. As with any surgical procedure, if you have concerns, it is important to contact your Doctor or NSWOC.

In addition – Call your Doctor or NSWOC if you:

  • Vomit
  • Have an ileostomy and haven’t had a bowel movement for 3 to 6 hours
  • Develop abdominal pain or symptoms of dehydration (this is common for folks with an ileostomy), including:
    • Increased thirst
    • Dry mouth
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weakness
    • Decreased urine output
    • Dark amber-colored urine
    • Muscle, abdominal, or leg cramps
    • Feeling faint
    • More bowel movements than usual or changes in consistency
    • Increased frequency of emptying pouch

It is very important for you to stay hydrated, the recommended guideline; drink 8 to 10 glasses of liquids a day. I highly recommend that you connect with an E.T. Nurse for stool evaluation and output. In addition, your E.T. Nurse will also assist you in learning how to care for your ileostomy and body. For example, the E.T. Nurse is the professional who can recommend proper nutrition, exercises, proper fitting ostomy equipment, and so much more.


Our friends over at Nurses Specialized In Wound, Ostomy And Continence Canada [NSWOCC] (formerly called The Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET)) have renamed their handy look-up page on their website. It was formerly called “Find An ET Nurse” and is now called “Find a NSWOC“. Click on the image to the left or link here to go to their site.

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