An intestinal pouch in the shape of the letter J formed with the small intestine that provides storage for stool in the absence of a large intestine that has been surgically removed. The pouch is created when the end of the small intestine is surgically connected to the anus.
This specialty procedure is offered to patients who have ulcerative colitis or familial polyposis. Patients with ulcerative colitis who have not responded sufficiently to medical therapy can have this procedure done in two or three stages.
In the first stage, the colon or the colon and rectum are completely removed. A new rectum called a “J-pouch” is then created and then “anastomosed”, or hooked up, to the muscles of continence (anal sphincters). Usually a temporary, diverting ileostomy, or bag, is created upstream from this complicated surgery so that it can heal without infection. Between 6-12 weeks of this initial procedure, the temporary ileostomy, or bag, is taken away with a smaller operation and the patient can return to evacuating in a normal fashion.