Welcome. I think this is a good place to start, since many of us have ostomies due to Crohn's. The United Ostomy Association of America's website www.uoaa.org
also has a lot of good information.
If you have Crohn's in the small intestine, large intestine, and rectum and choose to have surgery, you will probably have what I had done, a proctocolectomy with ileostomy.
That is where they remove your large intestine and rectum and create a stoma from your small intestine. They can also remove the diseased part of your small intestine, but you want to keep as much of it as you can, since that is where you absorb all of the nutrients from your food.
A stoma looks like a small strawberry on your belly to the right of your belly button and down a few inches. A wafer and pouch cover the stoma and collect waste. The wafer is peel and stick, and the pouch snaps and locks onto the wafer. There are many different varieties of wafers and pouches to choose from.
You empty the pouch using a velcro closure while sitting on the toilet, and change the wafer as needed (every 4-7 days). The wafer is waterproof, so you can shower, exercise, and swim with it.
That is sort of a quick overview of what an ileostomy is. We are here to answer any questions you may have about the surgery, etc.
I've been very happy with the results of my surgery and have been disease-free and medicine-free since having it done. It gave me my life back, so I'm very glad I had it done.
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.