Does an ostomy help relieve crohn's symptoms and obstructions?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 8/28/2010 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I've had crohn's disease for 10-15 years. I get periodic obstructions that can last for weeks or months. They've also gone away for a few months too. I'm having them daily again and am considering resection #2.

I'll be having a SBFT in a few days, will know how bad the CD and/or stricture is then.

How does having an ostomy help with CD? Will it stop obstructions or do you still get obstructions? Please share all of your experience.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 8/28/2010 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Roni,

I had a temporary colostomy a little over 4 weeks ago, and have suffered with Crohn's for many years.  I think the relief you would get would be based on where the ostomy is located in relation to the site of your active disease.  I am still deciding whether or not I want to make my colostomy permanent, and have to admit that there are definitely plenty of reasons to do that.  I had always heard that when the time comes to have surgery, you will know it.  For me, that was definitely true. 

I suffered horribly from obstructions for many years, and was able to get relief from that through using first Remicade, and then Humira.  I found that when I felt susceptible to an obstruction, going on a liquid diet, and then a low residue diet sometimes prevented the onset of a complete obstruction.

Good luck to you!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 8/29/2010 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry that you've had to suffer with Crohn's for so long. sad If you got an ileostomy above where the disease and obstruction is, then you would not have to deal with that problem anymore. For instance, I had Crohn's in the rectum and large intestine, so when I had them removed and got a permanent ileostomy, I have not had any Crohn's related problems since, and that was 4 years ago.

There is a chance that Crohn's could show up again, but then again, it could also never show up again. One thing that's certain is that you would get some much needed relief and improve your quality of life if you got rid of the diseased intestine and got an ileostomy. I know a woman who had Crohn's and obstructions in the small intestine, had proctocolectomy and ileostomy surgery 25 years ago, and the disease never returned. So, an ileostomy can be the end of your problems.

Obstructions can be so dangerous, because they can lead to a perforation. Also, the longer you keep your diseased intestine, the higher your risk for cancer is. I think it would be better for you to have surgery, then to have to deal with either of those situations.

I'm wishing you all the best in your decision. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. We're here to help in any way we can. :-)

Take care,
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 8/29/2010 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Roni~I've had a proctocolectomy w/end ileo like flchurchlady. The difference with our Crohn's dx was that I also had it in my small intestine. I had a temporary loop ileo for about 8 years (before going permanent) and never had an issue in my small intestine:) (now, I have to knock on wood!).

I think it was because of that temp ileo that I went into surgery without major worries about the 'what if'...I know it could come back at some point, but I have a fantastic quality of life, and will deal with it if that day comes :-)

I should also mention that I did have many resections in my small intestine before my ostomy and in the end my rectum was the issue with many fistulas and a stricture or two:(

What does your C/R Surgeon suggest?

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 421
   Posted 8/30/2010 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I too suffered with Crohn's. I had bowel removed and like most, it came back in the place it was resected. I had severe small bowel disease and although most of my colon was fistulated, my surgeon was able to give me a colostomy. I also had a total rectum removal as I had 2 constant draining fistula's for 13 years. I ran the gamut from weight loss to having 3 strokes because of Crohn's. I too experienced obstructions. After the surgery, Dr.Berg confided "Allison, i'm glad you pushed for the colostomy, the disease was so wide spread no amount of drugs would have ever helped you."
My colostomy (Oscar) has changed everything. I feel fan-freaking-tastic, can eat anything I want, can drink anything I want, can leave the house in under 5 minutes, really, I am a completely different woman. I would recommend the surgery to anyone not only because I have had such great results but because you can have your life back.

RX Crohn's 1999, over 30 surgeries, 3 strokes, permanent colostomy and rectum removal.
"The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that he limits himself by becoming afraid to try anything new."

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 8/30/2010 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I found out today it is definitely a stricture causing all my problems. The Radiologist couldn't say for sure how much was scar tissue vs inflammation. Probably a mix of both.
I want relief ASAP. I will probably opt for surgery as fast as I can get... unless I get a miracle. :-)
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