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Food vs. Ilestomy Bag


In general terms; those patients with an ileostomy bag after ovarian cancer surgery, generally, had part of the intestines removed. This is of-course a conversation you have with your surgeon; He or She is incredibly knowledgeable, articulate, and will help you immensely to understand this very important part of the treatment.

Drink 8-10 oz. of fluid each day, including water, broth and vegetable juices. Sip fluids slowly.

ARTICLE FROM MAYO CLINIC SITE: Answer From Purna Kashyap, M.B.B.S.

  • The first few weeks to a month after surgery, you'll likely be advised to eat a diet that is low in roughage. Limiting roughage allows the intestine time to heal and prevents blockage due to swelling. Foods with roughage include whole grains, raw vegetables and fresh fruit.

  • Introduce foods back into your diet slowly to see how your body reacts.

  • Eat meals at regular times, eat more slowly and chew well. Also, avoid skipping meals or overeating. These efforts help your remaining intestine digest food, reduce gas, improve "regularity" and control output.

  • Over time you'll find that you can eat a more normal diet. You'll learn which foods tend to be constipating, which might have more of a laxative effect, which cause stool to change color, or which cause gas or odor. This varies from person to person and by the length of small intestine remaining.

  • Your doctor might advise you to avoid drinking carbonated drinks, drinking through straws, chewing gum and smoking because they tend to increase gas.

  • If your stool is very thick, some dietary changes might help. Stool-thinning foods include grape juice, apple juice and prune juice. Some people also find that cooked vegetables and some canned fruits are helpful.
 Be cautious with foods that are constipating. For some people these include applesauce, banana, rice, cheeses and peanut butter.

  • Drink at least eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day, including water, broth and vegetable juices. Sip fluids slowly.

My Experience

This is absolutely true! Post it on a bulletin board or somewhere in the kitchen/food prep area, not to be forgotten! However, It was my experience that this was true through the duration of my “ostiebag” experience. Foods that contain high fiber like lettuce, raw veggies, fruit, even veggie chips and hummus, also contain high water content, which can lead to leakage and discomfort. If you are like me, and love these foods, my suggestion would be to put them aside until after your reversal surgery, then you can slowly ease into eating these healthy foods again. Also, please do not eat fresh fruit, especially oranges, which can cause almost immediate blockage; and tonic is not a good option as well, the gas immediately causes the bag to open! Sorry, but I found this out the hard way, and believe me, it was not worth the aggravation… better left to afterwards.

Speak with your dietitian for a list of recommended foods. Then bring this to our sessions, and we can have fun producing recipes that you and your “ostiebag” will love! I quickly found that I had to add meat and change my diet to have success with my “ostiebag” and adhere to recommendations from my oncology team/surgeon regarding chemo treatments.

The key to being comfortable with your “ostiebag” contains three main skills to master:

  1. Find a balance between liquids (drinks and water content in certain foods) and solid foods, in order to keep the contents of the bag fairly viscous, and not too watery.

  2. Learn the techniques to procure a fit around the stoma that is close, secure, yet comfortable, so as not to irritate the delicate skin with the bag.

  3. Keeping the skin around the stoma and under the bag clean, dry and not irritated.

Having said that, this takes a bit of practice, everyone has their own special issues, and I will be there to help you with yours. At first, I could not get the fit right, however, if was not too long before I had mastered the fit and food mixture to a fine degree! As to the skin irritation, I discovered an amazing organic, healthy, healing gel that stopped irritation, healed it quickly when if happened, and served as a gentle adhering agent under the plastic bags. My stoma and surrounding skin on day of reversal surgery was immaculate, healthy skin, with no irritation to be found, for which the O.R team was most appreciative!

Have no fear ladies; You can learn anything if you have to!

All my clients will receive a sample of this cream, recipes, specific diagrams and whatever you need to succeed, upon signing up for one of my programs! Ready to learn more? Fill out my contact form and I'll reach out to you for a free consultation.

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