Ileoscopy Prep

I was diagnosed with Crohn's when I was 15. Because of the severity of my disease, I needed to have colonoscopies and endoscopies every 6 months until the day I had my first surgery.

That equates to 16 scopes in 8 years. I was already suffering enough without adding the prep to my tortuous bathroom routine!

What is an ileoscopy and when is it done?

Then I had my total proctocolectomy. A total proctocolectomy is surgical removal of the colon, rectum, and anus. I now had an ileostomy but I still required the occasional ileoscopy.

An ileoscopy is the same as a colonoscopy without the colon! The camera would go in through my stoma.

I have had about 5 of them in the last 12 years. Like always the nurses would advise me to drink 2 liters of the prep but of course I could never stomach it and would just do it as much as I could until my stools went clear.

What I'd wish I'd known about the prep for an ileoscopy

My second to the last ileoscopy, I drank as much as I could, but I must have managed a bit more than usual. After leaving the hospital, my husband and I had a pit stop. I hopped out of the car and immediately passed out onto the cold concrete.

Instinctively I knew that the prep had stripped my fragile bowel of what limited nutrients my body was storing.

But no one, not one single medical professional ever told me this following imperative information until I questioned why I needed to drink so much prep before an ileoscopy to my stomal therapy nurse.

Those with ileostomies should not drink prep

She was immediately furious, but not with me! She could not believe that I had never been told over the last 12 years to drink any prep because of what I'd already known! It strips too much out of our bowels and those with ileostomies should NEVER drink prep. She knew this because she had written the Policy for the Australian Health Department!!

No one had ever said anything to me. I couldn't believe all those times that I had felt like death after having my scopes.

After my second to last one, the one where I passed out, I was essentially out of it and unable to function for close to 5 days after the procedure!

Why it's important to question when something doesn't feel right

In the link by US National Library of Medicine published this article regarding Preoperative Bowel Preparation Prior to Elective Bowel Resection or Ostomy Closure in the Pediatric Patient Population Has No Impact on Outcomes. A Prospective Randomized Study; which discusses the need for the preparation required before surgery. It actually states "many meta-analyses have suggested that the use of preoperative bowel preparation should be eliminated from routine clinical use and instead be used in select cases only"! Can you believe that?!!

I am a firm believer in questioning the WHY to everything. If it doesn't seem or feel right then you should rightly question and be respected with the answer. It's not unreasonable when the effects are on your body and your life!

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