Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Closure of loop ileostomy

2-minute read

This page will give you information about closure of a loop ileostomy. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.

What is closure of a loop ileostomy?

A loop ileostomy is a type of stoma and was made with two ends of your small bowel. It was expected that this would be only temporary and that your bowel ends would be put back together. Your bowels will then open in the usual way.

What are the benefits of surgery?

You should be able to open your bowels in the normal way and you should no longer have a stoma bag.

Illustration showing a loop ileostomy.
A loop ileostomy.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 45 minutes. Your surgeon will make a cut on your skin around the ileostomy. They will free up the loops of small bowel used to make the ileostomy and then join the two ends back together.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • pain
  • bleeding
  • developing a hernia
  • infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • unsightly scarring
  • chest Infection
  • blood clots
  • difficulty passing urine

Specific complications

  • anastomotic leak
  • bowel obstruction
  • diarrhoea
  • developing an abnormal connection between your bowel and your skin

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after 3 to 5 days.

You should feel strong enough to return to normal activities within a few weeks of going home.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Most people make a good recovery. You will be followed up as planned after your original operation.


Surgery to join the two ends of your bowel back together should allow you to open your bowels in the normal way. You will no longer need a stoma bag.

The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

For more on how this information was prepared, click here.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Stoma after ileostomy or colostomy - Better Health Channel

A stoma is an artificially created hole (stoma) in the abdomen so that faeces can still leave the body.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Gastrostomy feeding for children | Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation

Read more on Cerebral Palsy Alliance website

Gastrostomy | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

What is a gastrostomy? A gastrostomy is an opening placed directly into the stomach

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Tube feeding - Trans-gastric Jejunal feeding device | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

What is a trans-gastric jejunal device? A trans-gastric jejunal device is a special button / tube with two connection ports: one port leading into the stomach (gastric) on the side of the button marked "Gastric " and one port leading into the small intestine (jejunum) on the top of the button marked "Jejunal"

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Tube feeding - Gastrostomy Buttons | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

What is a gastrostomy? A gastrostomy is an opening from the skin directly into the stomach

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Tube feeding - Common problems with your childs gastrostomy button | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

There are a few common problems that your child may experience with their gastrostomy button

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Bowel Stomas

Bowel Stomas Category: Digestive Health Topic: Bowel Movement Problems Send by email View as PDF Send by post Bowel stomas are surgically-created connections between the intestines and the abdominal wall

Read more on Queensland Health website

Ulcerative colitis: treatment -

Treatment of ulcerative colitis will depend on the severity of the disease, the effect the symptoms are having on your daily life and whether you are in remission or are having a flare-up.

Read more on myDr website

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) -

There are 2 forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Find out about the causes, symptoms and treatment.

Read more on myDr website

MRI Enterography or Enteroclysis - InsideRadiology

InsideRadiology provides free and easily accessible, accurate, up to date and credible information about medical imaging tests and procedures.

Read more on InsideRadiology website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo