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Top: End ileostomy. Bottom: Loop ileostomy.

What will my ileostomy look and feel like?

Your ileostomy should protrude from your abdomen, like a spout, and this can vary depending on how it is formed by your surgeon. It will be soft to touch, pinkish-red in colour and moist; rather like the inside of your mouth. There is no sensation in the stoma, so it is not painful. However, it has a rich blood supply and it is normal for it to bleed a little from time to time, especially when cleaning. Your ileostomy is likely to be swollen at first and will take a few weeks to reduce in size. There will be small stitches around the edge of your ileostomy, which will either be dissolvable or your Stoma Care Nurse will remove them 1-2 weeks after your operation.