A colectomy and subsequent ileostomy are surgeries that involve removing the large bowel (colon) and creating an opening in the abdomen for food waste to go through the small intestine and out of the body through this opening, into a stoma bag, bypassing the rectum and anus as methods of food excretion.

The patient may have the option of a stoma reversal, which would attach the small intestine to the rectum, giving rise to the reestablishment of the gastrointestinal tract.

My question: Given that the patient can go a long time before getting a reversal, i.e. a long time without making use of their rectum/anus, both of which involve muscles that will not have "exercised" for a long time, is it possible that the muscles involved in the rectum's or anus' function can atrophy in that time? And what kind of consequences would that entail for a patient?

  • Please be sure to edit my question and add any necessary tags; this is my first time on this community. Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 20:08
  • Your description is of an ileostomy, but your picture shows a colostomy Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 22:55
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    @GrahamChiu - You have lost me there. The OP talks of a colectomy with a subsequent colostomy (with illustration). How is that an ileostomy when that affects a different part of the intestines? Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 23:19
  • @GrahamChiu In fact, what I described was a colostomy and colectomy, and both are hyperlinked to a Wikipedia article for further reading. More information on ostomy, colostomy and ileostomy and their differences here. If there is an appropriate way you feel the post could be edited to more clearly describe a colostomy, please, feel free to do so, I would appreciate it. Thanks for the feedback. Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 0:29
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    @Chris "creating an opening in the abdomen for food waste to go through the small intestine and out of the body through this opening" is an ileostomy, and not colostomy. Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 1:58

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The premise is incorrect. The internal anal sphincter is in a state of chronic contraction and is not under voluntary control. When defecation occurs the sphincter relaxes allowing the passage of the rectal contents. Even when there is a colostomy there is still mucus produced which needs to be expelled on a regular basis. There is no disuse occurring.



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