Potential Problems Following Pelvic Pouch Surgery


Early post-operative complications include anastomotic leaks with or without infection, pelvic abscesses, small bowel obstructions, or problems with the ileostomy.

Once all of the steps of the Pelvic Pouch surgery have been completed, and the continuity of the gastrointestinal system has been restored, the following concerns may occur:




Following the pelvic pouch procedure, the average person at six months has between four to six movements a day. However, everyone's response is different. There is a period of adaptation with the pelvic pouch. The pouch has to learn to expand and hold onto stool and this takes time.

Stool consistency, frequency, night-time movements, emptying problems and hemorrhoids can be problematic for some individuals.

Perianal Skin Care

Looseness and frequency of stool is not uncommon during the early months following pelvic pouch surgery. It generally takes at least six months for the pouch to "adapt" and basically begin to function and act like a pouch or reservoir. It is extremely important to keep the skin around the anus clean and dry.

Internal Anal Discomfort

Frequent and loose stools may cause uncomfortable internal burning and itching sensations.


Diet and medication can help to improve pouch function. It will be important to resume normal, healthy dietary patterns over time.


The potential for sexual dysfunction for either men or women after pelvic pouch surgery is very small, but the risk does exist. Sexuality must be discussed with your surgeon prior to surgery.


Some women may experience increased fertility due to removal of the inflamed colon. Unfortunately, others may have decreased fertility from adhesions or scar tissue that develops after the removal of the rectum.


Pouchitis is an inflammation of the pelvic pouch that can result in a number of symptoms, including increased bowel movements, abdominal cramping and bloating, generalized fatigue/malaise, fever, and sometimes blood in the stools. In some cases, it can also result in joint pains and weight loss.
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