Cecostomy is surgery to clear a child's bowels of feces when other treatment has not worked. It is used for children with fecal incontinence caused by major health problems. Fecal incontinence means your child can’t control his or her bowels. Symptoms can range from having severe constipation to having a bowel movement at an unexpected or embarrassing time.
Cecostomy is different from an enema that is used to ease constipation. An enema is given directly through the rectum to help free the feces. In a cecostomy, the healthcare provider puts a tube (catheter) into the first part of the large intestines (cecum). It is in the lower right abdomen. The provider injects liquid medicine into the cecum through this tube. The medicine helps coax the feces out of the body through the rectum.
Your child may need a cecostomy if he or she has fecal incontinence and other treatments have not worked. But most children with this health problem will have success with other treatments.
Your child may also need the procedure if he or she has any of the following:
Most children don't have any problems with the procedure. But it does have some risks. These are:
Getting ready for the procedure includes:
Your child will need to stay in the hospital for the procedure to insert the cecostomy tube. The stay often lasts 1 to 2 days. Most of the time, the procedure will go as follows:
This procedure can also be done with a laparoscope. With this technique, the healthcare provider puts a laparoscope into a small incision in the belly button.
The process outlined above is what is done to insert the cecostomy tube. The cecostomy itself will then be done occasionally to relieve the bowels based on your child’s needs.
Once the cecostomy tube has been put in, your child will stay in the hospital until the next day for observation. This will help lower the risk for complications.
Your child may also need a contrast study. This test makes sure that the catheter is placed properly. For it, the healthcare provider injects contrast dye through the tube and into the cecum. Then the provider uses an X-ray to look at the dye to make sure that it travels into the cecum.
Putting the cecostomy tube in place is just the first step in easing fecal incontinence. After about a week, you will give your child an enema through the cecostomy tube at home, with guidance from your child’s healthcare provider. This process will involve putting liquid into the cecostomy tube. This liquid will pass into the cecum to encourage a bowel movement. Your child’s healthcare provider will tell you how often this will need to be done.
Tell your child’s healthcare provider if your child has any of the following:
Your child will likely need to have the catheter removed and replaced from time to time. It will have to be done for hygiene reasons and to lower the risk for complications.
Before you agree to the test or the procedure for your child make sure you know: