A team from Ragama, Sri Lanka, evaluated the quality of life of patients with an ileostomy and compared it with that of patients with a colostomy.
They reported their findings to the British Society of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting, held this week in Birmingham, England.
A total of 25 patients with an ileostomy (median age 42 years) and 25 patients with a colostomy (median age 44 years) were included in the study.
A self-administered, structured questionnaire was used to compare quality of life in the two groups.
Responses were obtained for 10 quality of life questions on a visual analogue rating scale (0-100mm). These were graded good (71-100), satisfactory (31-70), or poor (0-30).
Purchase of the stoma appliance was without much difficulty in 22 (88%) patients with an ileostomy, compared with 16 (64%) patients with a colostomy.
Effluent was tolerable in 18 (72%) patients with an ileostomy as compared with only 7 (28%) patients with a colostomy.
Appetite was not significantly affected in all patients with an ileostomy (100%), compared with 64% of patients with a colostomy.
The researchers found that numerous factors were not significantly different between the two groups.
|Benefits of ileostomy compared to colostomy:|
- Effluent more tolerable
- Personal hygiene affected less
- Preserved appetite
These included no disruption to travel by public transport (32% vs 28%, ileostomy and colostomy, respectively), dress (20% vs 24%), and daily activities (28% vs 24%).
Furthermore, 68% with an ileostomy did not have a problem with personal hygiene, compared with 40% with a colostomy.
Some 95% with an ileostomy abstained from sexual activity, compared with 81% with a colostomy.
Dr M. A. Silva, of the University Surgical Unit, at the Teaching Hospital of North Colombo, said on behalf of the team, "Both ileostomy and colostomy resulted in significant impairment of quality of life in patients.
"However, with an ileostomy, the effluent was more tolerable, had less of an impact on personal hygiene, and preserved appetite, compared with patients with a colostomy."
"There were no differences in appetite, travel, dress, daily chores, and sexual activity between the two groups," it was concluded.