Ileal Pouch Surgery (J-Pouch)

J-pouch, or ileal pouch surgery treats both ulcerative colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis. An effective treatment, j-pouch has a success rate of 90%.

In this specialized procedure, surgeons completely remove the colon and rectum. They then connect the small intestine and anus. This forms a J-shaped pouch that replaces the rectum. If you use a colostomy bag, this procedure lets you pass stool through your anus again.

We can often perform j-pouch with laparoscopic surgery. This method uses smaller incisions than traditional surgery, resulting in:

  • Less pain

  • A quicker recovery

At UVA, you'll find our colorectal surgeons have a high level of skill and expertise in doing j-pouch.

Is J-Pouch for You?

You'll need a few tests to qualify for j-pouch surgery. A doctor will perform an exam to rule out Crohn’s disease. You'll need to have a colonoscopy.

Before & After J-Pouch Surgery

You have to go without food for 24 hours before the surgery. You'll need to do a cleansing prep to empty your bowel completely.


For a few weeks, you'll have an ileostomy, a temporary opening in your abdomen where waste leaves your body.

When your pouch has completely healed, we'll undo this opening. You'll then be able to pass stool through your anus.

Titanium staples hold the new pouch together. They'll stay in your body permanently.