The Kock pouch is a potential alternative for people who need an ileostomy after surgical removal of their colon and rectum. Unfortunately, its popularity declined when surgeons found that creating the pouch was technically demanding. M. Jonathan Worsey, MD, FRCS, FACS, FASCRS, and Keith Beiermeister, MD, FACS, FASCRS, at San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons in La Jolla, California, continue to offer this option to their patients. Dr. Worsey has extensive experience creating the K-pouch, including training at the Cleveland Clinic.

To learn if you’re a candidate for the K-pouch, call or book an appointment online.

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What is the Kock pouch?

The Kock pouch, also called the K-pouch or continent ileostomy, is an alternative to the traditional ileostomy in patients who have had a total proctocolectomy, the complete surgical removal of their colon and rectum.

An ileostomy allows waste to drain from the small intestine to the outside of your body. During an ileostomy procedure, your surgeon creates an opening (stoma) through the abdominal wall. Then they attach the end of the small intestine to the stoma, allowing waste to leave your body and collect in an external pouch.

Though a permanent ileostomy is essential following some colorectal surgeries, putting up with your bodily wastes draining into an external pouch can affect your quality of life. The K-pouch gives you a better alternative.

How is the Kock pouch different from a traditional ileostomy?

The Kock pouch is named after the Swedish surgeon who created the technique, Dr. Nils G. Kock. With a drive to give his patients a better option than an ileostomy, Dr. Kock developed the new technique: He created an internal pouch from part of the small intestine.

Then he connected the internal pouch to an opening in the abdominal wall. But instead of a stoma, this opening has a valve that prevents waste and gas from leaving your body.

You simply insert a small tube into the valve several times a day and let the waste drain into the toilet. The K-pouch eliminates the need for the external pouch, so you don’t have to worry about the constant drainage of waste. And without the external pouch, you can wear clothes without needing to hide a pouch. You can also return to your favorite activities.

When might I need a Kock pouch?

Surgical removal of the colon and rectum is most often done to treat patients with ulcerative colitis that has failed medical management. If you have a proctocolectomy, a K-pouch is a potential alternative to a traditional ileostomy or a J-pouch.

It’s also potentially available to those who haven’t had good results with a prior J-pouch. The J-pouch is another type of internal pouch created in patients who had their colon and most of the rectum removed but still have an intact anal sphincter.

To learn if you’re a candidate for the Kock pouch, call San Diego Colon and Rectal Surgeons or schedule an appointment online.