Ask Dr. Beck

Dr. Beck is board certified in general and colon and rectal surgery and is a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt. Dr. Beck conducts research into colorectal diseases, has authored and edited nine medical textbooks, and written over 350 scientific publications. He was the President of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) from 2010-2011. Dr. Beck is a nationally recognized expert in inflammatory bowel disease, anal, rectal and colon cancer, stomas, adhesions, bowel preparation, sphincter saving surgery for cancer, laparoscopic surgery, and postoperative pain management.

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Pooping After Ileostomy

I had surgery almost three months ago. My surgeon told me to expect mucous from my rectum, but what’s coming out is brown and looks just like poop. I was also told that the mucous would be clear. Is this normal? Should I see my surgeon again?


The distal bowel is rarely completely empty after surgery. Therefore, some of the residual intestinal contents (stool or mucous) will come out. In addition, some of the superficial intestinal lining sluffs (like skin cells) as the mucosa matures will come out. This material will accumulate until it is large enough to be passed.
I expect your distal discharge will diminish with time. The actual color is usually not significant. If you have concerns, you should address them with your surgeon. If he is concerned, he can examine your distal bowel with a small scope.

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