Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Association, known as IA, is a registered charity supporting people living with an ileostomy or internal pouch, their families, friends and carers.Donate
Developed by Nils Kock in the late 1960’s, the Kock pouch, at the time, was the only alternative to an ileostomy. The pouch, made from small bowel, is lower in the abdomen with a small opening at the front of the tummy allowing for insertion of a small tube (catheter) so the contents of the pouch can be drained as required.
Behind the opening is a one way valve, made from small bowel, that prevents contents of the pouch from spilling out on to the tummy. One of the issues with the pouch however was the failure of the one way valve which could additionally lead to issues with catheter insertion as well as leakage.
It was only 10 years or so later that the ileoanal pouch was developed and offered a continent alternative to an ileostomy or the Kock pouch. The ileoanal pouch meant that the patient could retain control and empty the pouch through their back passage.
The Kock pouch became less popular and with the reducing number of surgeons in the UK who could perform the specialist surgery, few Kock pouches were performed in the UK for many years.
Whilst still not a popular alternative to the ileoanal pouch in the UK, there are now some surgeons who are trained to undertake the procedure.
This is especially vital for people who are living with a Kock pouch in the UK who experience difficulty and require the help of a trained surgeon. Sadly with only a few surgeons skilled to perform the surgery, some with a Kock pouch are often only offered a return to living with a permanent ileostomy because of the lack of specialist surgical skill in the UK.
IA is fortunate to have a few of its visitor living with a Kock pouch so if you are interested in the surgery or are living with a Kock pouch yourself and would like to speak with someone, please contact IA National Office.
IA has also produced a booklet on living with a Kock pouch which is available online through our literature pages.