Meg has had an A.C.E tube since the age of 6 after being born with an imperforated anus (a rare abnormality in which there is absence or abnormal localization of the anus. The rectum or the colon may be connected to the vagina or the bladder by a tunnel known as a fistula) after trying a reversal of the original colostomy, which didn’t work. Many people including myself have never heard of an A.C.E tube so i wanted to write a blog to raise awareness of one and to share this incredible journey this young woman has been on since birth.
What Is An A.C.E Tube?
An A.C.E has the characterisations like a button hole, which is a channel (usually using the appendix) into the large bowel at a point called the caecum. This is where the end of the appendix is opened up to form a channel from the tummy wall to the large bowel. This is called a stoma (artificial opening). Fluid is used to wash out the bowel and can then be inserted easily. This fluid flushes the faeces out through the rectum in the usual way. If the patient has had their appendix removed, the surgeon may need to use another method to create the passage.
After the Operation:
The stoma and surrounding area needs to be treated as a wound for the first five days. The patient should keep the stoma clean by washing it once a day and then pat it dry with a towel. Using a skin barrier spray or skin barrier wipe can be used to protect the skin once healed.
How Does it Work?
A connector is attached to the A.C.E tube every day that is connected to a saline solution and laxative (in a container) which flushes out the bowel. It takes approximately an hour a day.
At the time when Meg had the operation for the A.C.E Tube, she was the first patient to have it done in the hospital she was admitted to, which was 10 years ago. When Meg is an inpatient in present time, the tube brings a lot of medical attention from nurses who are very interested in what it is and does! However this does have a downside for Meg, where GP’s and local nurses aren’t so “clued up” on the A.C.E tube and this can result in poor care when issues occur. Many people can have this issue with stoma’s where due to lack of knowledge unspecialised nurses and doctor’s really have no clue and treatment is limited and difficult.
The Positives of an A.C.E Tube for Meg;
You can’t see the ACE button and it is hidden really well. Sometimes Meg has complications where the stoma tube can leak and the skin becomes sore but apart form that, she has described it as being “fab”!
One day, Meg hopes to be a nurse. As a very bubbly, confident, chatty young women and the medical experience and knowledge she has gained i think she will be a brilliant nurse!. In her spare time Meg loves make up, clothes, movies and love island the TV show.