Appendicostomy (MACE Procedure)

Severe constipation or fecal incontinence can disrupt life for you or your child. Appendicostomy, or MACE procedure, is surgery to create a path from your abdomen to your colon. You use this path to flush your bowel and help control bowel movements.


What is an appendicostomy?

Appendicostomy, or Malone appendicostomy, is a surgery to make a path between your abdomen and colon (large intestine) using a portion of your appendix. You use this path to flush your colon with liquid to remove stool (poop). Flushing with liquid (enema) helps you empty your bowel.

You may be a candidate for this procedure if you’re having trouble with bowel movements (pooping). Some health conditions cause problems with bowel movements or with controlling your bowel. These conditions may be congenital (conditions you’re born with) that affect your colon, rectum or anus. The MACE procedure can also help if you have issues with nerves (neuropathies) that send messages to your anus.

Both children and adults may have the MACE procedure. You may be unable to pass stool or be unable to control when you pass stool. You or your child may benefit from the MACE procedure if you have a history of:

When will I have an appendicostomy?

You may benefit from an appendicostomy when other ways to manage bowel movements haven’t worked. Before considering the MACE procedure in adults or children, healthcare providers may recommend:

  • Bowel training, like biofeedback.
  • Dietary changes.
  • Medications like bowel stimulants or fiber supplements.

Does appendicostomy have other names?

Appendicostomy is also called a Malone antegrade colonic enema (MACE) procedure.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Procedure Details

What happens before an appendicostomy?

Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions to prepare for appendicostomy. Your provider will tell you:

  • If you can eat or drink anything before the MACE procedure.
  • What time you should stop eating and drinking before the procedure.

Your provider will give you instructions on how to clear your bowel before surgery. If you or your child take any medications, ask your provider if you should take them before the procedure.

What happens during an appendicostomy?

During the MACE procedure, your healthcare provider makes a small opening (stoma) in the skin of your abdomen (belly). This is usually in your belly button or on the right side of your belly. During the procedure, surgeons:

  • Use a small piece of your appendix or intestine to form a tube.
  • Place the tube inside your large intestine.
  • Connect the tube to the stoma in your belly.
  • Place a catheter in the stoma to keep it open.

How long does an appendicostomy procedure take?

Healthcare providers typically use laparoscopic surgery to perform an appendicostomy. The procedure can take about two hours.


What happens after an appendicostomy?

Your care team shows you how to flush your bowel with liquid through a catheter placed in the stoma. People are usually discharged home the same day or the next day.

Risks / Benefits

What are the advantages of appendicostomy?

Appendicostomy can help you or your child control bowel movements with the goal of having clean periods of time without soiling. You control these movements by performing an enema to flush your bowel. Other people can’t see the stoma, so you can maintain your privacy. You can also play sports and take part in most activities.


What are appendicostomy complications and risks?

Appendicostomy may not fix all problems with bowel function. You or your child may still experience constipation or fecal incontinence. Other complications include:

  • Leaking of stool or fluid from your anus.
  • Narrowing of the appendicostomy.

Recovery and Outlook

What is the recovery time after appendicostomy?

The appendicostomy stays in place for about one month after the MACE bowel procedure. Most people are asked to refrain from heavy lifting and sports for four to six weeks after surgery.

What happens after my healthcare provider removes the appendicostomy tube?

After about a month, your healthcare provider may remove the appendicostomy tube so it can be accessed with a tube only when you need to flush it.

When can I go back to school or work?

Talk to your healthcare provider about when you can resume normal activities and return to work or school.

When To Call the Doctor

When should I call my healthcare provider after an appendicostomy?

Talk to your healthcare provider if you or your child has:

What should I do if I have trouble with bowel flushing?

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have difficulty placing the tube in the stoma to flush your bowel. Tell your provider if you or your child experience:

  • Leaking from the stoma after you remove the tube.
  • Bowel incontinence between flushes.

Additional Common Questions

Can I or my child have an appendicostomy reversal?

Appendicostomy is reversible if you or your child regain typical bowel function. Your colon isn’t altered during the procedure, so your colon function remains intact.

Can I or my child get a permanent tube placed?

Talk to your healthcare provider about whether a permanent tube is a good option for you or your child. Permanent tubes include:

  • Chait tube: A corkscrew low-profile tube without a balloon that can remain in place for many months at a time.
  • MiniACE: A balloon-tipped tube that’s changed every three to four months.

What’s the difference between appendicostomy and cecostomy?

Both appendicostomy and cecostomy are tubes that allow you to flush your colon to remove stool. Cecostomy is a tube that connects your skin and your cecum, the first part of your colon. An appendicostomy uses your appendix to create the pathway.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Not having control of when or how you poop can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Appendicostomy (MACE procedure) is surgery that creates a discreet path to flush your bowel with an enema. This procedure helps you or your child stay in control when you have severe constipation or fecal incontinence. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether this surgery is right for you.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed on 12/05/2023.

Learn more about our editorial process.

Appointments 216.444.7000