A surgically created opening in your abdomen that allows waste or urine to leave your body.
A colostomy is usually formed during surgery (operation) to divert a section of the large intestine (colon) through an opening in the abdomen (tummy)
The opening is known as a stoma. A colostomy bag (pouch) is placed over the stoma to collect waste products that would usually pass through the colon and out of the body through the rectum and anus (your back passage).
A colostomy can be permanent or temporary.
Why do you need a colostomy?
A colostomy usually needs to be formed when there is a problem with an area of the colon. Some of the most common reasons for forming a colostomy include:
1) Bowel cancer
2) Crohn’s disease- a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system
3) Diverticulitis – a condition that causes small pouches to develop in the wall of the colon,called diverticula, which become infected and inflammed. Fortunately this is rare in the Indian Subcontinent.
4) A colostomy diverts digestive waste away from the affected areas of the colon to give them a chance to heal. In some cases, a colostomy is formed after a section of the colon has been removed.
Types of colostomy:
There are two main ways a colostomy can be formed. They are
- a loop colostomy – where a loop of colon is pulled out through a hole in your abdomen, before being opened up and stitched to the skin
- an end colostomy – where one end of the colon is pulled out through a hole in your
abdomen and stitched to the skin. Loop colostomies tend to be temporary and require a further operation at a later date to reverse the procedure. It is also possible to reverse an end colostomy, but this is less common. Also these operations can sometimes be one of the most difficult to perform and carries risks and needs to be performed by specialists in this field.
An ileostomy is a life-saving surgery that brings a part of small bowel outside which enables patients to enjoy a full range of activities including travelling, sports, family life and work, even though they have a stoma and wear a pouching system.
Ileostomy surgery is performed for many different diseases and conditions. Some of the indications for ileostomy ulcerative colitis & Crohn’s disease(IBD), familial adenomatous polyposis and complications of cancer. Sometimes ileostomy is performed as safety measure to divert an anastomosis ( bowel join) and in very sick patients as a means to get them better quickly.
There are many ways to gain a greater understanding of your life with an ileostomy. Most of the times it is your surgeon and the nurse, along with your close family members who are likely to be important sources of information and support.