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Back to Health A to Z. A colostomy is an operation to divert one end of the colon part of the bowel through an opening in the tummy. A colostomy may be needed if, as the result of an illness, injury or problem with your digestive system, you can't pass stools through your anus. A colostomy is often used after a section of the colon has been removed and the bowel can't be joined back together. This may be temporary and followed by another operation to reverse the colostomy at a later date, or it may be permanent.

A colostomy is carried out under general anaesthetic , using either:. There are two main types of colostomy: a loop colostomy and an end colostomy.

The specific technique used will depend on your circumstances. In a loop colostomy, a loop of colon is pulled out through a cut in your tummy. The loop is opened up and stitched to your skin to form an opening called a stoma. The stoma has two openings that are close together. In some cases, a support device a rod or bridge may be used to hold the loop of colon in place while it heals.

It's usually removed after a few days.

A colostomy is an ostomy of the colon. An ileostomy is an ostomy of the small intestine. With an ostomy, waste no longer leaves your body from your anus. It leaves your body through the part of your intestine at the ostomy opening. This part of the intestine is called the stoma. There's no muscle around the stoma. So you can't control when waste or gas leaves your body. Now your waste automatically goes from the stoma into a plastic bag pouch around the stoma.


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This pouch will block the smell of the waste. It can't be seen when you are wearing clothes. You can learn to take care of your ostomy.

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Stoma care | Treatment summary | BNF content published by NICE

Good care can make living with a stoma easier. It can help keep a good seal between the skin and the pouch. This can prevent your skin from getting irritated. Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety.

Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When a colostomy is needed

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:. Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:. An ileostomy is a surgical opening in your abdominal wall.

The ileum, or end of the small intestine, is passed through this opening and stitched into…. We'll tell you what to expect from a urostomy and show you a picture of a stoma so you can prepare and have a smooth recovery. Your small intestines, also called the small bowel, are very important for maintaining good digestive health. You may need surgery to remove a damaged…. During a large bowel resection, or colectomy, your surgeon removes diseased sections of your large bowel. There's still a lot of mystery and stigma surrounding ostomy bags. One vlogger who lives with IBD decided to speak out and share what it's really like….

After stoma surgery

Seven Bridges, a year-old boy from Kentucky, was treated badly because of his disability. He was repeatedly bullied and then died by suicide…. Be sure to follow these inspiring Instagrammers, who are showing us their ostomy style and looking good doing it. If you need an ostomy, you may worry about potential lifestyle changes impacting your everyday happiness. These blogs may be just the support you need.

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Collagen is an essential building block for the entire body, from skin to gut, and more. Here's five changes you may see or feel just by taking more…. Types Surgery Care Reversal Complications Outlook If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. What is a stoma?

What are the different types? What kind of care is involved? Is it reversible? Are there any complications?