During an end colostomy, the end of the colon is brought through the abdominal wall, where it may be turned under, like a cuff. The edges of the colon are then stitched to the skin of the abdominal wall to form an opening called a stoma. Stool drains from the stoma into a bag or pouch attached to the abdomen. In a temporary "loop colostomy," a hole is cut in the side of the colon and stitched to a corresponding hole in the abdominal wall. This can be more easily reversed later by simply detaching the colon from the abdominal wall and closing the holes to reestablish the flow of stool through the colon.
Colostomy is a surgical
procedure that brings one
end of the large intestine out
through an opening (stoma)
made in the abdominal wall.
Stools moving through the
intestine drain through the
stoma into a bag attached to
A colostomy is an operation
that creates an opening for
the colon, or large
intestine, through the
Why is the colostomy done?
Colostomy surgery may be needed to treat several different diseases and
conditions. These include:
Birth defect, such as a blocked or missing anal opening, called an
Serious infection, such as diverticulitis, inflammation of little sacs on
Inflammatory bowel disease
Injury to the colon or rectum
Partial or complete intestinal or bowel blockage
Rectal or colon cancer
Wounds or fistulas in the perineum. A fistula is an abnormal
connection between internal parts of the body, or between an internal
organ and the skin. A woman's perineum is the area between her anus
and vulva; a man's lies between his anus and scrotum.
Are they permanent or temporary?
A colostomy may be temporary or
permanent. It is usually performed
after bowel surgery or injury. Most
permanent colostomies are "end
colostomies," while many temporary
colostomies bring the side of the
colon up to an opening in the
For example, some infections or
injuries require giving the bowel a
temporary rest, then reattaching it.
A permanent colostomy may be
required for a more serious or
incurable problem, such as cancer
that requires removal of the
rectum, or a failure of the muscles
that control elimination.
Different Colors of Stomas Supplies
The system color combination is meant to help select
each support piece. Each box has a label color code
which will help to select the right cutaneous barrier.
What are the different stoma
Colostomy - A colostomy can be made at almost any point along the
large bowel (colon). Where the colostomy is created will depend on the
medical reason, but generally they are located on the lower left hand
side of the abdomen. The output may be almost fully formed stool and
wind is common.
Ileostomy - An ileostomy is made from the small intestine (ileum);
usually it will be located on the lower right hand side of the abdomen.
The output is generally liquid to paste-like stool and can often be
corrosive due to the presence of digestive enzymes.
Urostomy - A urostomy is a diversion which drains urine and is made
using the small bowel. It is generally located on the abdomen on the
lower right hand side. The output is urine although you may find some
mucous is secreted due to the nature of the surgical operation.
Kinds of products
A One-Piece System
is designed to be disposable
means that the wafer and the
(this does not mean that they
can be flushed down the
toilet - most toilets react very
badly to having plastic bags
flushed down them!).
bag are separate and are joined
together by what is commonly
referred to as a "tupperware-type
ring" on the wafer.
Two piece bags can either be
disposable or reusable.
Why is a mirror used?
The mirror is used to check the
Stoma during self-cleaning and
Check the stoma and the skin
around it each time you
change your pouch. Stand in
front of a mirror, or use a
hand mirror so that you can
see all the way around the
stoma. It should look
shiny, moist, and dark pink or
red. The skin around it
should be smooth, with no
red or broken spots.
Quick Guide For Cleaning Your
Prepare new appliance and flange before removal of
Remove peel away soiled pouch and flange.
Clean skin around stoma, followed by stoma itself using
wipes and warm water. Pat dry with wipes.
Shave area if necessary and wipe with damp cloth once
Apply skin lotions, cream and pastes if necessary
Carefully stick on new appliances, be sure the fit is
Wrap soiled appliances in disposal bag or newspaper.
How culture can influence patients
There can be a number of cultural issues that can affect a
stoma patient, which include clothing, religion and food.
Religious - A patient that
follows the Muslim faith
traditionally uses their left hand
for cleansing and their right
hand for eating.
Food - Many people of the
Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, or
Rastafarian faith require that a
religious follower go through a
period of fasting. This can cause
difficulties with stoma
management and dehydration.
Are there any associations for
patients with colostomies?
The United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (UOAA) is a national network
for bowel and urinary diversion support groups in the United States. Its goal is to
provide a nonprofit association that will serve to unify and strengthen its
member support groups, which are organized for the benefit of people who
have, or will have intestinal or urinary diversions and their caregivers.
UOAA is an association of affiliated,
nonprofit, support groups who are
committed to the improvement of
the quality of life of people who
have, or will have, an intestinal or
It is dedicated to the provision of
information, advocacy and service
to, and for, its affiliated support
groups, their members and the
community at large.