New to Ostomy? What You Need to Know

New to Ostomy? What You Need to Know

By Kevin Cleary

There is a saying that goes “the only certainty in life is death and taxes.” What’s left out of that statement is our body’s need to expel waste. Our body’s waste can be toxic to us. Certain diseases can affect our bowel or urinary tract system requiring surgery to remove some if not all of our intestines or bladder. This surgery is called an ostomy. It’s a surgery that requires an opening to be created to expel waste (usually in the abdomen). The opening that is created at the end of a bowel or ureter is called a stoma which is pulled through the abdominal wall. Just as with any other disease or surgical procedure, there are different types of ostomy pending on different patients needs. That’s why understanding what your ostomy is and the options that are available is very important.


A colostomy is a surgical procedure where a small portion of the large intestine (colon) is brought to the abdominal wall in order to facilitate the expulsion of stool. This surgery may be temporary or even permanent. A permanent colostomy usually requires the elimination of the rectum. The end of the intestine is brought out through the abdominal wall to form the stoma. According to there are several types of colostomy. Along with a temporary/permanent colostomy, options include: sigmoid/descending colostomy, transverse colostomy, loop colostomy, and ascending colostomy surgeries. Companies such as Hollister, Cymed, and Stomocur all manufacture colostomy kits for patients. Your doctor/surgeon will determine which surgery is appropriate for you.



Similar to a colostomy, an ileostomy is a surgical procedure that requires an opening in the small intestine (usually at the end of the ileum). The small intestine is then brought to the abdominal wall to form the stoma. These also can be permanent or temporary. This procedure usually requires the removal of some or part of the colon. There are now alternatives to the common ileostomy. The website points to two different procedures: the Ileoanal Reservoir (J-Pouch) and the Continent Ileostomy (Kock Pouch). Hollister manufactures Premium Single Use Ileostomy kits in several variations.


A urostomy is a surgical procedure to divert urine from a diseased or defective bladder. The end of the small intestines (ileum) or the beginning of the large intestines (cecum) is surgically removed and used as a pathway for urine to be removed from the kidneys. This is then brought through the body to form a stoma and the bladder may or may not be removed. This is called an ileal or cecal conduit procedure. There are alternatives to this procedure, most commonly the Continent Urostomy, which involves both the Indiana and Kock Pouches. Coloplast Assura/SenSura offers numerous urostomy pouches as well as ConvaTec ActiveLife/Little Ones/Sur-Fit. Also, Cymed offers the MicroDerm and MicroSkin urostomy kits. Other options include: Genairex Securi-T, Hollister New Image/Premier, and Marlen E-Z Drain urostomy kits.