What is an Ostomy?

What is Ostomy?

An ostomy refers to the surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes. A stoma is the actual end of the ureter or the small or large bowel that can be seen protruding through the abdominal wall. The most common specific types of ostomies are described below.


A colostomy is created when a portion of the colon (large intestine) or the rectum is removed and the remaining colon is brought to the abdominal wall. The surgically created opening of the colon results in a stoma. It may further be defined by the portion of the colon involved and/or its permanence.

A colostomy is needed for conditions such as 'necrotizing enterocolitis' (an acute inflammatory disease of the bowel), 'imperforate anus' (absence of anal opening) or Hirschsprung's Disease (a condition in which the nerves controlling bowel function are abnormal).

Colostomy Pouches


A surgically created opening in the small intestine, usually at the end of the ileum. The intestine is brought through the abdominal wall to form a stoma. Ileostomies may be temporary or permanent and may involve removal of all or part of the entire colon.

An ileostomy is needed when the large intestine (colon) cannot be used and must be by-passed or removed.

Ileostomy Pouches


This is a general term for a surgical procedure that diverts urine away from a diseased or defective bladder. The ileal or cecal conduit procedures are the most common urostomies. Either a section at the end of the small bowel (ileum) or at the beginning of the large intestine (cecum) is surgically removed and relocated as a passageway for urine to pass from the kidneys to the outside of the body through a stoma. It may include the removal of the diseased bladder.

Urostomy is needed when the bladder is not working properly. There are four major reasons for performing a urinary diversion, the most common being bladder cancer. Other reasons include birth defects, neurological dysfunction or chronic inflammation of the bladder.

Urostomy Pouches


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