Colostomy – All You Need To Know About It

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Introduction     |    When do you need Colostomy?     |    Types of Colostomy      |    Colostomy Supplies

In colostomy, a part of the colon is surgically brought to the abdominal surface to create a stoma. It is especially useful when there is a problem with the natural bowel movement through the rectum. Digested food, which is usually solid in this part of the intestine, passes through the stoma into an external ostomy pouch. To address this condition, an ostomate may require some specific products like ostomy pouches, skin barriers, skincare products and more.

What is a Colostomy and how does it work?

If there is a problem with any part of the colon, let’s say rectal cancer, a surgeon may need to remove it. During the surgery, the part of the colon that is infected is removed. Everything else that is placed above the removed part in the system, continues to work in their normal way. For various reasons, the left out colon part cannot be connected to the natural opening of the bottom. Therefore, a new opening is created on the abdominal wall by making an incision. This opening is called a stoma. The new colon end is then pulled out through the stoma and put in place. It is referred to as a colostomy because it is an opening from the colon. Usually, colostomies are on the left side of the body and an ostomy pouch is required to hold the contents that are passed out from the stoma.

What is Colostomy?

When do you need a Colostomy?

There might be a need for a colostomy surgery due to the following reasons:

  • Bowel blockage or tear
  • Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Cancer
  • Imperforate anus
  • Injury to the colon
  • Birth defects
  • Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Pouches in the colon (diverticulitis)

Types of Colostomies

On the basis of the duration, a colostomy can be temporary for short-term basis or permanent for life-long.

1. Temporary Colostomy

A temporary colostomy is performed when there is a chance that the affected part of the colon will heal. Upon healing, the procedure is reversed and normal bowel function is restored. Temporary colostomies can be for weeks, months, or years, depending on the situation.

2. Permanent Colostomy

A permanent colostomy is performed when a part of the colon or rectum is diseased. The affected part is removed permanently and the procedure is not expected to be reversed in the future.

A colostomy can be performed at any point along the length of the large intestine. On the basis of the portion of the colon that is involved in the surgery, a colostomy can be ascending, transverse, descending, and Sigmoid.

Types of Colostomy

1. Ascending Colostomy

This type of colostomy is performed at the ascending part of the colon. It is generally located in the lower middle right side of the abdomen. The output from this part of the colon is often liquid to semiliquid.

2. Transverse Colostomy

This type of colostomy is performed at the transverse part of the colon. It is generally located in the center of the abdomen. The output from this part of the colon is often liquid to pasty.

3. Descending Colostomy

This type of colostomy is performed at the descending part of the colon. It is usually located on the left side of the abdomen. The output from this part of the colon is often pasty to a formed consistency.

4. Sigmoid Colostomy

This type of colostomy is performed at the sigmoid colon. A sigmoid colostomy is typically located on the lower left side of the abdomen. The output from this part of the colon is often pasty to a formed consistency.

What supplies do you need for a Colostomy?

One-Piece or Two-Piece Ostomy Pouches

Ostomy pouches are an essential colostomy supply. They are used to collect stool that is expelled out from the stoma expectedly or unexpectedly. They can be of two types, namely, 1-piece ostomy pouches and 2-piece ostomy pouches. In a 1-piece ostomy system, the skin barrier and pouch are attached to each other. They are replaced and disposed of simultaneously. While in a 2-piece ostomy system, the skin barrier remains on the body and the ostomy pouch is detached, emptied, and replaced.

Coloplast SenSura Mio One-Piece Standard Flat Cut-to-Fit Mini Opaque Closed Pouch With Filter Coloplast Assura Two-Piece Maxi Opaque Drainable Pouch With Filter

Drainable or Closed-End Pouches

Drainable pouches are simply rinse-and-reuse ostomy pouches. They have a clip at the bottom through which they can be easily drained. On the other hand, closed-end pouches are for single use. These colostomy pouches are simply removed and discarded when they are full. As they don’t have any clip or leakage to worry about, they are preferred for special occasions and intimate moments.

Hollister Premier One-Piece Drainable Pouch with Convex Flextend Skin Barrier Coloplast Assura AC Easiflex Two-Piece Cut-To-Fit Midi Opaque Closed Pouch With Filter

Stoma Covers or Caps

Stoma covers or caps, as their name suggests, are used to cover the stoma. Activities where stoma caps can be a real benefit are swimming, playing sports, and intimate moments. They are ideal for people who have a colostomy with predictable output as they cannot hold stool. Because of this, they are usually preferred for short periods of time. They can be considered a full-time solution only when a person has mastered irrigation.

Coloplast Assura Two-Piece Stoma Cap With Skin Barrier And Filter Coloplast Assura Opaque Stoma Cap With Skin Barrier And Filter

Ostomy Support Belts

Ostomy belts provide support to manage the weight of ostomy appliances that are attached to the stoma. They help by providing comfort, enhancing discretion, and providing a sense of security by preventing accidental falls due to lack of proper adhesion.

Coloplast Brava Adjustable Ostomy Belt Hollister Adjustable Ostomy Belt

Peristomal Skin Care

Periostomal skincare includes a variety of ostomy pastes, powders, and protectants. These products help protect sensitive skin from harmful ostomy adhesives. They keep the skin surrounding the stoma healthy and hygienic. They also increase the wear time of ostomy products, resulting in fewer product changes and lesser skin stripping.

ConvaTec Eakin Cohesive Paste Hollister Adapt Stoma Lubricant

Odor Eliminators

Gas and odor are quite common with a colostomy. Odor eliminators help users get rid of unpleasant and embarrassing odors. They come in handy for special occasions and intimate moments to curb odors associated with ostomy bags. Ostomy odor eliminators come in a wide variety like sprays, drops, lubricants, filters, and more to fulfill specific user requirements.

Bard Medi-Aire Biological Odor Eliminator - 8 Oz Refiller Bottle Coloplast Brava Lubricating Deodorant

At Shop Ostomy Supplies, you can find a wide assortment of colostomy supplies from top manufacturers in the industry. These products will help you make your journey with ostomy a breeze.


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