A colostomy is
surgery that makes an opening in the skin on the belly and connects the bowel
(colon) to that opening. The opening is called a stoma. A colostomy may be
temporary or permanent.
A colostomy may be done either as an open
surgery or as a laparoscopic surgery. Open surgery is done through a large cut
(incision) in the belly. Laparoscopic surgery is done through several small
incisions in the belly. The doctor inserts a thin, lighted tube (laparoscope,
or scope) and special surgical tools through the incisions. The doctor is able
to use the scope to see your organs and do the surgery. The type of surgery you
have depends on your health needs. With either type of surgery, the incisions
will leave scars on your belly that will fade with time.
surgery, stool will pass out of your body through the stoma instead of your
anus. A plastic bag is attached over the stoma to collect stool.
You may worry about what your life will be like after a colostomy. Many
people who have colostomies lead active, normal lives. Colostomy bags are
odour-proof. They don't show under clothes. Other people won't know that you
have a colostomy unless you choose to tell them. An ostomy nurse can help you
learn to care for your colostomy.
Most people go home 4 to 7 days
after the surgery. You will probably need about 6 weeks to fully
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 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.
Having surgery can be
stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect and
how to safely prepare for surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Q784 in the search box to learn more about "Colostomy: Before Your Surgery."
Current as of:
August 9, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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