Ostomy Information

The word “STOMA” simply means “opening”. An OSTOMY refers to the result of the surgery that created the stoma. A stoma is red and moist and has no nerve endings, so it will not hurt when touched. Bodily wastes exit the stoma and are collected in a pouch.

Colostomy: (colon + ostomy) a surgical procedure where part of the large intestine or colon is removed with the result that the rectum is no longer functional. An opening is surgically created on the abdomen and the end portion of the colon is brought through the opening to the surface of the abdomen. The part of the colon or bowel that protrudes is called a stoma. A person with a colostomy has no control over bowel movements, so a pouch will need to be worn over the stoma to collect the stool. The stoma may be located on the right side of the abdomen (ascending colostomy), in the center (transverse colostomy), or on the left side (descending or sigmoid colostomy). to collect stool. A temporary colostomy is created in cases where the diseased portion of the colon is allowed to heal while the functional colon continues to work. Sometimes, this is called a “double barrel” ostomy.

 

Ileostomy: (ileum + ostomy) a surgical procedure where the entire large intestine is removed and the end of the small intestine or ileum is brought through an opening to the surface of the abdomen. The part of the ileum that protrudes is called a stoma. A person with an ileostomy has no control over bowel movements, so a pouch will need to be worn over the stoma to collect the stool. If the rectum is also diseased, it is removed. Sometimes, however, the rectum is left in place in the event that a re-connection is planned or possible in the future (see below: Ileonanal Reservoir).

 

 

Urostomy or Ileal Conduit or Urinary Diversion: Three names for the same thing! This surgical procedure involves the removal of the diseased bladder and the formation of a stoma to divert urine into an external pouch worn on the surface of the abdomen. The surgeon takes a six to eight inch piece of the small intestine (ileum) to form a conduit for the urine. The ileum, where the short length was removed, is then re-connected. The short length of the small intestine is now reassigned to act as a “tube” or conduit to carry urine instead of feces. One end of this conduit is sewn closed and the other end is brought out to the surface of the abdomen to form the stoma. The ureters from the kidneys are then grafted onto this conduit to carry the urine to the outside of the body and into the pouch.

 

Other Types of Ostomies:

Continent Ileostomy: A surgical procedure where the patient has lost the entire large intestine or colon and the end of the small intestine is surgically fashioned into an “internal pouch” where stool collects. This internal pouch, besides being connected to the small intestine, is also connected to the surface of the abdomen where surgically created ‘one-way’ valves on the stoma prevent the stool from leaving the pouch. Therefore, in order to empty the pouch, one must use a special plastic tube or catheter several times a day to drain the pouch. No external pouch is required but a small absorbent pad or cover is needed over the stoma.

Continent Urostomy: As in the case of a continent ileostomy, a portion of the small intestine is cut out and fashioned into an internal pouch to replace the bladder which has already been removed. This pouch is now the new bladder. The ureters from the kidneys are grafted onto this new bladder that will store urine. Special one-way valves are surgically constructed at the end of the internal pouch to prevent urine from leaking out. As in the case of a continent ileostomy, a special catheter is used several times a day to empty the urine. No external pouch is required but a small absorbent pad or cover is needed over the stoma.

Ileoanal Reservoir: This surgical procedure involves the formation of a large internal pouch (similar to a continent ileostomy) except that the end of the pouch is surgically re-connected to the rectum to allow for normal controlled bowel movements. The frequency of bowel movements is greatly increased but no external pouches or absorbent pads are necessary.