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Your stoma (Colostomy/Ileostomy)

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Your stoma (Colostomy/Ileostomy)

Your surgeon may discuss with you the need for the formation of a stoma as part of your bowel surgery. A stoma is made from an opening in part of the bowel.

If the stoma is made from an opening in the large bowel (colon) it is called a colostomy. If it's made from an opening in the small bowel (ileum) it is called an ileostomy. Stomas can be temporary or permanent.

Your-stoma

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Colostomy

What is a colostomy?

A colostomy is a surgically created opening in the large bowel. The bowel is brought through the abdominal wall and sutured to the skin.

What does a colostomy look like?

The stoma is red and moist; there are no nerve endings in the stoma, so there is no sensation.

Where is a colostomy positioned?

A colostomy can be formed from almost any part of the large bowel, although the most common colostomy sites are on the sigmoid colon and the transverse colon. The exact position depends on the medical reason for the surgery.

What does a colostomy do?

A colostomy diverts the faecal flow. The output, volume, and consistency vary in each case it depends in part on the location of the stoma within the colon.

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Ileostomy

What is an ileostomy?

An ileostomy is a surgically created opening in the small bowel, known as the 'ileum'.

What does an ileostomy look like?

The stoma is red and moist; there are no nerve endings in the stoma, so there is no sensation.

Where is the ileostomy positioned?

In most cases the surgeon uses part of the terminal ileum (the last section of the small bowel) to form the stoma. The ileum is brought through the abdominal wall, everted (or turned inside out) to form a spout, and sutured to the skin.

What does an ileostomy do?

The ileostomy diverts the faecal flow. The output/consistence of the flow varies depending on the location of the stoma within the small bowel

If you have a temporary stoma, you will usually have a second smaller operation a few months later to close the stoma and rejoin the bowel. This operation is called a stoma reversal.

If your bowel surgery does require the formation of a stoma you will be given more information that is specific to you.

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Last updated: October 16, 2017