What Is A Colostomy?

What is a colostomy

You may have heard about a colostomy and have a vague idea about what it is but do you know why it is different? In this post we talk about what a colostomy actually is.

It is very similar to an ileostomy in the fact that it is a bypass for output but it is actually quite different! The colostomy can like the ileostomy be temporary also known as a loop or permanent but it is part of the large intestine that emerges from your abdomen not the small intestine.You can have a colostomy for many different reasons from a birth defect, Crohns to Cancer amongst many other reasons. 

The job of the large intestine is to remove the liquid out of the faeces which makes it more formed, depending on how much of your large intestine has been removed I believe dictates to how formed your output is. Generally people with this type of stoma wear a closed pouch and change it when it is full; this can vary from person to person but the people know with colostomies do this once a day.

Sometimes you can have both an ileostomy and a colostomy whilst your bowel is healing after surgery, the ileostomy would be a temporary measure in this instance. It is often situated on the left side of your tummy; whereas an ileostomy is usually on your right and urostomies can be either side.

Colostomies in the UK are the most common type of ostomy surgery taken place with around 60,000 per year, ileostomies are around 40,000 and urostomies being in the minority with 10,000 (all of those statistics are approximate) It is also not an “old person” thing to have either; there are many younger people having colostomies each year and it isn’t always due to Cancer either.

If you missed the last instalment which spoke about ileostomies please click here.

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