Colostomy

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About Colostomy

The procedure of colostomy refers to an operation that tends to create an opening for the colon, or large intestine, through the abdomen. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent. It is generally carried out after bowel surgery or injury. Most permanent colostomies are "end colostomies," while many temporary colostomies bring the side of the colon up to an opening in the abdomen.

During the procedure, the end of the colon is carried through the abdominal wall, where it may be turned under, such as a cuff. The limits of the colon are then attached to the skin of the abdominal wall to create an opening called astoma. Stool drains from the stoma into a bag or pouch fixed to the abdomen. In a provisional "loop colostomy," a hole is cut in the side of the colon and fixed to a conforming hole in the abdominal wall. This can be more feasibly turned back later by justunfixing the colon from the abdominal wall and closing the holes to rebuild the flow of stool through the colon.

There are various reasons why colostomy is done such as:

  • Birth defect, such as a blocked or missing anal opening, called an imperforate anus
  • Serious infection, such as diverticulitis, inflammation of little sacs on the colon
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Injury to the colon or rectum
  • Partial or complete intestinal or bowel blockage
  • Rectal or colon cancer
  • Wounds or fistulas in the perineum. A fistula is an abnormal connection between internal parts of the body, or between an internal organ and the skin. A woman's perineum is the area between her anus and vulva; a man's lies between his anus and scrotum.

Getting the colostomy done bring a major change in your life, but the surgery itself is straightforward. It is done under general anaesthesia, so you will be unconscious and feel no pain. A colostomy may be done as open surgery, or laparoscopically, via very smaller incisions.

The Procedure

Basis the need for a colostomy, it is done one of 4 parts of the colon: ascending, transverse, descending, or sigmoid.

A transverse colostomy is done on the middle section of the colon, and the stoma will be someplace across the upper abdomen. This kind of surgery--often temporary--is generally conductedin cases of diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, blockage, injury or a birth defect. In a transverse colostomy, the stool releases from the colon through the stoma before reaching the descending colon. Your stoma may have one or two openings. One opening is for stool. The second possible stoma is for the mucus that the resting part of your colon normally keeps producing. If you have only one stoma, this mucus will pass through your rectum and anus.

An ascending colostomy is done on the right side of your abdomen, parting only a short part of the colon active. It is typically carried out only when blockage or severe disease prevents a colostomy further along the colon.

A descending colostomy is performed on the lower left side of the abdomen, while a sigmoid colostomy--the most common type--is done a few inches lower.

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