A colostomy is a type of surgery that creates an opening that’s called the stoma. This is something that goes from the large intestine towards the outside of the abdomen. This helps with solid waste and gas, leaving the body without going through the rectum. The waste is collected in a small pouch you wear outside the body.
The large intestine is made up of the rectum and the colon, and it is connected to your small intestine. The small intestine will digest and absorb the nutrients that are absorbed to the blood vessels, including your proteins, fats, carbs, and of course the rest of the food moves from there into the colon, which absorbs the water from that waste and stores it until you have your next bowel movement.
So why would you need a colostomy? Well, this is to bypass and remove a part of the lower intestine that’s there. that’s because the large intestine may be damaged and blocked, a part of the large intestine must be surgically removed in the event of cancer and the like, or there is a ruptured colon that causes and infection in the abdomen. People with types of cancers that may be a part of that area might need a colostomy. Sometimes people being treated for ovarian, prostate, uterine, and cervical cancer might need it. Those with Crohn’s disease and UC, or even polyps that may be cancerous may need this.
How long does it need to happen? Well, sometimes they are temporary and only a few months, but most of the time they are permanent options for people.
You can get a few types of these. The most common one is the sigmoid colostomy, and this is usually where the bottom part of the colon moves to the rectum. This stool that’s made is far more solid than the rest of the colostomies.
You can get a transverse one too, and this one crosses near the top area of your abdomen. Stool in this is much more soft, and usually that’s because a small part of the colon has absorbed the water from the indigestible parts of this. usually this has a few different versions.
Then there is the descending one that goes down the left side of the abdomen, and the stool there is much firmer because it moved through the parts of the colon which worked. Finally you have the ascending colostomy, which goes from the beginning of your large intestine over to the right side of the abdomen. In this, only part of the colon will work, so a little water is absorbed, and usually this is liquid. Usually if this has to happen, you’ll get an ileostomy.
When you have this surgery, you will be given general anesthesia, and the surgeon will attach one part of your colon to your stoma, and then of course, a colostomy bag will be put over it. You will learn how to take care of your stoma and change and empty the stoma pouch after you’ve woken up from surgery.