A colostomy is either a reversible or irreversible surgical procedure where a stoma is created by drawing a healthy portion of the colon through an incision and suturing it into place. This opening along with the stoma device provides a diverted channel for excrement to exit the body. The need for a colostomy may arise from the fact that the colon, rectum or anus is unable to function due to injury or disease.
There are different types of colostomies and your doctor will determine which type is right for your unique situation. The types include a loop colostomy, an end colostomy, and a double barrel colostomy. There is also a distinction between a colostomy with irrigation and a colostomy without the option of irrigation. Irrigation is the ability to have a cap over the stoma and be able to choose when to flush out waste as opposed to having a pouch attached to the stoma with the un-irrigated option. The doctor will help you determine the type of colostomy that is best for you.
Preparing for the Procedure
The bowel must be empty before the operation. The doctor will discuss with you the procedure for preparing your body for surgery. You may have to take laxatives and drink solutions that will help empty your bowels.
You will receive detailed instructions of how to care for and live with your colostomy.
Possible complications post-operation can include hernia development, skin irritation, or infection.