Digestive Health

Updated 09 May 2017

Colostomy

Colostomy is a surgical procedure that brings the end of the large intestine through the abdominal wall.

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Colostomy is a surgical procedure that brings the end of the large intestine through the abdominal wall. Stools moving through the intestine drain into a bag attached to the abdomen.

The procedure is usually done after bowel resections or injuries, and it may be temporary or permanent.

Colostomy is done while you are under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free). It may be done with invasive, open surgery or several small surgical cuts (laparoscopically).

The type of approach used depends upon what other procedure needs to be performed. In general, the incision is made in the abdomen. The bowel resection or repair is performed as needed.

For the colostomy, the end of the healthy colon is brought through the abdominal wall. The edges are stitched to the skin of the abdominal wall. A bag called a stoma appliance is secured around the opening to allow stool to drain.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH)

- February 2009

 

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Dr. Estelle Wilken is a Senior Specialist in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Tygerberg Hospital. She obtained her MBChB in 1976, her MMed (Int) in 1991 and her gastroenterology registration in 1995.

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