Colostomy: Indications, Types & Complications

What is a ColostomyColostomy

A colostomy is a surgically created opening by the colorectal surgeon in the abdomen wall through which a part of large intestine is brought outside the abdominal cavity, through which fecal matter or undigested food material passes into a bag attached to the bowel opening. The opening in the skin where bag is attached for fecal waste collection is called as stoma.


It is indicated either to protect a distal bowel anastomosis or as a permanent procedure in very low bowel cancer with anal sphincter muscle involvement

  • Types

Temporary : It is a diversion stoma in which fecal matter is diverted outside proximal, to protect an anastomosis distally. Whenever there is doubt of healing of any bowel anastomosis then proximal to this anastomosis a diverting or temporary stoma is created so that fecal matter does not pass through the anastomotic site.
Permanent : It is done in case of very low rectal or anal cancer in which anal sphincter mechanism cannot be preserved. Also done in severe perineal injury which destroys sphincter muscles completely.

  • Risks

It is a major surgery with risk of anesthesia and procedure itself. There may be blockage of the colostomy, prolapse of the stoma, parastomal hernias, internal bleeding

  • Life with a Colostomy

Except very heavy lifting jobs, stoma should not interfere with any other job. Patient can have normal sexual activity and it does not effect pregnancy. In diet a very important practice is to chew thoroughly and proper hydration. Can wear clothes as before stoma. No restriction in any sports activity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.