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Colostomy: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a colostomy?

A colostomy is a surgically created opening in the abdomen through which a small portion of the colon is brought up to the surface of the skin. This new opening, called a stoma, allows stools to pass directly out of the body, bypassing a diseased or damaged section of the colon. In some patients, this section may be removed. After colostomy surgery, your stool will pass through your stoma, the opening on your abdomen, and empty into a pouch. 1
Colostomy presents surgically displaced terminal part of colon to the front abdominal wall to allow evacuation of the intestinal contents. Based on the time of use and its place they can be temporary or permanent.

What exactly are an ileostomy & a colostomy?

A surgeon cuts across the lower small intestine (ileum) and brings the cut end to the outside of the body through a hole in the front of the abdominal wall. The end is sewn to the skin. A bag - called an appliance - is then fitted around the hole to collect the body's waste material. The cut end of the intestine protruding out of the hole in the abdominal wall is called an ileostomy (ileum + stoma [=Greek for mouth] - hence, hole or opening). ...

What is a colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy?

A colostomy is formed during an operation where a portion of your large bowel called the colon is bought out onto the surface of your abdomen. The faecal ouput will be expelled into a bag stuck on your abdomen. If your colostomy is formed towards the end part of your colon the faecal output will be fairly firm (once your bowel has settled down after your operation). An ileostomy is formed during an operation in which the end of the small intestine, the ileum, is brought out through an opening in the abdomen. ...

Is the catheter used to drain ( colostomy )?

No, the catheter is in place for the administration of the antegrade enemas, which allow for predictable and reliable emptying of the colon, so there is no drainage bag.

What appliances are used for colostomy, urostomy and ileostomy?

People that have a colostomy tend to use a bag that is closed ie there is no opening to empty it from. This is because the output tends to be firm and would therefore would be difficult to properly drain it. This means that the bag needs to be changed each time it fills. An ileostomy has a part at the bottom of the bag that unfolds allowing for the drainage of the effluent that can then be cleaned and rolled back up. The appliance is then changed when required. ...

Is there a correct way to empty an ileostomy or colostomy pouch?

Most people with a colostomy or ileostomy find the easiest way is to sit on the toilet with the pouch between the legs, although there is no right or wrong way. Make sure to hold the closing clip and bottom of the pouch firmly before opening. It is a good idea to place some paper in the bowl before emptying to prevent back splash.

How does the COLOSTOMIZER attach to the colostomy pouch ?

A small connector the size of a dime is snapped into place and is permanently attached to a colostomy pouch. The connector remains attached through all regular cleansing and sanitation procedures and is only removed for a re-connection to a new replacement pouch.

Can I control bowel movements after colostomy surgery?

Since you will no longer have voluntary control over bowel movements, it is important that you understand the consistency and frequency of discharge after your colostomy. These vary depending upon the location of the colostomy within the colon. An ascending colostomy is located within the ascending colon. Output will be liquid to semiliquid, rich in digestive enzymes and irritating to the skin around the stoma. A transverse colostomy is located within the transverse colon. Output is usually liquid to semiformed. ...

What is a colostomy or ileostomy, and will either one be necessary? Are they reversible?

Uncommonly during colon and rectal surgery, the intestines will be need to be brought out to the abdominal wall, and an appliance, or "bag" placed to catch stool. A colostomy may be necessary for treatment of low rectal cancer or advanced anal cancers, certain forms of diverticulitis, and in patients with bowel control problems that have failed all other types of therapy. ...
Source: www.usc.edu
Uncommonly during colon and rectal surgery, the intestines will be need to be brought out to the abdominal wall, and an appliance, or “bag” placed to catch stool. A colostomy may be necessary for treatment of low rectal cancer or advanced anal cancers, certain forms of diverticulitis, and in patients with bowel control problems that have failed all other types of therapy. ...

If I have a colostomy, tracheostomy or gastrostomy is that a problem?

All the garments are custom made to fit each client and designed to accommodate all medical needs.

Will the x-Bag work for my colostomy/ileostomy?

Yes. The x-Bag works to contain the higher odor output of colostomies and at the same time contain the higher liquid output of ileostomies. Discover for yourself why the x-Bag is simply the smart, sensible choice for all your ostomy disposal needs.

Will colostomy significantly change my lifestyle?

The answer to this question depends only on a patient himself, how much he is physically ready and motivated to continue with the life he lead before the surgery. Lifestyle is not changed if the stoma accessories are adequately used.

Can we claim for assisting a resident to maintain their colostomy products?

Yes. The emptying of drainage bags can be recorded on the Toileting Checklist under Question 2 Toilet Completion: ‘Supervision: emptying drainage bags, urinals, bedpans or commode bowls’. You could also claim for the management of ongoing stoma care in ACFI 12 (Item 15) . ACFI 5 – Continence

What if I'm wearing a brace/colostomy bag/insulin pump?

Anything that is worn beneath the clothing should remain on the body to ensure the fit of your patterns. Make sure that the Unique Representative is aware of your device.

Will I have to have a colostomy if I have the surgery?

In some cases patients may need a colostomy, though not in the majority of cases. In some cases colostomies are only temporary and are reversed several months after the initial surgery. For more about colostomies see Colostomy Information

What medical supplies (diabetic supplies, medications, colostomy bags, etc.) does First Steps pay for?

Routine medical supplies that are required for care of ongoing medical conditions are not provided by First Steps. The regulations are very clear that medical services are for evaluation for Part C eligibility only.

A friend has colon cancer. During surgery, the doctor performed a colostomy. What is a colostomy and is this a common procedure?

A colostomy is an artificial opening created to the exterior of the body in the abdominal area which serves as a substitute anus. Bowel movements pass into a pouch that is attached to the body. This procedure is not always necessary, although sometimes a temporary (reversible) colostomy is done to allow the colon to heal after surgery. A permanent colostomy is usually performed because of cancer in the lower rectum.

If I have a colostomy, tracheostomy or gastrostomy , baclophen pump is that a problem?

All the splints are custom made to fit each client and designed to accommodate all medical needs.

Do I need to follow a special diet after colostomy surgery? What about diarrhea and constipation?

Unless your doctor has prescribed a special diet, you should not have to change your diet. You may become constipated or have diarrhea just as you did before surgery. If you become constipated, try eating more fiber (vegetables, fruits, and brans) and drinking more water. If constipation becomes a problem, talk to your doctor or ET nurse. If you become ill with a stomach virus, this can give you diarrhea. ...

I am a Muslim with a colostomy and find it difficult to be clean for prayers. What can you recommend?

It may be useful to look at alternative products such as 2 piece products, flushable bags or irrigation to help with your rituals before prayers. Click here for cultural information.

I have heard you can irrigate with your colostomy. What is irrigation and how do I learn about it?

Irrigation is only suitable for people with end colostomies. It is not for everybody and can take a long time. Your scan will be able to tell you if it is suitable for you. Urostomy

How do I dispose Incontinence Pads or Colostomy Bags if I am receiving Medical Treatment?

Please contact the NHS Primary Care Trust on 020 8591 9595 or ask your GP/Nurse to make a referral on your behalf to the Primary Care Trust. The Primary Care Trust will carry out an assessment and will make arrangements for collections.

I need surgery for colon cancer. Will I need to wear a bag (colostomy)?

Most patients requiring colon surgery do not need a colostomy. The exception would be obstructing cancers, perforated cancers, or cancers lying very low or distal in the rectum. 7.
Most patients requiring colon surgery do not need a colostomy. The exception would be obstructing cancers, perforated cancers, or cancers lying very low or distal in the rectum. 10.
Most patients requiring colon surgery do not need a colostomy. The exception would be obstructing cancers, perforated cancers, or cancers lying very low or distal in the rectum.
Most patients requiring colon surgery do not need a colostomy. The exception would be obstructing cancers, perforated cancers, or cancers lying very low or distal in the rectum. 8.

I understand that a colonoscopy could find an early colon cancer. Wouldn’t I need surgery and a colostomy if they found colon cancer?

Most of the time colonoscopy finds polyps BEFORE the polyps get abnormal enough to turn into cancer. Most patients who do have cancer will need an operation to remove the cancer. Only patients with a cancer very close to the anal sphincter muscles need a colostomy. The best chance of survival with colon cancer comes from finding it early. Colonoscopy is the best method to find early colon cancer. More detailed information can be found at: www.colorectal-cancer.net/prevention.htm .

I am a homosexual. Finding a partner is difficult because I have a colostomy. Is there anybody I can talk to?

There are many support group that may be able to give you help and advice. Many of the support centres have access to not only up to date information, but other support groups. There is a specific gay and lesbian group, or if you would like to meet other people in groups for colostomates, you would be more than welcome there as well. ...
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