OSTOMY CARE

What is a Colostomy?

OSTOMY CARE

What is a Colostomy?

Last updated 01/06/20

A colostomy is created out of the end of the large intestine to divert waste from your digestive system. After you have this surgery, you will pass waste through a stoma that is located on your abdomen.

The location of your colostomy is determined by the location of the damaged portion of your colon or to divert stool from a wound in the perianal area. The pictures below demonstrate the different areas in which a colostomy can be placed. Depending on placement and reason for the stoma, these can be permanent or temporary.[1],[2]

 

 

Ascending Colostomy

  • In the ascending (vertical section, on your right) colon
  • Uncommon type of colostomy
  • Stool is liquid to semi-liquid and very irritating to the skin [2] ,[3]
The Digestive System showing an Ascending Colostomy in the Colon

The Digestive System showing an Ascending Colostomy in the Colon

 

 

 

 

Transverse Colostomy

  • In the transverse (horizontal section, across the abdomen) colon
  • Stool is liquid to semi-formed
  • Usually constructed as a loop
  • Usually temporary [1],[2], [3]
The Digestive System showing a Transverse Colostomy in the Colon

The Digestive System showing a Transverse Colostomy in the Colon

 

 

 

 

Descending Colostomy

  • In the descending (vertical section, on your left) colon
  • A more common type of colostomy
  • Stool is semi-formed to formed due to more water being absorbed while in the ascending and transverse colons [1],[2], [3]
The Digestive System showing a Descending Colostomy in the Colon

The Digestive System showing a Descending Colostomy in the Colon

 

 

 

 

Sigmoid Colostomy

  • In the lower left portion of the large intestine on your left, just before the rectum
  • Stool is formed. All water has been absorbed in the previous areas of the intestines [1],[2], [3]
The Digestive System showing a Sigmoid Colostomy in the Colon

The Digestive System showing a Sigmoid Colostomy in the Colon

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] McGarity WC. Gastrointestinal surgical procedures. In: Hampton BG, Bryant RA, eds. Ostomies and Continent Diversions: Nursing Management. St Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book; 1992:349-371.

[2] What is an ostomy? page. United Ostomy Guide. United States: United Ostomy Association; 2004

[3] Clark J, Grover P, reviewers. Colostomy Guide. United States: United Ostomy Association; 2004

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