Ostomy is the medical term for a surgically created opening that connects an internal organ to the surface of the body. Ostomies can be either temporary or permanent—temporary ostomies can be reversed without impacting normal intestinal function and are often employed to allow an operative site to heal without stool contamination, while permanent ostomies are utilized when disease or cancer has permanently impaired the functioning of the intestines or anal musculature.
There are two types of ostomies that are frequently used in colorectal surgery:
- Ileostomy: connects the lowest (ileal) part of the small intestine to the abdominal wall
- Colostomy: connects the colon or large intestine to the abdominal wall
After your ostomy has been created, an ostomy appliance (pouch) will be provided to catch eliminated fecal matter, and your surgeon or wound ostomy continence (WOC) nurse will provide detailed instructions on how to care for and attach your ostomy appliance. Ostomy pouches are disposable, secure and odor-free, and may be emptied and disposed of as needed. For colostomy patients, your WOC nurse will demonstrate irrigation techniques to facilitate increased control over the timing of your bowel movements.
Although your ostomy will require some adaptations to your lifestyle, it can be easily hidden by your clothing, and should not prevent you from participating in your normal daily activities. Ostomy support groups are available in many cities, and can help you make the transition to living a full and active life with your ostomy.
For more information, please use the following link: Ostomy
At Pinnacle Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Dr. Ann L. Kalhorn and Dr. Eugene M. Kim are well respected and board certified colon and rectal surgeons. They have received specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions pertaining to the colon, rectum and anus. We work collaboratively with you to ease painful symptoms and ensure the safe and successful resolution of your colorectal issues. If you would like additional information about treatment, please contact our office today. We look forward to speaking with you and to scheduling your consultation with Dr. Kalhorn or Dr. Kim.