Ostomy Care 101
What is an Ostomy?
An ostomy is a surgery performed when waste materials must be diverted from their normal course through the body. An opening is made in the intestinal or urinary tract for the purpose of removing waste materials from the body.
Where is it located?
A small opening called a stoma is made in the abdomen, and a section of intestine – or part of the urinary collecting system – is brought to the surface of the abdomen and surgically attached.
Why is it necessary?
A number of situations make it necessary to bypass parts of the intestinal or urinary tracts. These include birth defects, hereditary diseases, trauma, obstructions and inflammatory disorders of the intestines, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease and cancer abdomen.
What does it involve?
Whatever the type of ostomy to be performed (colostomy, ileostomy or urinary diversion/urostomy), an external collection pouch of some kind is required. This pouch is applied to the abdomen over the stoma. The frequency with which it must be changed or cleaned depends, to a great extent, on the composition of waste materials.
Types of Ostomies
1. Colostomy - a number of different illnesses make it necessary to bypass all part of the colon, either temporarily or permanently. A colostomy takes on the role of eliminating waste for that portion of the colon that has been removed or bypassed.
2. Ileostomy - a number of illnesses make it necessary to remove or bypass the colon, either temporarily or permanently. An ileostomy takes on the role of eliminating the waste for that portion of the intestines that has been removed or bypassed.
3. Urinary diversion or urostomy - an urostomy is an opening made in the abdominal wall through which urine is diverted to bypass the bladder. An urostomy provides for elimination of urine when the bladder has been removed or bypassed.