Ostomy is a hole made through surgery that allows waste to leave your body without the need for it to pass through your intestines. To create this, your colon or a part of it needs to be removed. The surgeon would then bring a piece of your intestine through a stoma that looks red or pink. Instead of the rectum, the body waste would pass through the stoma, and a disposable pouch is placed over it to collect the waste.
Before having the surgery, your surgeon will find the best spot for the stoma. Generally, the surgeon takes a part of your internal organ and will connect it to an opening in the abdominal wall. It will take you a few months after surgery before you can get back to your usual activities. You will also need to avoid heavy lifting for the first few weeks. On the other hand, you also experience complications like internal bleeding, vitamin B12 deficiency, or blockage in your intestines. Hence, talk to your doctor.
Colostomy vs. Ileostomy
If the stoma is in your colon, it is called a colostomy. Meanwhile, if it is in the small intestine, it is called an ileostomy. If you have the latter, your body can still absorb nutrients, but electrolytes need to be replaced with what you consume since you don’t have a colon anymore.
In most cases, the stool is mushy. An ileostomy is often done on people with inflammatory bowel disease of rectal cancer. On the other hand, with a colostomy, the same amount of nutrients is absorbed since you will still have most of your intestines, and oftentimes, the stool is thick.
What are the reasons for getting an ostomy?
Patients who have serious bowel movements are often recommended to get an ostomy. An ostomy is also needed to let a body part heal after getting surgery. There have also been cases where people get ostomy because of having certain organs removed or because of suffering from an infection.
An ostomy can either be temporary or permanent. Nevertheless, sometimes, even permanent ones can be reversed. Also, just because you have an ostomy doesn’t mean that you can’t have a healthy and productive life.