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3 Types of Colostomy Surgery (and Stoma Sites On the Stomach)

Updated on December 18, 2016

Colostomy surgery is a procedure whereby a section of the colon is diverted and attached to an opening, that opens out through the abdominal wall. This opening is known as a stoma.

Having colostomy surgery is a life-saving measure that enables a patient to expel human waste (feces) from the digestive tract, because the colon and consequently, the rectum has been disabled through colon surgery.

The procedure is performed for many different reasons and conditions. Some are carried out because of cancer or some form of colon rupture while others, such as those done for children, may be due to birth defects.

The colostomy’s function is that of a natural bowel movement, though, through surgery, there has become less of it. The only difference is having a bowel movement from the stoma opening made in the abdomen.

Reversible or Irreversible Colostomy?

Colostomy surgical procedures can be temporary (reversible), or permanent (irreversible). Some stomas are large while others are small. You will find some on the left side of the abdomen, the right side or, in the middle.

A colostomy bag (pouch) is usually attached to the stoma to collect waste products, such as stool that under normal circumstances, pass through the colon and out of the rectum and anus (back passage).

Types of Surgical Procedures

A patient's doctor is the one who will know the right type of colostomy that is needed, while taking into consideration the patient's condition, the kind of trauma and the progression of an existing disease, among all other factors.

There are three different types of colostomy surgery.

  1. Ascending Colostomy
  2. Transverse Colostomy
  3. Descending Colostomy

These 3 different procedures are all named after the area of the anatomy of the ostomy, being the area of the stoma opening in the abdomen.

Ascending Colostomy

The ascending colostomy surgery is sited on the right side of the stomach. The human waste (excreta) from this procedure is more fluid, being the 'not well formed' waste that has not been fully absorbed in the digestive tract.

This is the least common colostomy surgery procedure of the 3 types.

Transverse Colostomy

The stoma of this form of colostomy is found in the upper-middle portion of the abdominal wall. The excreta expelled with the transverse colostomy ranges from liquid to semi-solid.

This is the second most common type of colostomy surgery.

Descending Colostomy

Colostomy procedures sited in the lower left side of the abdomen is referred to as descending colostomies. Feces from descending ostomies is semi-formed to solid.

The stools texture is like that because it has gone past the digestive tract, in the ascending and transverse parts, to the lower parts by the colon.

The descending colostomy is the most common colon surgical procedure.

Colostomy Patients Can Live a Good Life

Having a colostomy stoma will not stop a patient from enjoying life, as they did before surgery. They can equally partake in a full range of activities, including sports, partying, clubbing, travelling, or any extracurricular activity. Their family life and work need not be affected, even though they have a stoma and have to wear a bag.

Patients who have undergone colostomy surgery attest to the fact that, even though they go about with a stoma, being ostomates hasn't made any negative changes to their ways of life in any form whatsoever.

As long as they are well stocked with their colostomy supplies, they are living their lives well, and optimally too.

© 2010 AloBeDa

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