We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Colostomy Stoma?

By J.M. Willhite
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A colostomy stoma is an artificial opening used to aid proper colonic function in the presence of defect, injury or illness. Depending on the reason for the colostomy placement, the artificial passage may remain in place temporarily or permanently; sometimes following either the partial or complete removal of the large intestine. As with any invasive procedure, surgery to position a colostomy stoma does carry significant risks and these should be discussed with a qualified health care provider during consultation prior to scheduling surgery. Once the colostomy stoma is in place, proactive aftercare measures are necessary to prevent the development of complications, including infection and wound rupture.

There are several reasons why an individual may undergo surgery for stoma placement. The presence of serious or extensive infection within the abdominal cavity can necessitate the repositioning of colonic tissue through a stoma until the infection is eliminated. Trauma to the lower digestive tract, including the lower large intestine, may require placement of a colostomy stoma to reduce colonic stress as the affected area heals. Most commonly, a colostomy stoma may be positioned in the presence of intestinal blockage or chronic disease, such as certain cancers, that prevents proper intestinal function.

Performed under general anesthesia, surgery to position a colostomy requires the introduction of an incision within the abdominal wall. The artificial opening created in the abdominal tissue is known as a stoma. It is through the stoma that healthy colonic tissue, from which the moniker colostomy is derived, is positioned to form the colostomy stoma. Once the intestinal tissue is placed through the stoma, sutures attach it to the abdominal wall and affix the outer edges to the stoma. A disposable colostomy bag is externally positioned and fastened with tape over the opening to collect fecal waste.

Individuals who undergo surgery for colostomy stoma placement generally remain hospitalized for up to a week, depending on their recovery. As the bowel heals, one’s diet is usually monitored and slowly progresses from clear liquids to solid foods over the course of several days. During recovery, the individual is instructed on how to properly care for and maintain his or her colostomy stoma. Working closely with a nurse or counselor following surgery may help alleviate apprehension and educate the patient about life with a colostomy. If the artificial opening is intended for short-term use, a second surgery will be necessary to reverse the stoma and restore the large intestine to its anatomical position and proper function.

Once the stoma has healed, individuals may usually resume normal activities without restriction. Risks associated with surgery to position this type of stoma include excessive bleeding, infection, and wound rupture. Some individuals may develop bleeding within the abdominal cavity, hernia formation at the stoma site or stoma blockage. The use of general anesthetic medications can carry a risk for respiratory difficulty and allergic reaction.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.