A Colostomy Bag is a surgical procedure that brings one end of the large intestine out through the abdominal wall. During this procedure, one end of the colon is diverted through an incision in the abdominal wall to create a stoma. A stoma is the opening in the skin where a pouch for collecting feces is attached. People with temporary or long-term colostomies have pouches attached to their sides where feces collect and can be easily disposed of.
Colostomies aren’t always permanent, especially in children with birth defects.
A colostomy can be the result of one of several procedures to correct problems with the lower digestive tract. Other “ostomies” include ileostomy and urostomy. An ileostomy is a diversion of the bottom of the small intestine. A urostomy is a diversion of the tubes that carry urine out of the bladder.
A colostomy may also be referred to as bowel diversion therapy.
Colostomies are performed because of problems with the lower bowel. Some problems can be corrected by temporarily diverting stool away from the bowel. This is when temporary colostomies are used to keep stool out of the colon.
If the colon becomes diseased, as in the case of colon cancer, permanent colostomies are performed and the colon may be removed completely.
Conditions in which you may need a permanent colostomy include:
Crohn’s disease, which is an autoimmune form of inflammatory bowel disease
colonic polyps, which is extra tissue growing inside the colon that may be cancer or may turn into cancer
diverticulitis, which occurs when small pouches in your digestive system, called diverticula, become infected or inflamed
imperforate anus or other birth defects
irritable bowel syndrome, which is a condition affecting the colon that causes diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and pain in the abdominal area
ulcerative colitis, which is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes the long-term inflammation of the digestive tract