What`s an Ostomy? Procedures and Living with It

March 22, 2021
What`s an Ostomy? Procedures and Living with It

What`s an Ostomy? Procedures and Living with It

The word Ostomy is a medical term for a surgical procedure that involves creating an opening in an individual's abdomen to enable waste or urine to leave the body.

This is done to treat any underlying medical conditions related to the urinary or digestive system. The process brings a change in the way the individual passes out waste - urine, and stool as it is re-routed from its normal path due to the problem with the urinary system. Generally, it is performed under anesthesia as you won't be awake during the surgery. Your doctor will discuss the process with you and get you prepared.

Ostomy Procedures.

After the creation of an opening in the individuals' abdomen, a pouch is then attached to the opening which wastes are emptied into. 
The opening created is known as a stoma. It is usually round in shape and 1-2 inches wide. The process replaces the bladder and is used until the bladder heals. 
An Ostomy can be temporal - if the bladder heals or permanent if the bladder is destroyed or removed.

Types of Ostomy.

There are various types of Ostomy that depend on the medical condition of the patient.


In this procedure, the surgeon attaches a pouch to the small intestine and connects the ureters to the pouch to enable the urine to drain outside the body without going through the bladder. This is usually done when the bladder is damaged or diseased.


A common type of Ostomy is the ileostomy. An opening is made by connecting the small intestine for wastes to be emptied without passing through the colon and rectum. This procedure is done when the patient suffers from Crohn's disease or bowel cancer. This procedure could be permanent and requires the patient to live with the Ostomy throughout his or her lifetime.


In this procedure, an opening is created with part of the large intestine, to bypass the rectum. At times, the colon might be removed completely leading to a permanent Ostomy. Ostomy could also be temporal if the colon only needs to heal. Medical cases like colon cancer, blockage, or injury in the colon will require this procedure.
Irrespective of the type of Ostomy, there are majorly two methods used. They are as follows.

Loop Ostomy 

In creating this, a loop of intestine is pulled out through the opening, cut and both ends attached to the pouch. One end/opening for feces and the other for urine and mucus.

End Ostomy 

With this method, the end of the big or small intestine is pulled out and seen to the opening on the skin. A pouch is then connected to the opening.

Do you have a urinary infection but skeptical to have an Ostomy?

For those with underlying medical conditions, Ostomy surgery is a lifesaver. Even though it affects the patient's way of life - diet, clothing, and emptying the pouch, it is important to know that life may be impossible without it. However, it takes a while for your body to heal as it is major surgery. You might be told to wait for some months before resuming normal daily activities. Ensure you pay attention to the opening and the skin around it. Notify your doctor once you notice anything unusual. 

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