What is a “Stoma”?
A Stoma is an artificially created opening in the abdominal wall for the evacuation of the contents of the gastrointestinal tract or urine when normal function is no longer possible. People with a stoma usually wear a disposable bag (known as an appliance) over the stoma attached to the abdomen to catch output.
What are the different types of stoma?
There are three main ostomy types covered by the Stoma Appliance Scheme.
A surgically created opening into the colon through the abdomen. Its purpose is to allow the stool to bypass a diseased or damaged part of the colon. A colostomy can be made at almost any point along the length of the colon and may be permanent or temporary, depending on the medical reason for the surgery.
When you have a colostomy, the bowel waste is eliminated through the colostomy which is a part of the colon brought through the abdominal wall. The new opening is called a stoma. As the stoma does not have a sphincter muscle, there is no voluntary control over bowel movements. Instead you will need to wear a disposable pouch to collect the stools.
An ileostomy is a surgically created opening into the small intestine through the abdomen. The purpose of the ileostomy is to allow stool to bypass the colon.
An ileostomy may be temporary or permanent depending on the medical reason for the surgery. Because of disease- such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease- the colon may be surgically removed, along with the rectum and the anus.
When you have an ileostomy, stool is no longer eliminated through the anus, instead through the ileostomy. Similar to a colostomy, an ileostomy does not have a sphincter muscle, so you have no voluntary control over bowel movements. Instead you will wear a disposable drainable pouch to collect the stool.
To construct the ileostomy, your surgeon brings part of the small intestine (ileum) through the abdominal wall. This new opening in the abdomen is called a stoma. It is normal for the stoma to be swollen for a period after the surgery. If you have a temporary stoma, it may be a loop ileostomy. The skin around the stoma is called the peristomal skin. This should be well protected and free from irritation. The most important thing you can do to keep your skin healthy is to use ostomy products that fit well.
Is a surgically created opening on the abdomen. A urostomy allows urine to flow out of the body after the bladder has been removed. A urostomy may also be called a urinary diversion.
When a person has a urostomy, urine is no longer eliminated through the urethra. Instead it is eliminated through the urostomy. Because a urostomy does not have a sphincter muscle, you have no voluntary control over when to urinate. Instead, you wear a pouch with a drain tap to collect the urine at all times.
The most common method is called an ileal conduit which is created when the surgeon removes a short segment of the small intestine (ileum). This short segment will be used as a pipeline – or conduit – for urine to flow out of your body. The 15cm that the surgeon removes for the ileal conduit will not affect how the intestine works. The surgeon reconnects the intestine, and it continues to function just as it did before.
Your surgeon closes one end of the conduit, inserts the ureters into the conduit, and brings the open end of the conduit through the abdominal wall. This new opening in your abdomen is called a stoma.
There are other types of urinary diversions so it is important to ask either your surgeon or Stomal Therapy Nurse (STN) about your type of urostomy.
(Stoma texts and graphics courtesy of Hollister company)