Colostomy is usually recommended after a surgery where part of the colon or rectum has been removed, and the remaining portions are unable to function normally.
This happens when a patient has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. If a patient has cancer of the colon or rectum, doctors perform a surgery called abdomino-perineal (AP) resection, where parts of the affected bowel are removed. After this surgery is over, colostomy needs to be performed.
Sometimes the rectum and colon may have some serious disease like ulcerative colitis, where part of the rectum and colon cannot function properly. This too would necessitate a surgery followed by colostomy.
Colostomy allows your body to dispose of its stool. It follows a surgery where a part of the diseased colon and rectum have already been removed. After the surgery, an opening is made in the skin of the abdomen. Now, the cut ends of the large intestine and the colon are also brought to the surface of the skin and stitched to the opening. A disposable plastic bag is attached to this opening outside the body. Stool collects in this bag and is emptied whenever required.
Colostomy is done under general anesthesia. The patient may be required to stay for a few days in the hospitable while healing takes place. The doctor will instruct the patient on how to use the colostomy bag, and how to identify signs of infection.
After you return home, it may take 2 to 3 months for the bowel tissues to heal.
Colostomy can be of two types - temporary or permanent.
This surgery has a few risks attached to it, if you do not take proper care. The site of the surgery and the attachment of the disposable bag may get infected and inflamed. This can cause other complications, so you need to take utmost care.