When a part of your intestine doesn’t work as it should, a doctor can do surgery to make an opening in your belly and bring a part of your intestine to the surface of your skin. This opening is called an ostomy. There are two types. A colostomy is an ostomy of the colon. An ileostomy is an ostomy of the small intestine.
With an ostomy, waste no longer leaves your body from your anus. It leaves your body through the part of your intestine at the ostomy opening. This part of the intestine is called the stoma.
There’s no muscle around the stoma. So you can’t control when waste or gas leaves your body. Now your waste automatically goes from the stoma into a plastic bag (pouch) around the stoma. This pouch will block the smell of the waste. It can’t be seen when you are wearing clothes.
You can learn to take care of your ostomy. Good care can make living with a stoma easier. It can help keep a good seal between the skin and the pouch. This can prevent your skin from getting irritated.
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You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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