What Is A Stoma?

In this article, we will explore the intricacies of a stoma, its different types, the procedures involved in its creation, and essential care tips for a healthy and comfortable life with a stoma.
Person checking the skin around their stoma

Table of Contents

What is a Stoma?

A stoma is a surgically created opening in the body, primarily connecting a portion of the intestine or urinary tract to the surface of the skin. This opening allows waste to be diverted from its normal route and exit the body through the stoma. A stoma may be temporary or permanent, depending on the patient’s medical condition and the surgeon’s recommendations.


Different Types of Stomas

There are three main types of stomas:


A colostomy is a stoma created from the large intestine (colon) and brought to the surface of the abdominal wall.

It is typically used to manage conditions that affect the lower part of the colon or rectum. A colostomy may be created on the right, transverse, or left side of the colon, depending on the specific medical condition.


The outline of a person with an ileotsomy

An ileostomy involves creating a stoma from the ileum, which is the last part of the small intestine.

It is often used to treat conditions affecting the colon or rectum when the entire colon needs to be bypassed or removed. An ileostomy is usually situated on the lower right side of the abdomen.


Outline of person with a urostomy

A urostomy, also known as an ileal conduit, is a stoma created to divert urine away from the bladder.

This type of stoma is formed using a small section of the small intestine, which is then connected to the ureters. The other end of the intestine is brought to the surface of the abdomen to create the stoma. A urostomy is typically used when the bladder has been removed or is not functioning correctly.


Reasons for Stoma Surgery

Stoma surgery may be performed for several reasons, including:

Woman with a stoma


The Stoma Formation Process

The process of creating a stoma usually involves the following steps:



A stoma can significantly impact an individual’s life, making it essential to understand its different types, the surgical procedures involved, and the care required to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This article provides valuable information and practical tips for those living with a stoma and their caregivers. By embracing proper care techniques, managing diet and nutrition, staying active, and seeking emotional support, individuals with a stoma can lead fulfilling and healthy lives.

Ultimately, staying informed and following the guidance of healthcare professionals will empower patients and caregivers to navigate life with a stoma confidently and enjoy a high quality of life.

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Disclaimer: The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Always follow the advice from your GP or healthcare professional