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Colorectal Cancer: Ostomy

What Is an Ostomy?

An ostomy is surgery to create an opening (stoma) from an area inside the body to the outside. It treats certain diseases of the digestive or urinary systems. It can be permanent, when an organ must be removed. It can be temporary, when the organ needs time to heal. The organ could be the small intestine, colon, rectum, or bladder. With an ostomy, there must be a new way for wastes to leave the body.

There are many different types of ostomy. Some examples are

  • Ileostomy - the bottom of the small intestine (ileum) is attached to the stoma. This bypasses the colon, rectum and anus.
  • Colostomy - the colon is attached to the stoma. This bypasses the rectum and the anus.
  • Urostomy - the tubes that carry urine to the bladder are attached to the stoma. This bypasses the bladder.

Source: MedlinePlus - Ostomy

Helpful Websites

Video

Coloplast US - Living Well with an Ostomy - 25:30 minutes

In this video, people who are living with an ostomy share their personal stories and tricks and tips on life after ostomy surgery. An ostomy nurse discusses different types of ostomy surgeries, pouching systems, getting back to your normal activities, diet, intimacy and more. 

Books at the Resource Library

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Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

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