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Leaking from anus after colostomy surgery

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Reasons for the procedure

A colostomy is an operation that creates an opening for the colon, or large intestine, through the abdomen. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent.

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It is usually done after bowel surgery or injury. Most permanent colostomies are "end colostomies," while many temporary colostomies bring the side of the colon up to an opening in the abdomen. During an end colostomy, the end of the colon is brought through the abdominal wall, where it may be turned under, like a cuff.

The edges of the colon are then stitched to the skin of the abdominal wall to form an opening called a stoma. Stool drains from the stoma into a bag or pouch attached to the abdomen. In a temporary "loop colostomy," a hole is cut in the side of the colon and stitched to a corresponding hole in the abdominal wall.

This can be more easily reversed later by simply detaching the colon from the abdominal wall and closing the holes to reestablish the flow of stool through the colon.

Complications of a colostomy can...

Colostomy surgery may be needed to treat several different diseases and conditions. Wounds or fistulas in the perineum. A fistula is an abnormal connection between internal parts of the body, or between an internal organ and the skin. A woman's perineum is the area between her anus and vulva; a man's lies between his anus and scrotum.

The reason for the colostomy helps the healthcare provider decide whether it will be short-term or permanent. For example, some infections or injuries require giving the bowel a temporary rest, then reattaching it.

A permanent colostomy may be required for a more serious or incurable problem, such as cancer that requires removal of the rectum, or a failure of the muscles that control elimination.

A colostomy won't change the way your digestive system works. Normally, after you chew and swallow your food, it goes through Leaking from anus after colostomy surgery esophagus, or swallowing tube, into your stomach.

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From there, it travels to your small intestine and then to your large intestine, or colon. Hours or days later, the indigestible residue leaves the storage area of your rectum via your anus, as stool. Stool typically stays loose and liquid during its passage through the upper colon. There, water is absorbed from it, so the stool gets firmer as it nears the rectum. The ascending colon Leaking from anus after colostomy surgery up the right side of your body.

The stool here is liquid and somewhat acidic, and it contains digestive enzymes. The transverse colon goes across your upper abdomen, and the descending and sigmoid colon go down the left side of your body to your rectum. In the left colon, the stool becomes progressively less liquid, less acidic, and contains fewer enzymes. Where your colon is interrupted determines how irritating to the skin your stool output will be. The more liquid the stool, the more important it will be to protect your abdominal skin after a colostomy.

Getting a colostomy marks a big change in your life, but the surgery itself is uncomplicated. It will be performed under general anesthesia, so you will be unconscious and feel no pain.

A colostomy may be done as open surgery, or laparoscopically, via several tiny cuts. As with any surgery, the main risks for anesthesia are breathing problems and poor reactions to medications. A colostomy carries other surgical risks:.

If possible, be sure to discuss your surgical and postsurgical options with a doctor and an ostomy nurse a nurse who is specially trained to help colostomy patients before surgery. It may also help to meet with an ostomy visitor. This is a volunteer who has had a colostomy and can help you understand how to live with one.

And, before or Leaking from anus after colostomy surgery your surgery, you may wish to attend an ostomy support group.

A transverse colostomy is performed on the middle section of the colon, and the stoma will be somewhere across the upper abdomen. This type of surgery--often temporary--is typically performed for diverticulitis, Leaking from anus after colostomy surgery bowel disease, cancer, blockage, injury or a birth defect.

In a transverse colostomy, the stool leaves the colon through the stoma before reaching the descending colon. Your stoma may have one or two openings.

Procedure overview

One opening is for stool. The second possible stoma is for the mucus that the resting part of your colon normally keeps producing.


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