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Urostomy & Stoma Care

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A stoma is an opening in your abdomen that allows waste to exit your body, rather than going through your digestive system. They're used when part of your bowels or bladder either need to heal or be removed.


After surgery, the stoma will be swollen. It will shrink over the next several weeks.

The skin around your stoma should look like it did before surgery. The best way to protect your skin is by:

  • Using a bag or pouch with the correct size opening, so waste does not leak

  • Taking good care of the skin around your stoma

Stoma bag.webp

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. 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.


An ileostomy is an opening in the belly (abdominal wall) that’s made during surgery. It's usually needed because a problem is causing the ileum to not work properly, or a disease is affecting that part of the colon and it needs to be removed. The end of the ileum (the lowest part of the small intestine) is brought through this opening to form a stoma, usually on the lower right side of the abdomen. An ileostomy may only be needed for a short time (temporary), maybe for 3 to 6 months, because that part of the colon needs time to rest and heal from a problem or disease. But sometimes a disease, such as cancer, is more serious and an ileostomy may be needed for the rest of a person's life (permanent).


A urostomy is done after your bladder has been surgically removed or if it no longer works. During this procedure, a surgeon creates an opening in your belly, called a stoma. A piece of your intestine is then used to remove urine from your body through that opening.

Urostomy is one of the most common surgeries used in the treatment of bladder cancer.

An alternative to urostomy is called continent urinary diversion. In this procedure, the surgeon uses a piece of your intestine to create a pouch that holds urine inside your body. The pouch either drains to a stoma or replaces your bladder.




Wash your skin with warm water and dry it well before you attach the pouch.


Avoid skin care products that contain alcohol. These can make your skin too dry.


Do not use products that contain oil on the skin around your stoma.


Use fewer, special skin care products to make skin problems less likely.


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