The formation of a stoma is surgically created to create symptom relief, extension of life or cure from an illness. A stoma is an artificial opening that allows faeces or urine either from the intestine or from the urinary tract to pass out of the body. An ostomy pouch is essential to collect the output from the stoma. Being able to put the pouch on correctly is crucial.

Stomas are divided into three groups:

  • Colostomy: Opening from the colon (large intestine) – Soft Formed stool and flatus (wind) passed will require a closed pouch system. Bag removal is recommended only when necessary, as frequent changes can damage the skin.
  • Ileostomy: Opening from the ileum (small intestine) – Unformed liquid requiring a drainable pouch. Fluid collection means the ileostomy may need to be emptied four to six times per day.
  • Urostomy: A stoma formed to divert urine – Will require a pouch with a tap.

The type and placement of the stoma on the abdominal wall depends upon the primary disease, and if the stoma is to be permanent or temporary. There are multiple causes for a stoma including cancer, trauma, fistulas, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.