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How is a Stoma created?

Learn more about how a stoma is created and be on your way to creating a healthy bond with your ostomy.
a person wearing a mask and a mask

How is a stoma surgically created?

A stoma is created when a portion of your large or small intestine or urinary tract has been brought through the surface of your abdomen (belly) and then folded back. The location depends on your medical condition. A stoma provides an alternative path for urine (in the case of a urostomy) or feaces (in the case of a colostomy or ileostomy) to leave your body.1

All stomas are not created equal. They vary in size, shape, location and construction.2

  • End stoma: the bowel is cut, and the working end is brought through the abdomen to the skin surface
  • Loop stoma: a loop of the bowel is brought through the abdomen to the skin surface and temporarily supported by a plastic bridge or rod
  • Double-barrel stoma: the ends of the bowel are brought through the abdomen to the skin surface as two separate stomas

Depending on the reason for your ostomy, your surgeon will decide which kind of stoma is best for you.

Like you, every stoma is unique. Taking good care of your stoma by selecting a pouching system and routine that fits your lifestyle is critical for your comfort and health. When fitted correctly and taken care of properly, pouching systems will restore a healthy bond between you and your body so you can return to a full and satisfying life.

More in Before Surgery

Before Surgery

At Your Pre-Surgery Visit

Like most people who are preparing for ostomy surgery, you may be wondering what to expect.

Read more

Before Surgery

In the hospital

Stoma placement may also be discussed in your pre-surgery visit. If your surgeon does not discuss stoma placement with you, we encourage you to ask about it before surgery.

Read more

Preparing for Surgery

Glossary: Ostomy terms simply explained

Common Ostomy terms and phrases.

Read more

1. A-Malik R, Clarke N, Pearse I, Carlson GL. Intestinal and urological stomas: surgical aspects. In: Lyon CC, Smith AJ, eds. Abdominal Stomas and Their Skin Disorders: An Atlas of Diagnosis and Management. London, UK: Martin Dunitz; 2001:1-20.

2. McGarity WC. Gastrointestinal surgical procedures. In: Hampton BG, Bryant RA, eds. Ostomies and Continent Diversions: Nursing Management. St Louis, MO: Mosby-Yearbook; 1992:349-371.

3. Your digestive system and how it works page. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse Web site. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed November 16, 2007.

4. Irrgang SJ. Anatomy and physiology of the genitourinary tract. In: Hampton BG, Bryant RA, eds. Ostomies and Continent Diversions: Nursing Management. St Louis, MO: Mosby-Yearbook; 1992:195-211.

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