Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
When a colostomy is deemed necessary, there are usually no alternatives to the surgery, though there can be alternatives in the type of surgery involved and adjuvant therapies related to the disease. For example, laparoscopic surgery is being used...
with many diseases of the intestinal tract, including initial cancers. For this surgery, the colon and rectal surgeon inserts a laparoscope (an instrument that has a tiny video camera attached) through a small incision in the abdomen. Other small incisions are made for the surgeon to insert laparoscopic instruments to use in creating the colostomy. This surgery often results in a shorter stay in the hospital, less postoperative pain, a quicker return to normal activities, and far less scarring. It is not recommended for patients who have had extensive prior abdominal surgery, large tumors, previous cancer, or serious heart problems.
This animation shows an artist's rendition of the immune system function in the gastrointestinal during Crohn's disease. It also shows a possible future treatment for the disease.
A colostomy is a surgical procedure that involves connecting a part of the colon onto the anterior abdominal wall, leaving the patient with an opening on the abdomen called a stoma. In a colostomy, the stoma is formed from the end of the large intestine, which is drawn out through the incision and sutured to the skin. After a colostomy, feces leave the patient's body through the abdomen. A colostomy may be permanent or temporary, depending on the reasons for its use.
There are many reasons for this procedure. Some common reasons are:
A section of the colon has been removed, e.g. due to colon cancer requiring a total mesorectal excision, diverticulitis, injury, etc, so that it is no longer possible for faeces to pass out via the anus.
A portion of the colon (or ileum) has been operated upon and needs to be 'rested' until it is healed. In this case, the colostomy is often temporary and is usually reversed at a later date, leaving the patient with a small scar in place of the stoma. Children undergoing surgery for extensive pelvic tumors commonly are given a colostomy in preparation for surgery to remove the tumor, followed by reversal of the colostomy.
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