Ostomy: Living A Normal Life - Houston Colon – Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery

Ostomy: Living A Normal Life

April 11, 2011

Houston ostomy is a surgical procedure that provides an opening through which a portion of the small or large intestine is brought to the surface and connected to the skin. The opening is called an ostomy stoma, so derived from the Greek meaning mouth.  The most common forms of ostomy are an ileostomy which involves the small intestine and a colostomy involving the colon or large intestine. Depending upon the circumstances, an ostomy may be temporary or permanent.

Temporary Ostomy

An ostomy may be required when intestinal surgery is called for and there is some form of blockage. The temporary ostomy is performed to prepare the patient for surgery.  Another scenario involves creating an ostomy to allow healing after a disease or surgical procedure alleviating the irritation caused by the passing of fecal matter.  In both cases, the ostomy can be surgically reversed resulting little or no loss of intestinal functionality.

Permanent Ostomy

Generally, a permanent ostomy is required when normal intestinal or rectal functioning is irretrievably damaged or requires removal altogether. Severe inflammatory bowel disease or cancer in the lower rectum are two of the more common causes for ostomy permanency.

What To Expect After A Permanent Ostomy

The ostomy stoma created as either an ileostomy or colostomy serves as the opening through which bodily waste will evacuate.  Ostomy supplies in Houston will be needed. These include bags or pouches that can be sized to the stoma opening.  These will collect the waste that will flow freely from the intestine or colon, as bowel movements will now be involuntary.  An ostomy nurse will work with new ostomy patients and their caregivers in how to change the bag or pouch and clean the stoma.

The discharge from the ileostomy will be liquid or paste-like as it would be in normally traveling through the small intestine. The discharge from a colostomy will vary depending on what part of the colon is involved. The colon is divided into four parts: ascending, traverse, sigmoid and descending.  The ostomy discharge will be different from each section.

Given good overall health there is no reason why a permanent ostomy patient cannot live a full life, participate in sports and resume normal sexual function after a period of adjustment has passed.  Given the care for ostomy in Houston by colorectal surgeons prior to and post surgery, an ostomy patient can move forward with few, if any restrictions.

Houston residents who require an ostomy can anticipate optimal outcomes as a result of consulting colorectal surgeons who offer a wide range of state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical modalities.  The Houston Colorectal Surgical Associates is a team of specialists on the leading edge of the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the colon and rectum.  Additional information is available at HoustonColon.Com.