Reasons for needing ostomy surgery

Stoma Basics

Hear from Sarah our Clinical Advisor

From A Bigger Life

The word stoma is a short name for the three different stoma types, colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy.

Why people might require an ileostomy

There is many different reasons for this stoma type.

Ulcerative Colitis

One of the most common reasons for needing an ileostomy would be Ulcerative Colitis. That’s when there is inflammation within the colon, you would have a history of diarrhoea along with pain and running to the toilet frequently. You may well have been on medication to try and control that, if the disease can’t be controlled the colon has to be removed. Some people go to surgery sooner rather than later, there is no two people the same. The aim of this surgery would allow you to lead a happy, healthy life.

Crohn’s disease
Another reason for ileostomy surgery would be Crohn’s disease. In some instances, the symptoms are very similar to Ulcerative Colitis. For some people with Crohn’s disease they would only require a temporary stoma. In this case the surgeons aim would be to only remove the diseased part of the colon or the diseased part of the small bowel then join it up and allow it to heal. You would have a stoma for a temporary time then have it reversed.

Cancer diagnosis could be another reason for needing an ileostomy, either temporary or permanent stoma. For some people it can be a very sudden onset and might not have a lot of time and preparation for surgery.

Why people might require a colostomy

A colostomy is probably the most common name that people would hear in relation to stoma forming surgery.

One of the main reasons people would have colostomy surgery would be as a result of cancer. This could be the result of a tumour low down in the bowel, depending on how high up it is from the outside of the anus would depend if the stoma was temporary or permanent.

Diverticular disease
Diverticular disease would be another reason people would require a colostomy. Within the colon there is little pockets that can become inflamed and infected. That can be a chronic condition or an acute condition, developing severe abdominal pain overnight.

Why people might require a urostomy

A urostomy is probably the most unknown stoma type. There is fewer numbers of people with a urostomy but the impact of living with this stoma type is no less than an ileostomy or colostomy.

Bladder cancer would be the primary reason but cancer in other organs may have spread towards the bladder. Other reasons people can need a urostomy would be due to genetic conditions or damage from radiotherapy.

This article is just a brief overview of some of the reasons for needing ostomy surgery and the type of stoma required.

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