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A colostomy is a life-saving surgical procedure that involves removing a section of the large intestine and bringing the remaining ends together through an opening in the abdominal wall.

This opening, called a stoma, is where the waste will exit the body. The stoma is connected to an external bag, which collects the waste. While a colostomy may be temporary or permanent, many people live full and active lives with this condition.

When is a colostomy required?
When is a colostomy required?

There are a few different reasons why someone might need to have the colostomy procedure, including:

Types of colostomy
Types of colostomy

There are many different types of colostomies, and the type that is right for a patient will depend on their situation.

Types of colostomy procedures
Types of colostomy procedures

Colostomy can be performed through any of the following procedures:

Colostomy complications
Colostomy complications

As with any major surgery, a colostomy can also present certain complications:

Besides these colostomy complications, there are always general risks involved in any surgery.

These are:

Colostomy care after the procedure
Colostomy care after the procedure

We can divide colostomy care into three phases:

In the hospital

After the colostomy surgery, patients need to stay in the hospital for 3-7 days. The duration of stay will vary depending upon the nature of the emergency. Doctors use this time in the hospital to help patients get accustomed to their new way of life.

They teach how to care for skin (around the stoma) and how to safely discharge the colostomy bag that collects faeces. The pouch itself is made of odour-resistant material.

Patients will need to gently clean the stoma with lukewarm water and pat it dry. It’s not completely unusual to spot a little bit of blood. However, bleeding shouldn’t continue for several minutes.

Since patients who have had a descending colostomy can learn to predict bowel movement, they don’t have to wear the colostomy pouch at all times (eventually). In some patients, their anus or rectum has to be surgically removed.

Therefore, they would need to use pads or dressings in the hospital until the wound completely heals.

If any colostomy complications do occur, doctors address them immediately.

At home

Regular exposure to the stool can lead to irritation of the skin around the stoma.

Patients need to protect their skin by following certain colostomy care tips, including:

Doctors need to be alerted immediately if patients or their family members notice:

Doctors recommend emptying the colostomy pouch at least once every day to avoid bad odour, leakage, or irritation.

There is also the matter of managing gas after the colostomy surgery. After the procedure, patients will release gas from their stoma. Many colostomy pouches have in-built filters in them.

These filters are designed for deodorising and venting gas. They prevent the bag from bursting, coming off, or stretching too much. The amount of gas released depends on the type of colostomy and diet.

Avoid consuming food and beverages such as alcohol, milk, onions, and beans. It’s also not advisable to drink through a straw or chew gum to avoid swallowing air. The amount of gas produced should reduce as the patient recovers.

If it doesn’t, it’s important to consult the medical team. They can help the patient make suitable lifestyle and food choices.

Life expectancy after colostomy
Life expectancy after colostomy

How long can one expect to live after having a colostomy? This is a question that many people ask, and unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Life expectancy after colostomy surgery depends on a number of factors, including age, overall health, and the reason for surgery.

That said, some general trends can give patients an idea of what to expect. In general, people who have a colostomy at a younger age tend to have a better prognosis than those who have the surgery later in life.

This is because younger people are generally healthier and have a lower risk of developing complications from the surgery. Additionally, the reason for the colostomy also plays a role in life expectancy.

People who have surgery to treat a non-cancerous condition, such as Crohn’s disease, tend to have a better prognosis than those who have surgery to treat cancer.

This is because non-cancerous conditions are generally less likely to cause complications or return after surgery.

Overall, the vast majority of people who have a colostomy are able to live long and healthy lives. Complications from the surgery are relatively rare, and most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks or months.


If you’re like most people, the word “colostomy” probably conjures up some pretty negative images. But believe it or not, this surgical procedure can actually be life-saving.

It can save a person from a life-threatening bowel obstruction, serious bowel injury, cancer, and other debilitating conditions such as Crohn’s disease, faecal incontinence, and Hirschsprung’s disease.

Depending on your condition, doctors at the CK Birla Hospital will recommend ascending, descending, or transverse colostomy. Visit the CK Birla Hospital or book an appointment with Dr. Mayank Madan for proper guidance.

Our team is committed to serve our patients with world class healthcare services. Which is why we have the latest equipments for performing open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, end colostomy, and loop colostomy using the latest innovation in surgical techniques. You will be under the supervision and care of some of the best colorectal surgeons and nurses in the country.

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