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What is a colostomy?

A colostomy is an incision (cut) into the colon (large intestine) to create an artificial opening or "stoma" to the exterior of the abdomen. This opening serves as a substitute anus through which the intestines can eliminate waste products until the colon can heal or other corrective surgery can be done. The bowel movements fall into a collection pouch. Our ostomy nursing staff will teach you skin care and how to change the bag.

When is a colostomy needed?

A colostomy may be needed to divert intestinal contents in conditions such as necrotizing enterocolitis ( an acute inflammatory disease of the bowel), imperforate anus (absence of anal opening) or Hirschsprung Disease (a condition in which the nerves controlling bowel function are abnormal). Each one of these conditions will be explained in detail by your pediatric surgeon.

How is a colostomy created?

  1. an abdominal opening is created
  2. the intestines are brought out through the skin
  3. the intestine is sutured to the skin
  4. the stoma is complete

How is a colostomy cared for?

There are many products available for colostomy care. You will be carefully instructed about colostomy care before discharge from the hospital. Many stomas are temporary and can later be closed.

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Contact Us

University of Texas Health Science Center Professional Building
Department of Pediatric Surgery

6410 Fannin Street, Suite 950
Houston, Texas 77030

Phone: (832) 325-7234

Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday-Friday except major holidays)

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This information, although based on a thorough knowledge and careful review of current medical literature, is the opinion of doctors at The University of Texas Medical School and is presented to inform you about surgical conditions. It is not meant to contradict any information you may receive from your personal physician and should not be used to make decisions about surgical treatment. If you have any questions about the information above or your child's care, please contact our doctors.