The 4 Types of Colostomies | Hollister US

The 4 Types of Colostomies

The type of colostomy will differ based on the section of the colon involved. Explore the different kinds of colostomies and the expected output.

The 4 Types of Colostomies

Learn the facts about four types of colostomies.

A colostomy can be temporary or permanent and can be made at almost any point along the large intestine (colon). The type of colostomy created will be based on the medical reason for the procedure and is often defined by the portion of the colon involved.

A temporary colostomy is usually performed when there is the likelihood that the affected portion of the colon will heal. Once healed, the colon is rejoined during a later surgery. It may take weeks, months, or years for the colon to heal and be rejoined, depending on each case.

Four types of colostomies

Every surgery is unique, and there are different reasons why you may need a colostomy. The colon is a long organ, so it is divided into sections that each have medical names. The four types of colostomies are named after the dissection location in the colon: 

  • Ascending colostomy — is made from the ascending part of the colon. The ascending colostomy is usually located in the low to middle right side of the abdomen. The output is often liquid to semiliquid, and gas is common.
  • Transverse colostomy — is made from the transverse part of the colon. The transverse colostomy is usually located in the center of the abdomen above the navel. The output often is liquid to pasty, and gas is common.
  • Descending colostomy — is made from the descending part of the colon. The descending colostomy is typically located on the lower left-hand side of the abdomen. The output may be pasty to a formed consistency, and gas is common.
  • Sigmoid colostomy — is made from the sigmoid colon. The sigmoid colostomy is usually located in the lower left-hand side of the abdomen. The output is usually pasty to a formed consistency, and gas is common.

Ostomy Locations


The information provided herein is not medical advice and is not intended to substitute for the advice of your personal physician or other healthcare provider. This information should not be used to seek help in a medical emergency. If you experience a medical emergency, seek medical treatment in person immediately.