The 3 Types of Ostomies | Hollister US

The 3 Types of Ostomies

There are three types of ostomies, or stomas, that are the most common. Learn what makes them different from each other.

The 3 Types of Ostomies

Learn about the three types of ostomies.

There are different types of ostomies. The three most common ones are colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy. Each ostomy procedure is done for different reasons. Although there are many similarities with these three ostomies, there are also important differences.

Colostomy

A colostomy is a surgically-created opening into the colon (large intestine) through the abdomen. Its purpose is to allow the stool to bypass a diseased or damaged part of the colon. The output from a colostomy includes liquid or formed stool (or somewhere in between), gas, and odor.

Here are a few additional facts:

  • A colostomy can be made at almost any point along the colon
  • Where the colostomy is created will be dependent on the medical reason and is often defined by the portion of the colon involved
  • There are four different kinds of colostomies, and a colostomy may be temporary or permanent

Ileostomy

An ileostomy is a surgically created opening into the small intestine through the abdomen. With an ileostomy, a section of the small intestine and large intestine (colon) have been removed or bypassed. The output from an ileostomy after surgery is generally a steady liquid type of drainage. Over time though, the stool will become thicker and more paste-like.

Here are some additional facts:

  • An ileostomy is usually located on the lower right-hand side of the abdomen
  • The digestive enzymes make the output from your stoma very corrosive, so protecting the skin around your stoma, or peristomal skin, is extremely important
  • An ileostomy may be temporary or permanent

Urostomy

A urostomy is a surgically-created opening to drain urine. A urostomy allows urine to flow out of the body after the bladder has been removed or bypassed. The output from a urostomy is urine and possibly some mucus.

Here are a few additional facts:

  • A urostomy is usually located on the lower right-hand side of the abdomen
  • An ileal conduit is the most common type of urostomy. It is created by removing a short segment of the small intestine (ileum) and using it as a pipeline for urine to flow out of the body.
  • Another type of urinary diversion that’s less common is a colonic conduit. The principle is the same as the construction of an ileal conduit, only the large intestine is used for the pipeline.
  • A urostomy is generally a permanent ostomy

What you should know about your ostomy type

As you work with your healthcare team, you’ll learn more about living with your type of stoma, including how to establish a skin care routine, eat healthy, exercise, travel, and other important lifestyle tips.

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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.