An ostomy is a surgically created opening made into the bowel or urinary tract for the purpose of eliminating waste materials (stool/urine) from the body.
The digestive tract is a hollow tube which stretches from the mouth to the anus and is lined with mucous membrane. As food and liquids travel through the system, enzymes are added which break down the food into a form that can be absorbed and used by our bodies. It is important to remember that digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place in the small bowel. The main function of the colon is to extract fluid and salt from the stool and act as a storage organ.
An ostomy is created to overcome problems with the bowel or bladder which are caused by injury, disease or congenital defect. All ostomies allow for the discharge of normal waste through a surgically created opening (stoma) in the abdomen. Most people with an ostomy wear a discreet odor proof pouch to cover the stoma and to collect body waste. An ostomy can be permanent or temporary.
In Canada about 13,000 ostomy surgeries are performed each year. It is also estimated the there are over 70,000 Canadian with an ostomy. (https://rnao.ca/sites/rnao-ca/files/Ostomy_Care__Management.pdf)
Note: To learn more about Stoma, click here
This is the most common type of surgical urinary diversion. A 6” segment of the ileum (small bowel) is separated from the small bowel with the blood supply intact. One end of the segment is sutured closed, and the other end of the segment is brought out of the abdomen and a stoma is created. The ureters are implanted into this ileal segment. This serves as a passageway (conduit) for the urine. The bladder is removed or bypassed.
More information is available on Bladder Cancer Canada
Depending on the specific type of surgery, it may be called pelvic pouch procedure, J-pouch, S-pouch, ileoanal anastomosis, ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA).
With this type of surgery, the diseased colon (large bowel) and the inside layer of the anus (mucosa) are removed. Then, an internal pouch is constructed from a segment of the small bowel (ileum). This pouch and lower segment are surgically connected to the remaining rectal segment of bowel. This procedure allows for the use of the anal sphincter muscles to be maintained so the patient can have control to release stool as before. A temporary ileostomy is often created giving the reservoir (internal pouch) healing time.