When is a colostomy necessary?

If you’re sitting there pondering, “When on earth do I need a colostomy?” don’t worry; you’re not alone. The good news is that this procedure has come a long way since its inception in the 1800s! Nowadays, it can be life-changing for those whose digestive tract needs some TLC.

What Is A Colostomy?

A colostomy is an opening made in your belly so that feces from your colon or rectum can bypass damaged portions of the bowel and drain into a bag outside your body. Sounds appealing right? Don’t let that scare you away just yet. This surgical procedure has been utilized to help people with various illnesses or injuries such as Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease), ulcers, cancerous tumors, and traumatic accidents.

Assessing the Need

The first question anyone who suggests colostomies should ask themselves (apart from finding out if they are qualified to do so) is: Does my patient really require this surgery? Each case will differ based on medical history and current status.

Medical Issues That May Warrant A Colostomy

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Colon cancer
  • Trauma resulting in perforation of intestines

Some cases may result from congenital malformation/ such as:

- Hirschsprung's disease
- Anorectal malformations

Non-Surgical Options

Before making any surgical decisions, it’s necessary to evaluate all other alternatives available.

Medications like antibiotics or inflammation suppressants might offer relief for milder conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Another option which works well for select patients involves:

  • Diet modification-plan

    High fiber foods

     We have heard that oatmeal helps lower cholesterol due to high soluble fibers present. Similarly veggies full of insoluble fiber can be a game-changer because they help soften stools while maintaining normal bowel function.
    

    Low Fiber Foods

    Once again, we are told to stay away from things we love (no surprises here). Low fiber foods like white bread, bananas and cheese low in lactose provide relief when the colon is inflamed.
    

When Should You Consider A Colostomy?

If meds and lifestyle changes have not brought the desired improvement or patients experience extreme abdominal pain/ recurrent blockages among other symptoms – then it’s best to consider surgery. A patient whose surgeon recommends a colostomy should consult with their primary care doctor before making any decisions.

Temporary or Permanent

It’s possible that a colostomy may only be required temporarily if the intestine issue heals within months of surgery. In most cases, however, it becomes permanent as healing doesn’t always happen on its own.

Let us give you an example,like people who get ostomies after rectal cancer operations may need one for life due to rectum removal.

Types of Colostomies

There are three types of gut procedure surgeries:

1) Ileostomy

A surgical opening made in your belly allowing fluids from part of small intestine bypassed.( rare but important)

2) Transverse Colostomy

 An opening that surgeons create in the midpoint across transverse colon.(moderately rare)

3)Sigmoid/open-end/split-thickness resection:

   Here surgical specialists make cuts through skin layers at appropriate place to connect rectal tissue into openings; where feces pass through into bags attached outside bodies.

The second two options listed above offer temporary solutions opposed to ileo- which is used long-term basis sometimes.

Choosing The Right Stoma

Upon hearing about stoma creation during an operation nerves tend kick-in full swing right? But worry not, choosing the right stoma aids with better everyday comfort for patients.

Stomas in Different Locations

It’s important to pick a location that will make life simpler for your daily routines. Surgeons suggest one of four sites:

  • Left-side Transverse Colostomy Sites

    These are constructed middle way across transverse colon towards left- easiest and ideal.
    
  • Right-Side Transverse Colostomy Sites

     Bypasses bowel from going down the descending side.
    
  • Sigmoid Colon

    In about 99% of surgical operations; it’s functional-lessens.

    Loop colostomy

Tip: The median is favored when compared to others as it has reduced spillage problems

Risks Associated With A Colostomy

Yes, there are some risks associated with this procedure – just like any other medical intervention! Here are a few we’ve dug up:

 - Blockages/leaks/pain infections
 - Ulcers develop/skin irritation

Don’t lets these cause anxiety though because all surgeries have foreseeable pitfalls!

Preparing For Your Procedure

Unsure of what to expect? Surgery prep can be daunting so here’s our two cents on how best you can plan out beforehand:

Doctors appointments-pre op meeting(s)

      Be honest & clear about prior history or complications experienced earlier on. Honest communication could lead doctors preventing issues beyond normal medical predictions.

   Mental Health

       Dealing with surgery may impact mental status or patient outlook regarding recent change/upheaval. consider support groups/counseling pre/post operation.

Overall awareness concerning different aspects of this surgery prove helpful which could positively affect overall outcome among those thinking they need this procedure done ASAP!. Remember, keep an open mind and don’t shy away from asking questions no matter how silly they might seem!

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