A colostomy is a surgical procedure during which your surgeon creates a hole in your abdominal wall and pulls one end of the colon through the opening. A colostomy can be either temporary or permanent, depending on your condition. Our expert medical team at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital will prepare you for your procedure and help you manage your day-to-day life following your colostomy.
Colostomy in Washington, D.C.
A colostomy procedure fundamentally alters how your body excretes waste and fecal matter. While you will need some time to get used to living with a colostomy, you will find that you can live a full life, complete with all the activities you enjoyed previously. Surgeons perform colostomy procedures to treat a number of colon and rectal conditions, including:
- Rectal or colon cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- Intestinal obstruction
- Fistulae in the perineum
- Injury to colon or rectum
First, you will undergo surgery to remove the diseased section of the colon. After that, you undergo a colostomy.
Colostomy Procedure: The MedStar Georgetown Approach
Before your colostomy, your doctors will answer any questions you may have about the procedure, recovery and living with a colostomy. There are different types of colostomy procedures, depending on your condition and the location of the disease.
During the operation, your doctor will:
- Create a hole in the abdominal wall.
- Pull the colon through the hole.
- Create a new opening in the colon and attach it to the abdomen.
The area where the new opening sits is called a stoma. This is where waste matter will exit your body. The colostomy is either temporary or permanent:
- Temporary colostomies are performed for specific conditions that allow for the reattachment of the colon at later point in time. The colostomy allows the affected area to heal because the stool is not passing through the area. Once the affected area has healed, you undergo a colostomy reversal procedure.
- Permanent colostomies are used in cases of chronic disease, such as Crohn’s disease and diverticular disease. Your surgeon may also remove the infected area of the colon or rectum.
After your colostomy, you will need a colostomy bag, which collects the waste from your body. The bag lies outside of your body. Before you are discharged, a trained ostomy nurse will teach you how to care for your stoma and manage the bag. See more about the Ostomy Clinic at MedStar Georgetown.
Minimally Invasive Colostomy at MedStar Georgetown
At MedStar Georgetown, we are dedicated to offering you the least invasive surgery possible. Your surgeon may perform a traditional colostomy or a laparoscopic colostomy. The advantages of a laparoscopic procedure include less pain and a shorter recovery period. Keep in mind that our surgeons have the necessary expertise to perform all types of surgery. Your surgeon will choose the surgical approach that offers you the best outcome. Learn more about minimally invasive surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.