Stoma is a Greek word meaning ‘mouth’ or ‘opening’. Stoma surgery normally results in an opening on the surface of the abdomen in order to divert the colon or ileum through the abdominal wall, This allows the flow of faeces or urine, to be collected in a stoma bag.

It is estimated that over 13,500 people in the UK have stoma surgery each year, the most common conditions resulting in stoma surgery are colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and accidental Injury.

A stoma normally looks like a small button, deep pink in colour, (similar to the colour of your gums) and although it appears to look sore it has no nerve endings hence no feeling and pain free.

Waste matter comes out of the stoma and is collected in a stoma bag, the type of bag used depends on the type of stoma.

Colostomy – coming from the colon uses either a Closed or Drainable Bag.

Ileostomy – coming from the ileum uses a Drainable Bag.

Urostomy – coming from the kidneys uses a Urostomy Bag.

Some colostomy or ileostomy patients have a stoma on a temporary basis allowing the bowel to heal and settle before having a reversal surgery.

The length of time before reversal varies but most are not reversed before six months.