What are the differences between a colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy?

Ostomy surgery involves taking a portion of your digestive or urinary tract and redirecting it outside of the body. The opening that’s created in the abdomen (abdominal wall) is called a stoma. This surgery is often recommended or necessary if you have a digestive or urinary system disorder or disease.

Urostomy

With a urostomy, a piece of small intestine (ileum) is used as a conduit for urine. The ureter, or the tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder, is diverted through this piece of small intestine. The stoma opening allows urine to flow out of your body and into an ostomy pouch. Urostomies are not reversible.

Finding an ostomy pouch: Most likely, you will need to empty your ostomy pouch frequently. A pouch with a urinary spout along with an extended wear barrier is recommended. Extended wear barriers are designed not to break down even if they come in contact with urine. You may find that using a night drainage system helps you to get a full night’s sleep, because you will not need to awaken to empty your pouch.

 

Ileostomy

With an ileostomy, a portion of the small intestine is diverted to an opening placed in the abdominal wall. Most often, an ileostomy is necessary for those with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Ileostomies can be permanent or temporary.

Finding an ostomy pouch: The output from an ileostomy includes stool and digestive enzymes. You may want to select a one- or two-piece ostomy pouch that’s drainable. If your output is liquid, you may consider using an extended wear barrier. Since the output contains digestive enzymes, it can be highly irritating if it gets on the skin. Extended wear barriers are designed not to break down as quickly if they come in contact with output.

 

Colostomy

With a colostomy, a portion of the large intestine is diverted to an opening placed in the abdominal wall. Most often, a colostomy is necessary with certain lower bowel diseases. You may have a temporary colostomy, which can be reversed later, or part of your bowels may be permanently removed.

 

There are four main types of colostomies:

Ascending: Located within the ascending portion of the colon in the right side of the abdomen. Output will be liquid to semi-liquid, rich in digestive enzymes and irritating to skin around the stoma. (Rarely done.)

 

 

Transverse: Located within the transverse portion of the colon in the upper abdomen, middle, right or left side. Output is usually liquid to semi-formed because digestive enzyme content decreases as the output moves further to the left of the transverse colon.

 

 

Descending: Located within the descending colon. Output is semi-formed to formed because water has been absorbed as waste moves through the ascending and transverse colons.

 

 

Sigmoid: Located within the sigmoid colon. Output is normal, formed in consistency, because water has been absorbed as waste passed through the remaining large bowel.

Finding an ostomy pouch: The output from a colostomy is more solid than it is with an ileostomy. You may want to select a one- or two-piece ostomy pouch that’s either closed or open ended, with a regular wear barrier.

 

Related articles:
Deciding on an ostomy pouching system
Ostomy care at work
Preventing ostomy pouch leaks
 
SOURCES
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ostomy.html
www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002823-pdf.pdf