Everything You Need To Know About Colostomy Treatment

A colostomy is surgical procedure performed to create a small opening for the colon or the large intestine via the abdomen. This surgery is done to relieve an obstruction, treat a colon disease or prevent the remaining bowel from contamination by fecal matter. Here, we will look at various aspects of colostomy, such as what is colostomy, what are the causes and symptoms for which colostomy is needed, how to prepare for colostomy, who are the best doctors for colostomy in India, and which are the top hospitals for colostomy in India.

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Review By Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui
Award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd

Mar 4, 2024

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Table Of Index

What is colostomy?

What is colostomy?

Colostomy is a surgical procedure that involves the creation of an opening in the abdomen for diverting waste from the colon. This surgery is generally performed to treat various conditions like colorectal cancer, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease. A colostomy might be permanent or temporary. It is usually performed following bowel surgery or injury. Most permanent colostomy is end colostomy, while in most temporary colostomy, the side of the colon is brought up to an opening in the abdomen. In end colostomy, colon end is brought near the abdominal wall, where it is then tued like a cuff. The thin edges of the colon are stitched with the skin of the abdominal wall to crate an opening known as stoma.

Types of colostomy

Sigmoid colostomy: It is a common type of colostomy. It is performed in the lower part of the large intestine and waste is moved to the rectum. In this type of colostomy, the stool is more solid and regular compared to other types.

Descending colostomy: This kind of colostomy is performed on the left side of the abdomen. Stool passing from there is generally firm as it has traveled through most of the colon.

Transverse colostomy: This colostomy is performed where the colon passes across the top of the abdomen. The stool passing this region is usually soft because it hasn’t traveled through much of the colon yet, and it still contains much water.

Ascending colostomy: This kind of colostomy is performed close to the beginning of the large intestine. This would mean the stool is generally liquid, as little water has been absorbed in the colon. It is a rare type of colostomy. The doctor might choose to perform a procedure called an ileostomy instead.

Causes and Symptoms


  • Birth defect
  • Blocked or missing anal opening
  • Serious infection like diverticulitis
  • Inflammation in the colon
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption


  • Not passing much stool
  • Passing watery stools
  • Bloating
  • Swelling in the abdomen (tummy)
  • A swollen stomach
  • Tummy cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting



Blood tests: The health care provider takes a blood sample and send it for evaluation. Doctors might use blood tests to look for signs of colon problems or its complications.

Stool test: Doctors might order a stool test to determine if you have a disease or another health problems like irritable bowel syndrome.

Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy can be used to confirm a diagnosis of a colon disease and rule out other conditions, such as colon cancer. A doctor may also recommend a colonoscopy to view and treat diverticular bleeding.

Imaging tests: Doctors generally diagnose colon disease with imaging tests like computed tomography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging.

Risk & Complications

Rectal discharge: If you have a colostomy but the anus is intact, you might have mucus discharge from your bottom. Mucus is secreted by the lining of the bowel. The surface of the bowel continues secreting mucus, although it is of no use. Mucus can leak from your bottom or form a ball, which may become uncomfortable.

Parastomal heia: A parastomal heia occurs when the intestines push through the muscles surrounding the stoma, producing a bulge under the skin. A parastomal heia might make it difficult to hold the colostomy in position and change it. In most cases, heia could be managed with medication and support of a stoma nurse.

Stoma blockage: Some individuals develop a blockage in stoma due to a build-up of food. Signs of a blockage are not passing much poos, or discharge of watery poos. There can also be bloating and swelling in the tummy.

Stomal fistula: In some cases, a small channel or hole is formed in the skin alongside the stoma. This may depend on the position of fistula. Bags and good skin management might help treat this problem.

Skin irritation: Skin irritation is a common complication of colostomy. The tissue used for creating stoma is mostly made of mucous membranes that cover the section of intestine being diverted. This tissue is likely to bleed in case of normal cleaning. It can be irritated by stool.

Preparation of Treatment

The doctor will tell you what all you need to do to prepare for the surgery. You may be asked to not eat and drink before the surgery. You might need to stop certain medications. You need to see a stomal therapy nurse just before the surgery. They will help you get the answer of all your questions related to the procedure. You will need to avoid eating and drinking around six hours before surgery. However, the hospital will let you know the exact requirements. You should bring pyjamas/ nightdress and a dressing gown to the hospital. On the day of your surgery, use a special shower gel to use to clean the skin. Remove makeup, jewellery nail vaish, and any loose accessories like glasses, contact lenses, dentures and hearing aids prior to surgery.

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Recovery after colostomy

Complete recovery after colostomy might take nearly 2 months. During this time, a person will have limits on what they can eat as the colon heals. In case the colostomy is temporary, the patient might need a reversal or closure surgery once the colon has healed. Feeling tired and weakness after bowel surgery is normal. Proper rest is needed during the recovery period. Regular walks help increase your strength. Driving can be resumed once the person feels that they can perform an emergency stop safely. It is important not to lift anything heavy for the first eight weeks after surgery. Showering is advised whilst the stoma and abdominal wounds are healing.

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Written by

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui is an award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd., a professionally managed medical tourism holding company and the active Director of Alshifa Healthcare Services Pvt. Ltd., a full-service medical tourism aggregation agency servicing JCI and NABH/ NABL accredited Hospitals across the country’s 5 locations.

In addition to Marlin, Alshifa also includes Media Group, which houses Arabic Medical Tourism e-Magazine healthandtour.com. The E-magazine “مجلة الصحة والسياحة” provides a wide scope of medical tourism information to healthcare travellers to find a safe, effective and cost-saving solution for their medical and healthcare needs. In addition to running E-Magazine, Dr. Mohammad Afzal also serves as Delhi-state coordinator in Foundation of Healthcare and Wellness Promotion focused on bringing India’s Healthcare closer to the world and smoothen world’s access to Indian Healthcare.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colostomy

In the first few weeks after colostomy, you will be advised to follow a low-fibre diet as a high-fibre diet may increase the size of stool. This can temporarily block bowel. The doctor or stoma nurse will advise you when you could go back to a normal diet.

Colostomy pouch should be emptied before breakfast or before going to bed in the evening when the body is relatively less busy with digestion. Colostomy pouch should be changed every 3 to 5 days.

If an individual has a temporary colostomy, they will need another surgery to reverse it at a later stage. A colostomy reversal is carried out when the individual is in good health and is fully recovered. This can be at least three months after the initial colostomy surgery.
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