The final part of the digestive system consists of the colon, which is 4-6 feet in length. The primary job of this part of the digestive tract is to absorb water and electrolytes from the stool. It allows only the solid waste material to pass out through the rectum and anus.
Some diseases or injuries can cause the colon, rectum, or anus to stop functioning. In those cases, the surgeon will want to either remove or disconnect the colon’s diseased part from the healthy part. The end of the healthy part is brought through an incision in the abdominal wall to create a stoma, which is a point that allows the newly made diversion to evacuate bodily waste. The diseased part is either removed or left to heal. The stool passed out through the stoma is collected into an ostomy bag, which connects over the stoma. A colostomy can be permanent or temporary.
Impact of a colostomy on life
During your stay in the hospital after surgery, the nurse will educate you about how to take care of your colostomy. They will also give you some tips to adapt to life with a stoma. A change in lifestyle will be inevitable after colostomy surgery, but it doesn’t mean that this change will make you less active and healthy. All you have to do is to make sure that you are good at the management of your ostomy. You can also join a colostomy support group to get all the help that you need to stay motivated.
Here are a few tips that you may find helpful in your colostomy care regimen.
- You will need to monitor any medication that you are taking. Make sure that those medications are not causing constipation or diarrhea.
- You may have to say goodbye to the foods that cause gas. It includes cabbage, beans, and nuts. You can talk to a dietician to choose a diet that will help you avoid constipation, diarrhea, and gas.
- You will need to stay active and healthy, and your colostomy is not going to stop you from that. The matter of fact is that modern-day colostomy care supplies conceal well under the clothes in such a way that nobody will be able to know about your ostomy. You can get back to work, engage in sports, and interact with your friends with full confidence.
- You can even avoid using a colostomy bag if you want. For this purpose, you are going to have to note your schedule of bowel movements. When it is time, you can go to the toilet and pass an enema through the stoma. This enema will push water into the stoma and trigger bowel movement. This process is called colostomy irrigation. The stool will pass out from the stoma as a result of this procedure. After the completion of the process, you can cover the stoma with a stoma cap or a mini ostomy pouch.
Before resuming your normal activities after colostomy surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor or ostomy care nurse.