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Colostomy

Bowel diversion surgery

A colostomy involves diverting your bowel through an opening in your tummy

About

A colostomy is a surgical procedure which involves diverting one end of your bowel though an opening in your tummy. We can then put a bag over this opening to collect your poo. A colostomy may be needed if you're unable to poo through your anus as a result of conditions like bowel cancer, Crohn's disease and bowel incontinence. Sometimes, a colostomy is a temporary measure and can be reversed at a later date (see colostomy reversal).

There are two types of colostomy: a loop colostomy and an end colostomy. Your consultant will decide which is right for you. Both are carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Loop colostomy Your consultant will make a loop of your colon (bowel) and pull it through a cut in your tummy. They'll then open the loop and stitch it to your skin to make a stoma (opening) on either the left or right side of your tummy. Finally, they'll connect the opening to part of your bowel. End colostomy Your consultant will pull one end of your colon through a cut in your tummy and stitch it to your skin to make the stoma. An end colostomy tends to be a permanent measure. In both cases, your consultant will cover the stoma with a bag to collect your poo.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After your procedure, we'll transfer you to our recovery ward, where you'll stay for a few days. We may put you on a drip to keep you hydrated until you're able to drink on your own. You'll also be shown how to look after your stoma, including how to empty and change your bag. Your consultant will let you know when you can leave and get back to your usual routine.
Consultant with patient

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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