What Is A Stoma?

Stoma is a Greek word meaning ‘mouth’ or ‘opening’. Stoma surgery creates a small opening on the surface of the abdomen in order to divert the flow of faeces or urine. There are three main types of stoma: colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy. See the Stoma Types section of the website for more detailed information.

With all three types, the person with the stoma has no control over the output and so wears a bag on their abdomen to collect either faeces (colostomy and ileostomy) or urine (urostomy). There are many different types of stoma bag designed to accommodate the various types and shapes of individual stomas, and additional products, which may help in certain circumstances. The variety of products available means you should be able to find a system which enables you to live a normal life in comfort and confidence. It might take a while for you to find the right combination of stoma bag and any additional products needed, but there is plenty of help at hand. You will meet a stoma nurse, ideally before the operation but certainly afterwards while in hospital, and they will guide you and ensure you find a product that suits you. You can also call our CliniMed Careline on 0808 1596017 for advice on all aspects of stoma care, including all brands of products and any problems you might be experiencing. Your GP will also offer clinical advice and support where needed.

Video transcript

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What is a stoma?

Stoma is a Greek word meaning opening or mouth. It is an opening that is created by the surgeon which will bring a piece of the bowel to the surface that is then stitched on to the abdomen and this is where faeces or urine then leaves the body.

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