While nobody enjoys having surgery, sometimes people are born with congenital defects that require operations. Other people suffer diseases or traumatic events which require surgical repair. When the abdominal or urinary system is damaged, this can sometimes require surgery to correct. Patients may notice that they have trouble going to the bathroom. This could be due to an intestinal obstruction or obstruction in the urinary system. Other times, patients suffer muscular damage which translates into patients becoming incontinent either with urine or feces. Regardless, this creates major lifestyle problems for people that need to be addressed. The class of surgical procedures that addresses these serious problems is called a stoma surgery. During the procedure, an artificial opening is created to divert the human waste into a bag that can be disposed of at a socially appropriate time. While this isn’t a perfect solution, it does significantly improve the lifestyle of patients. Three types of stoma surgeries to address these waste products are a colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy.


A colostomy is a relatively common surgical procedure used to address problems with fecal obstruction or incontinence. Patients who require a colostomy may notice that they have trouble going to the bathroom due to a colonic obstruction. Other patients aren’t able to control their fecal matter and may find that they are going before they can reach the toilet. Regardless, a colostomy is a surgical procedure that disconnects the colon from the anal sphincter. Then, the colon is attached to the abdominal wall surface. An artificial opening is placed on the skin surface that acts as a conduit between the colon and the external environment. A disposal bag is attached to the abdominal wall opening to collect the human waste. It is important to note that feces will continually flow through the opening into the bag instead of being controlled with a sphincter because there is no sphincter on the abdominal surface. This can either be permanent or temporary depending on the circumstances. Over time, this ostomy could become infected and require a colostomy takedown with an alternative placement.


  • A colostomy detaches the colon from the anus and connects it to the abdominal wall surface.
  • A bag is attached to the abdominal wall surface to collect the feces.
  • The ostomy could become infected and require a takedown and replacement.


An ileostomy bears a striking similarity to a colostomy. The major difference is the location of separation between the anus and the intestines. In a colostomy, the colon is detached from the anus and connected to the abdominal wall. In an ileostomy, the lower portion of the large intestine, called the ileum, is detached above the colon and redirected to the surface. The reason behind the surgery has to do with where the obstruction of pathology is. If the obstruction or pathology is in the colon, the intestines must be disconnected prior to reaching this problem and redirected to the abdominal surface. This is called an ileostomy. The opening to the abdominal wall surface and the fecal collection method is identical to a colostomy.


  • An ileostomy is similar to a colostomy in many ways.
  • In an ileostomy, the detachment is at the ileum instead of the colon.
  • Fecal matter is collected in the same fashion as a colostomy.

3. Urostomy

A urostomy disconnects the urethra from the bladder and redirects it to the surface of the abdominal wall. This is used to treat causes of urinary obstruction that cannot be addressed with a catheter. A bag is attached at the abdominal wall surface in a similar fashion to the other procedures to collect the urine for disposal. Care must be taken to ensure the site does not become infected. It can either be temporary or permanent.


  • A urostomy is used to drain urine from the bladder when the urethra is blocked.
  • A bag is placed on the abdominal surface to collect the urine.
  • Care must be used to ensure it does not get infected.


There are several types of stoma surgeries. It is important for patients to educate themselves to ensure they understand that procedure prior to going in for surgery.