On the other hand, there are certain injuries and incurable conditions that need permanent colostomy. For instance, the inability of the rectal muscles to control excretion and in cases of cancer that require removal of the rectum.
What are the Risks of Colostomy?
Colostomy is a major surgery and below are some probable risks of the surgery:
- Damage to adjacent organs
- Allergic reactions to anesthesia
- Scarred tissue leading to blockage of the intestine
- Narrowing of the opening of colostomy
- Development of hernia at the surgical incision
How to Prepare for Colostomy?
Below are the tips you need to keep in mind to prepare for the surgery:
- Your doctor will most likely ask you to fast for 12 hours before the surgery.
- You will be physically examined by your doctor, following which they will evaluate your personal and family medical history. Based on these analyses, you will be prescribed certain blood tests, as per their advice.
- You may be prescribed an enema or laxative that you need to take the night before the surgery to clear your bowel.
- Consult your doctor and discuss the medications that you may be taking currently – prescription medications, OTC (over-the-counter) medications, supplements, vitamins, herbals, and also illicit drugs. They will advise you on whether you need to temporarily discontinue or adjust any medications around the time of the colostomy surgery. Certain medications like aspirin and inflammatory drugs may have to be discontinued as they may increase the risk of bleeding.
What Happens During Colostomy?
The surgery is generally performed under general anesthesia. The procedure may be undertaken by making one big incision or several small incisions. It may be an open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. As discussed before, the type of surgery that will be required depends on the part of the colon that needs to be operated on – sigmoid, transverse, descending, and ascending.
While permanent colostomies are referred to as ‘end colostomies’, temporary colostomies surgically join the side or end of the colon to the abdominal wall to form an abdominal opening known as stoma. This end of the colon is surgically attached to the stoma. Feces pass from the stoma into the pouch that is attached to the abdomen.
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