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Types of Stoma: What You Should Know

Types of Stoma: What You Should Know

A stoma is an opening that allows urine or feces to exit the body. It is connected to the digestive system or urinary tract, depending on the cause of the ostomy surgery done for a patient. Learn more about the types of stoma and how to take care of it here.

Ostomy surgery is often recommended for patients who reportedly have birth problems, inflammatory bowel disease, incontinence, and other medical conditions that affect the digestive, bowel, and urinary tract. It is also one of the treatments for severe stomach problems or a surgical requirement in eradicating damaged organs. Moreover, some of the patients who receive this kind of surgery usually have had severe abdominal trauma caused by accidents or injuries.

types of stoma

Types of Stoma

All types of stoma are dark pink, and they usually flatten out in the abdomen, but there are cases that it sticks out. These are the three types of stoma characterized by the cause and surgical procedure, and all are connected to a stoma bag afterwards.


A stoma by colostomy is made by pulling out ta piece of the large intestine into the abdominal wall. A stoma bag becomes a repository of the wastes after the surgery. This procedure is for patients with a damaged colon, requiring the removal of a portion of the rectum or the colon itself. Some of the diseases related are cancer, imperforate anus, and Hirschsprung’s disease.

A temporary colostomy is required to let the bowel rest and heal. Removal of colostomy is allowed when the bowel heals. Then, bowel function usually goes back to normal. However, if the bowel is severely affected by the disease, a permanent colostomy will be required.


It is a type of ostomy surgery that lets the urine pass through the stoma to the stoma bag. In this case, the third portion of the small intestine is pulled through the abdominal wall. This procedure is for patients with bladder malfunction or when the bladder needs to be removed. The other conditions that require urostomy are bladder cancer and spinal cord injuries.


In this type, the lowest part of the small intestine is the piece pulled out of the abdomen. It becomes the path where digested foods come out and then collected in the stoma bag.

A temporary ileostomy is required for letting the surgical site in the digestive tract heal. This type of stoma is common with surgeries for cancer, diverticulitis, and other conditions. However, a permanent ileostomy is an option when the large intestine is subjected to removal, and anus reconnection is not applicable. The common cause of this permanent option is Crohn’s disease, cancers, or ulcerative colitis.

How to Clean and Manage Stoma

It is usual for the stoma to get swollen after the surgery, and it usually takes weeks before it contracts. The skin needs to get cleaned at least twice a week to avoid odor and infection.

Here are some tips for managing and cleaning the stoma and the skin around it, as advised.

  • A stoma may have a little mucus and tends to bleed a bit when cleaning it.
  • Use an appropriate sized stoma bag to prevent leakage of wastes as it can irritate the skin.
  • Use warm water to wash the skin and dry it properly before putting it on the stoma bag.
  • Do not use products with oil and alcohol as it may damage the skin and these make the pouch hard to attach to the skin.
  • Avoid using too many skincare products to prevent further complications and infection.
  • Observe the skin around the stoma every time the stoma bag is changed. If the skin around is wet or red, it means that the bag is not well-attached. The adhesive or tape of the stoma bag tends to irritate the skin as well.
  • If infections occur and develop, inform your physician right away.

These are some of the signs that need to observe before calling the doctor:

  • When the stoma is more swollen than the first week
  • The stoma shrinks deeper than the skin level
  • When the stoma is bleeding too much or draining fluid
  • The wastes in the stoma bag are less than usual
  • The stoma turns violet, black, or white
  • Experiencing diarrhea and dehydration
  • Having fever and feeling pains

Key Takeaways

A stoma is an opening on the abdomen where waste from the digestive or urinary system can exit. Stomas are usually done upon the advise of a doctor to help heal or manage issues related to the digestive tract.

The types of stoma depend on your condition. If you will be undergoing surgery and will require a stoma as part of treatment, do not be worried. Having a stoma does not reduce life expectancy. Talk to your doctor for any concerns.

Learn more about Other Digestive Health Issues here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Stoma Care, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/tracheostomy/living/stoma.html Date Accessed June 16, 2021

Ileostomy – caring for your stoma, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000071.htm Date Accessed June 16, 2021

ILEOSTOMY FACTS, https://www.ostomy.org/ileostomy/ Date Accessed June 16, 2021

What Is A Stoma?, https://www.bladderandbowel.org/bowel/stoma/what-is-a-stoma/ Date Accessed June 16, 2021

UROSTOMY FACTS, https://www.ostomy.org/urostomy/ Date Accessed June 16, 2021

COLOSTOMY FACTS, https://www.ostomy.org/colostomy/ Date Accessed June 16, 2021

WHAT IS AN OSTOMY?, https://www.ostomy.org/what-is-an-ostomy/#top Date Accessed June 16, 2021


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Written by Shienna Santelices Updated Jul 01, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel