Colon Resection (Colostomy)


The colostomy is a surgical procedure that takes one end of the large intestine out through the abdominal wall. During this procedure, one end of the colon is passed through an incision in the abdominal wall to create a stoma. A stoma is a name given for the opening in the skin where a pouch for gathering waste is attached. People with short-term or long-term colostomies have bags attached to their sides where the waste gets to collect and could be easily disposed of from the bag. A colostomy might also be known as bowel diversion therapy.


Before surgery

The doctors would ask the patients to fast for at least 12 hours before the surgery. Patients might also be provided with a laxative or an enema to consume at night before the surgery to help cleanse their bowels.

Patients should be mentally prepared to stay in the hospital for three to seven days. 

During the Surgery

A nurse would make intravenous access, or an IV, in the arm of the patient. That allows the hospital staff to provide the patient with fluids and medications quickly, and it is also how the patients would be provided with general anesthesia. After sanitizing the patient and giving sedation, the doctor would make a slit in the abdominal region. The ideal part of the large intestine would then be decided to make the opening or stoma. The surgeon would make the incision on the appropriate area and then pass it through the abdominal wall of the patient.

The doctor would then surgically implant a ring onto the abdominal wall. This ring holds the end of the intestine in place. This ring might be permanent, or it might be placed temporarily to help in healing the skin around the exposed intestine. After everything is in place, the doctors would close the wound with stitches.

After the Surgery

Recovery in the hospital includes being slowly moving back to liquids and foods to make sure that the digestive problems are no more. In initial days, patients would most probably be given only ice chips to ease their thirst. Afterward, they would be given clear liquids and gradually soft foods.


A colostomy is a major surgery and has certain risks of allergic reactions to anesthesia and excessive bleeding associated with it.

Other risks include:

  • a blockage of the colostomy
  • injury to other organs
  • a hernia
  • infection
  • internal bleeding
  • difficulties from scar tissue
  • a wound breaking open


Knowing how to use colostomy bags is vital. Hence, the hospital staff would instruct the patients on the diet, activity level, and more. They would also train patients on how to use the colostomy bag and clear it out when it is full.


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