What is a Stoma

A stoma is a Greek word which means mouth or opening. In the medical language, the stoma means the end of the uterer or the bowel to a body surface. Stoma is of oval shape and is like oral mucosa. Stoma is often confused with the word Ostomy. But these are completely different from each other. It is created with a surgical opening in the wall of the abdomen. Stool or urine is then passed from this opening into a pouch. Stomas can be formed due to the:

  • Cancer
  • Congenital disorders
  • Injury
  • Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Diverticular disease
  • Fistulas or bladder disease

Most of the people have get temporary stomas but the people with bowel diseases have permanent stomas. There are two reasons for which stomas are formed:

  • Input stoma: the people who are unable to eat through mouth, input stomas are created.
  • Output stoma: these stomas are created to discharge the body waste. An opening is created in the abdominal wall.

Stoma are of mainly three types:

  • Colostomy: this stoma is that which comes from the colon i.e. the large intestine.
  • Ileostomy: this comes from the small intestine or ileum.
  • Urostomy: it comes from kidneys and is created to divert urine.

Other types of stoma are caecostomies and jejunostomies. Stoma does not have nerves so it is not painful but it can be an irritant sometimes and it can bleed too. But it is not harmful and is normal. It can be easily controlled. It should not be handled roughly. If the bleeding occurs again and again, you should consult the doctor. Stoma can cause diarrhea and constipation but with time it will start improving. The stoma should be sited properly otherwise it can cause problem. It can cause irritation to the patient and can be a burden for the patient. The urine bag should be worn so that the urine can be passed into it. Stoma can be reversed when the bowel gets healed. Stoma is temporary or permanent will depend upon the seriousness of the problem of the patient. After surgery stoma usually gets swollen. It will soon be normal after few weeks. Proper hygiene should be taken care of. The skin around the stoma should be clean. The pouch should be managed properly. There should not be any kind of leakage and odour. Clothes positioning should also be taken care of. For few months, you will find it difficult and the uncomfortable but after the some time, it will the become a part of your natural routine.