What Is The Difference Between A Colostomy And An Ileostomy?

Many people think that any surgery to correct an intestinal problem would fall into the same category. The intestinal tract has several sections. A problem developing in one section may very well differ from the one developing in another section.

In this article, we will discuss the difference between an ileostomy and a colostomy. While both procedures involve bringing an end of the intestinal tract out through a cut in the belly, there are several factors that your doctor will take into consideration before deciding which type of ostomy you need.

Colostomy vs. ileostomy

Reasons that you may need an ostomy include bowel cancer, inflammation in the intestinal tract, or an injury. The procedure involved in the creation of ostomy results in the formation of an opening in the abdomen to allow the patient to expel body wastes. This opening is known as a stoma. A stoma is either a part of the small or large intestine. The primary difference between a colostomy and an ileostomy is that a colostomy involves the creation of a stoma on the colon, while an ileostomy results in the creation of a stoma on the end of the small intestine, also known as the ileum.

Depending on the underlying reason, both these procedures can be temporary or permanent. For instance, an acute injury may lead you to need a temporary ostomy to allow the injured part to recover. The success of the procedure to reverse an ostomy depends on the patient’s overall health.

Due to the location difference between both ostomies, both result in the evacuation of stools of varying consistencies. Having a colostomy means that you have a part of the working colon left in your intestinal tract. The waste material passing out of a colostomy will be more firm than that passed out of an ileostomy. Since the colon absorbs water from stools passing through it, a colostomy evacuates waste materials with significantly less moisture content. An ileostomy, on the other hand, results in mostly watery stools.

Ostomy needs

Whether you have an ostomy or about to have one, you will need to understand how to manage it properly. Adjusting to life with an ostomy may seem like a hard undertaking, but it gets easier with a properly settled routine. You may want to work with your doctor or ostomy care nurse to learn colostomy care best practices, including taking care of your stoma, skin around it, and your overall digestive health.

The most significant part of the ostomy care regimen is to use the right products. You can find products to manage both the colostomy and ileostomy. No matter what type of ostomy you have, you will need to make sure to use the right supplies only.

The most crucial aspect of ostomy care is to make sure that the skin around your stoma is healthy. Since this part of the skin remains at constant risk of getting exposed to the stomal output, it is crucial to ensure a tighter seal between the peristomal skin and the ostomy pouch.

You can discuss with your ostomy care nurse or doctor if you have any questions regarding ostomy care.

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