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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Colostomy for colorectal cancer

Colostomy for colorectal cancer

A colostomy may be necessary, depending on the type and extent of the colorectal surgery performed. During this procedure, the colon is connected to a hole in the abdomen (called a stoma) to divert stool away from a damaged or surgically repaired part of the colon or rectum. Some colostomies may be reversed once the repaired tissue heals. Other colostomies are permanent, and the stoma is attached to a colostomy bag that collects waste.

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What is a colostomy?

If your surgical oncologist is unable to reconnect the healthy portions of the colon and rectum, he or she may perform a colorectal cancer colostomy procedure to create an artificial opening (called a stoma) in the lower abdomen to allow the body to eliminate waste.

During this surgical procedure, a segment of the colon is attached to the skin of the abdomen. Your surgical oncologist then makes the stoma on the outside of the body. An odor-free pouching system (colostomy bag) is worn around the stoma to collect waste.