Ileostomy vs colostomy – What is the difference ?

Ileostomy and colostomy are the surgical procedures to help a patient pass stools when medications fail to act on the body. While each of them serves the same purpose, they are different from one another with respect to the procedure and its aftercare. While Ileostomy is performed on patients who have serious gastric problems, colostomy is done on patients who have ruptured bowel.

Difference in surgical process

Ileostomy is done on the lowest part of the intestine called ileum from which abdominal wall is passed to replicate the function of anus. This is done by creating an opening from the ileum. In this procedure, the patients can bypass colon, rectum and anus and pass the stools which get dropped in the bag. Colostomy, on the other hand follows a different procedure. In this procedure, the end of the large intestine is brought through the abdominal wall which allows the stools in the large intestine to bypass the colon and get dropped in the bag.

Which surgical process is appropriate?

While Ileostomy is performed on patients who have complaints of inflammation in the bowel or the colon is extensively damaged. It is also being prescribed on patients who have rectal cancer. Colostomy is mainly being referred to those patients who have large bowel blockage or suffer from rectal or colon injuries. The location and type of bowel damage are the few indicators in selecting the type of surgical process to be used.

Post operative care

Ileostomy patients require little post operative care compared to colostomy patients. These patients can also go back to their routine work soon after the surgery. Colostomy patients require more aftercare compared to Ileostomy. The patients and the attendants require special training on how to maintain the colostomy opening and the bag to avoid infections.

Both Ileostomy and Colostomy are great surgical processes for human digestive system. Take an appointment with your surgeon to decide which method suits best for you.


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