A colostomy is a type of treatment which provides a way for solid waste to leave the body. Children may require a colostomy for a number of reasons:
- As a temporary measure while babies with Hirschprung’s disease or imperforate anus grow to a point where their surgical treatment will be most effective
- As an option for a very small subset of children who do not respond to bowel management techniques for fecal incontinence
During a colostomy, your pediatric surgeon will create one or two small openings (called stomas) in the belly. The surgeon will connect the upper part of the intestine to one stoma, and the lower part of the intestine to the other stoma. A pouch will be connected to the lower opening to collect waste directly from the intestine.
Your surgical team will provide you with thorough instructions and guidance on how to care for the stomas, change the pouch, and clean the intestines. Be assured that our team welcomes as many questions as you need to ask to feel confident caring for your child’s stomas and your daily colostomy routine. We are committed to supporting our patients and their families at every step along the way.
For children who received the colostomy temporarily, the colostomy is generally closed 2-3 months after the main repair for their colorectal condition.
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