Depending on how much bowel is removed, an ostomy can be either an ileostomy or a colostomy. With an ileostomy, a part of the small intestine is connected to the abdominal wall. An ileostomy can be permanent when the entire large intestine is removed or temporary when it’s done to allow the large intestine to heal after trauma or surgery (Fig. 2a). With a colostomy, only part of the large intestine is removed, and the remaining part is connected to the abdominal wall (Fig. 2b). Normally, in the small intestine, the nutrients are pretty liquidy because most of the water is reabsorbed in the large intestine. So, with an ileostomy, the feces are liquid, and they flow at a fairly constant rate. With a colostomy, on the other hand, feces have a different consistency depending on the location of the colostomy. If nearly all the large intestine was removed and the colostomy is near the beginning, feces are more liquid. If the colostomy is near the end of the digestive tract, feces are more solid.
An ostomy is a surgically created opening used to connect an internal organ to the abdominal wall, through which waste products, like intestinal contents, are eliminated. The opening that can be seen on the body surface is called a stoma, and it's usually connected to an ostomy pouch, also called a bag or appliance, where stool and flatus collect. Some of the acts performed when caring for an ostomy include: Emptying the pouch as needed Cleaning the skin around the stoma Changing the pouch as per manufacturer's instructions Checking the skin for redness or irritation Maintaining skin hygiene Monitoring the stoma for changes in size, shape, and color. When providing routine ostomy care, you should report any abnormal findings, like signs of skin breakdown or excessive bleeding from and around the stoma.
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