Types of Ostomy

The following page lists the types of Ostomy

Page last updated: 2014

Colostomy | Ileostomy | Urostomy | Temporary Ostomies

There are three main types of ostomy.


A colostomy forms a stoma from the colon or large bowel. A small protrusion of bowel is bought out through the abdominal wall and secured to the outer skin to form an exit for waste matter.

The most common condition needing colostomy formation is colon or rectal cancer.

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An ileostomy is the open end of the ileum (small intestine) bought to the surface of the abdomen and secured there to form an exit for waste matter. Surgery often involves removal of the colon and rectum.

The most common conditions needing ileostomy formation are:

  • Ulcerative Colitis;
  • Crohn's Disease;
  • Cancer in the colon or rectum;
  • Polyps in the colon or rectum; and
  • Other rarer causes.

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When the bladder is removed or is unable to store urine, a urinary diversion is necessary. This may be in the form of an ileal conduit (non-continent diversion) or an Indiana Pouch (continent diversion). An ileal conduit or indiana is formed from a small section of the small intestine (ileum) into which is implanted ureters carrying urine from the kidneys. A small section of the ileum is used to conduct urine to the stoma.

The most common causes are:

  • Cancer of the bladder or urethra;
  • Congenital abnormality; and
  • Other rarer causes.

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Temporary Ostomies

A large proportion of stomas created today are temporary. This means that after a period of time the ostomy is reversed (stoma is removed) and normal bowel and/or bladder function is restored.