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What Type of Ostomy Do I Have?

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Ostomy surgery is an intestinal or urinary diversion surgery done as a result of a trauma to the body. An opening in the gastrointestinal or urinary tract is created to provide an alternate route to remove waste from the body. Hundreds of thousands of people have some sort of ostomy and more surgeries are performed each year. Although it can be a challenge adjusting to your new body, there are many resources for information and support to help you along the way.

One common question we get here is, "What kind of ostomy do I have?" and we are sometimes a little surprised as it should have been clear upon exiting the hospital. Nevertheless this is an obstacle and necessary for people to know to properly buy supplies and care for their new stoma.

Stoma location depends on the type of ostomy surgery:

  • Colostomy: Stoma is made in the colon or large intestine.  Output is formed.
  • Ileostomy: Stoma is made in the ileum or small intestine. Output is loose or watery.
  • Urostomy: Stoma is made to bypass a diseased portion of urinary tract. Stoma origin can vary.  Output is urine.