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A colostomy is formed during surgery to divert a section of the large intestine (colon) through an opening in the abdomen (tummy).
Why a colostomy is used
Some of the most common reasons for having a colostomy are bowel cancer, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease.
How a colostomy is performed
There are several different ways a colostomy can be formed. The specific technique used will depend on your circumstances.
Recovering from a colostomy
After a colostomy is formed, you will need to stay in hospital for a few days while you recover.
Complications of a colostomy
It's important to be aware that there are a number of problems you may experience after a colostomy is formed.
Living with a colostomy
Although it can be difficult to adjust at first, having a colostomy does not mean you cannot have a full and active life.
Colostomy reversal
If your colostomy is intended to be temporary, further surgery will be needed to reverse it at a later date.