Health Encyclopedia

Ostomy

Ostomy

An ostomy is a surgical procedure in which an opening is created in the body for the discharge of body wastes. The term ostomy is used to describe both the procedure and the opening that is created during the procedure.

An ostomy is done when the digestive system or urinary system is unable to remove waste from the body. The doctor attaches the end of the small or large intestine or the end of the ureter to the outside of the body. The point at which the ureter or intestine protrudes from the abdominal wall is called the stoma. Through this opening, waste can leave the body and flow into a collection system for disposal.

Last Revised: October 8, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology

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