Better Health educates, services, and provides colostomy products for those with an colostomy.

A colostomy is an operation that creates an opening for the colon, or large intestine, through the abdomen. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent, depending on the reasons that it was required in the first place.

For more information about colostomies, the best colostomy products, and how to adjust to life with an ostomy, watch the video below.

Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Siobhan and I lead ostom education here at Better Health. I’ve had an ostomy myself for six years, so I know the ins and outs and ups and downs of life with an ostomy. One of my jobs here at Better Health is to help coach other ostomates, help them thrive and adjust to life with an ostomy.

So I have here today, Duncan and Dunkin is recently had ostomy surgery. So Duncan, tell me what you have on your mind. Well, you’re right. Siobhan good to see you. My surgery was a colostomy, but I don’t really understand what that means. What is a colostomy and how do I take care of it? I’m so glad you asked specifically about your surgery, because there are different types of ostomies and type of asked me that you have a colostomy is related to your large intestine.

So the word colon is where colostomy gets its name. Now a colostomy is different from other types of ostomies because the output can be a little bit different and its management can be a little bit different. What is the output from a colostomy line? That’s a good question. Duncan. I’m glad you asked because the output from a colostomy can be different from the other types of ostomies.

It’s still stool. It’s still going to come out of your stoma, but it can be more formed, like the stool that you might have from an unaltered anatomy, meaning you might see some differentiation in the stool but it will still be pretty small. Okay. Now I’ve heard you can irrigate a colostomy. What does that mean?

Irrigation with a colostomy is a way to train your colon to only do output when you want it to. So it’s a way of sort of controlling when you go. Like you might be able to hold it in. If you before your surgery, it’s kind of the same idea. The way that it works is that you introduce some warm water into your stoma, and you’ll get training from this, from your home health care nurse who should be with you right after your awesome new surgery.

Once you’re discharged. The hospital, you introduce that water and it will produce a bowel movement. And what you’ll do is when you’re doing the irrigation, you’ll wear a little baggy that will collect that output, not like your normal osteomy pouch. It it’ll drain it into the toilet and it can be discarded that way.

So some people prefer irrigation. Some people prefer not to irrigate. It just depends on what you find works. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. Thank you. Thank you, Dunkin. For more information, tips and guidance about ostomies stay tuned to this video series or join Better Health at

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