A colostomy is a surgically created connection between the colon (part of the large intestines) and the abdominal wall.

What is a Colostomy?

A colostomy is a surgical procedure which connects the colon to the abdominal wall to form a stoma.

What is a Stoma?

A stoma is an artificially created hole in the abdomen which allows faeces to leave the body. A stoma may be permanent in the case of bowel cancer or serious injury, or it can be a temporary measure while the bowel recovers from events such as infection, inflammation or stab wounds.

What are the Common Reasons for a Colostomy?

Some diseases, such as bowel cancer, may require the surgical removal of diseased portions of the bowel. Other conditions which may require an colostomy include:

  • bowel infections
  • bowel inflammation
  • diverticulitis
  • Crohn's disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • blocked bowel
  • bowel cancer
  • familial adenomatous polyposis (a pre-cancerous condition)
  • serious injury to the bowel.

Further Information

For further information see the Queensland Health information sheet on Bowel Stomas.