Colostomy

A colostomy is a procedure performed by your Digestive Health Center surgeon that extends the end of the colon, or large intestine, through an opening in the skin, where a pouch attached to the opening, or stoma, collects feces that drain through the intestine.

Though it’s not necessarily permanent, a colostomy changes how your body functions after a disease or injury in the lower digestive tract.


Why Do I Need a Colostomy?

Here are some conditions that might require a permanent colostomy:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colon polyps: slow-growing tissue that could become cancer
  • A blockage
  • Diverticulitis: An infection or inflammation in pouches that form in your intestines
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Imperforate anus: A birth defect, when the anus is either missing or blocked

A temporary colostomy gives the colon time to heal after trauma or surgery.


What to Expect in Surgery

While you’re under general anesthesia, your doctor will complete a colostomy using one of two methods: open surgery (with a large a large incision in your abdomen) or laparoscopic surgery (several small incisions before inserting a fiber-optic instrument called a laparoscope, which includes a small camera).

This is major surgery. You will be in the hospital for up to a week and even longer if the colostomy was part of an emergency procedure. It might take two days before you eat normally and your bowels function properly. Remember that the small intestine absorbs nutrients from food you eat. The colon functions as a waste-removal system, absorbing water and directing stool toward the anus. The stool, usually stored in the rectum, now bypasses the rectum on its way to a pouch attached the opening created during surgery.


Make an Appointment

Call to schedule an appointment with a GI specialist at Hartford Hospital.
Ask your doctor for a referral before you call.

Call 833.431.0004


Meet our Colostomy Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Cohen, Jeffrey Lewis, MD, FACS, FASCRS 860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Farmington
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Hernon, Michael J., MD 860.246.2071
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Critical Care Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Bloomfield
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Holder, Jaime, PA-C 860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Johnson, Kristina Hope, MD, FACS, FASCRS
4.8 /5
104 surveys
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Farmington
  • Bloomfield
  • Glastonbury
  • Hartford
  • Hartford
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Sardella, William Vincent, MD
5.0 /5
50 surveys
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
  • Hartford
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Stoddard, Ann Lindahl, APRN 860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Thurston, Kristy Tyler, MD
5.0 /5
69 surveys
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Bloomfield
  • Hartford
  • Manchester
  • Manchester
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Vignati, Paul Vincent, MD
4.9 /5
146 surveys
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Hartford
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Digestive Health Center