What Is a Colostomy?

Learn what a colostomy is from gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu, M.D. in this Howcast video about stomach problems and digestive disorders.


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Colostomy is performed by a surgeon. This is done in cases where a patient needs to have part of their colon removed such as in ulcerative colitis, or colon cancer, or diverticular abscess, or disease. Basically the surgeon removes a portion or all of the colon and the remainder part of the colon is pulled up to the skin wall and sutured into place. Now, a person can actually live a totally normal life with a colostomy. They have a bag that covers the stoma in order to collect the stool and they just simply empty out the bag when it's full. So they can lead perfectly normal lives with a colostomy.


  • Dr. Lisa Ganjhu

    Dr. Lisa Ganjhu is a gastroenterologist and hepatologist specializing in digestive health.