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Ostomy FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about Ostomies

Mention the word “ostomy” to most people and you’ll likely get either a blank stare or a confused look back. Because of this, ostomies are often very misunderstood, even by people who are very in tune to the inflammatory bowel disease/gastrointestinal world (I know I was one of them). So I have attempted to put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions when it comes to all things ostomy.

This is based on my experience with an ileostomy, since I don’t have a colostomy or urostomy and am not as familiar with how they work, even though a lot of the information is relevant to all three types.

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What is an ostomy? An ostomy is a non-natural opening in your body by which a person releases waste. (Read: What is an ostomy?)

What’s the difference between an ileostomy, colostomy and urostomy? The type of ostomy is dependent on what part of the digestive tract is used to make the stoma. An ileostomy uses the small intestine, a colostomy uses the large intestine and a urostomy uses the ureter and part of the small intestine. (Read: Ileostomy, colostomy, urostomy: What’s the difference?)
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