An ostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall created to divert body waste into a pouch. The surgeon creates and ostomy by bringing part of the bowel or urinary tract through the abdominal wall. The visible portion of the ostomy is called a stoma.
There are many different conditions or reasons for creating an ostomy. Some of the conditions that would require an ostomy are Hirschprung's disease, imperforate anus, meconium ileus, necrotizing enterocolitis, and pseudo-membranous enterocolitis. A doctor would discuss these conditions with you and why an ostomy is necessary for your child.
Where can I learn more?
You may feel frightened and overwhelmed if your child needs an ostomy. This is normal; most parents feel this way. To help assure you before you leave Primary Children's, a specially trained nurse teaches you the step-by-step procedures for changing and cleaning the ostomy pouch.
This is a general summary only, and your child may have specific needs. You can contact Primary Children's to find out more information about ostomies.