Colostomy Or Ileostomy Of A Child

A surgical procedure aimed at connecting an internal organ to the surface of the body is known as an ostomy. The artificial opening created to allow body wastes to leave the body and pass into an ostomy bag is known as a stoma.

The two types of ostomies to discuss here include a colostomy and an ileostomy. Both these ostomies can be permanent or temporary in children, depending on the underlying condition.

Reasons for the procedure

The purpose of the intestines is to absorb nutrients from digested foods and pass leftover wastes towards the latter section of the GI tract. Sometimes, the final section of this tract gets interrupted due to an injury, disease, or blockage. In such cases, your doctor may recommend an ileostomy or colostomy. He may recommend this option when all other methods to treat the underlying reason fail to produce any favorable results.

The surgeon will want to create a temporary ostomy to rest the diseased or injured part of the GI tract until it recovers. A permanent ostomy, however, may be required if:

  • A large section of the intestine is removed
  • There is no chance the lower part of the colon or rectum can be repaired


Thanks to the advancement in the field of medicine, the chances of complications arising after ostomy surgery are quite rare. Nonetheless, there are still some risks that are worth mentioning. Those risks or complications may include the following.

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Adverse effects of anesthesia
  • Excess bleeding
  • Sore throat
  • Skin irritation =
  • Hernia
  • Wound opening
  • Scar tissue
  • Bowel trying to press out of the stoma
  • Blood clots
  • Nutritional deficiencies due to the inability of the intestinal tract to absorb vitamins

You will need to speak to your child’s doctor regarding how to prevent complications or deal with them if they somehow occur.


Before the procedure, your child’s doctor will run some tests and exams. The diagnostic procedure may include:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Imaging tests
  • Referring you to a healthcare nurse specialized in ostomy care

The doctor will also ask about the dietary routine of your child. He may ask about medicines that you give to your child to check if any of those medications can result in post-surgery complications.

Before starting the procedure, the surgeon will use general anesthesia to keep your child asleep during the operation.

The steps of surgery will depend on the specific reason or underlying condition. Generally, there are two types of procedures that a surgeon performs. These procedures include:

  • Open surgery, which involves a larger incision to get access to a significant part of the GI tract
  • Laparoscopic surgery, which involves several small incisions to allow surgical instruments to pass through them

The opening to create a stoma is made by cutting through the abdominal muscles and skin. The surgeon brings an end of the small or large intestine through this opening. The end of the intestine showing up on the abdominal wall makes the stoma, which serves as an excretory point.

After the procedure, your child will have to stay in the hospital for several days until he or she recovers from surgery. You can speak to the doctor regarding everything that you need to do to take care of your child to ensure a speedy recovery.