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An ostomy is an opening to collect urine or stool outside the body. Learn about different types of ostomies and what they look like.

Key points

  • An ostomy is an opening from the inside of the body to the outside, through the abdomen. The end of the ostomy is called the stoma.
  • Stomas can look different depending on how the surgeon made them.
  • Ostomies have different names depending on where they are located. An ileostomy creates an opening from the last part of the small intestine to the abdomen, and a colostomy connects the colon to the abdomen.
  • Stool or urine is collected outside the body in a bag called an ostomy pouch.
Last updated: December 29th 2023