Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Ostomy
An ostomy is a surgical procedure in which an opening is created in
the body for the discharge of body wastes. The term ostomy is used to describe
both the procedure and the opening that is created during the procedure.
An ostomy is done when the digestive system or urinary system
is unable to remove waste from the body. The doctor attaches the end of the small or
large intestine or the end of the ureter to the outside of the body. The point at
which the ureter or intestine protrudes from the abdominal wall is called the
stoma. Through this opening, waste can
leave the body and flow into a collection system for disposal.
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.