What is a colostomy?

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I am not sure what a colostomy is - I know Carter had one, but sometimes I have trouble following all the terms in the show!

-- Crystal (CGates@Hemar-Rousso.com), February 18, 2000


Um...if I'm not mistaken, isn't it the need for fecal matter having to be emptied in a bag, rather than...naturally? Hopefully, for Carter's sake, I'm wrong!!

-- Leigh (WillnGraceNYC@yahoo.com), February 18, 2000.

I believe its a bag that is hooked up to your bladder, so you don't go to the bathroom - it just drains it out. Yuck!

-- Lindz (Sweetpea@conk.com), February 18, 2000.

A colostomy is an opening into your colon through your abdomen for fecal matter. However, it is a temporary thing in most cases. They said Carter would only wear it for a while.

-- Barbara York (bmyork@aol.com), February 18, 2000.

It is my understanding that a colostomy is simply a removal of a section of the colon (large intestine.) When a bag is attached into the colon to collect fecal matter the procedure is termed a "collectomy." I'm pretty sure that they only had to remove the damaged section of Carter's large intestine. Humans have something like nine feet of large intestine... someone very close to me had all but tweleve inches of intestine removed and she still functions fine.

-- Craig (cmp0104@hotmail.com), February 18, 2000.

I believe Benton told Carter that he would have the colostomy bag for one month, then they would do a "take down". I suppose that means that it would be removed at that time....poor Carter!! :(

-- Monika (monika@medmail.com), February 18, 2000.

My mother had a colostomy due to colorectal cancer, and my uncle had one recently too, for the same reason, so I know quite a bit about them. Sorry to get grossly technical, but basically the colon is rearranged so that instead of ending up at the rectum it ends up at an opening in the abdomen, and that is where waste is eliminated. In cases like my mother's, it's done because part of the colon has had to be removed, so it no longer reaches to the rectum, but it's also done, as in Carter's case, to give a diseased or injured colon a chance to heal.

It's not really as gross as it sounds. For people with permanent colostomies, like my mother, it becomes just a different way to go to the bathroom.

-- Mary (mslyman@erols.com), February 19, 2000.

Craig- you were close, but you got it reversed. A colectomy is the removal of all or part of the colon (-ectomy means removal, as in appendectomy), and a colostomy involves suturing the colon to the abdomen wall and attaching the opening (stoma) to a bag to collect fecal matter, as was well explained above (thanks Mary)

I don't mean to be a perfectionist, but I also know lots about the subject

-- ivy rose (dani.shortnsweet@chickmail.com), February 19, 2000.

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