Ostomy, Colostomy, Ileostomy, and Urostomy: Knowing the Difference

Medical terminology can sometimes seem confusing. This is nowhere more apparent than the term “ostomy.” While the phrase might not be one that appears in your daily conversations, to many people, it’s a part of their daily lives and something they have to think about constantly. There are more than a few types of ostomies, and today we’re going to shed light on the differences between them.

What Exactly is an Ostomy?

An ostomy is a medical device that re-routes bodily waste. This is done via a surgical procedure that removes part of the intestinal tract through the abdomen. An ostomy bag is attached to the abdomen to collect the waste which collects throughout the course of the day.

Knowing Ostomy Differences


One of the most common of ostomy procedures is a colostomy. This is when a patient still has a part of their colon. A colostomy diverts fecal matter away from the rectum and to a collection bag. The fecal matter these patients produce is firm and infrequent and has a consistency similar to that of a person with a functioning digestive tract. The most common uses for a colostomy procedure are rectal cancers and diseases related to inflammation of the bowels.


The ileum is a part of the human body that resides at the very end of the small intestine. The consistency of the fecal matter of someone with an ileostomy depends upon how much of their small intestine is left. (As well as their diet.) More often than not, it’s liquified or lacking a solid form.


Unlike the previous ostomy procedures we’ve mentioned, a urostomy’s purpose is to divert urine away from the kidneys and has nothing to do with the diversion or disposal of fecal matter. These are usually given to patients with bladder cancer or urinary tract infections.


  • While these procedures differ from one another, there are some underlying factors that they all share.
  • The bodily waste that’s diverted from various parts of the body collects within a pouch or bag.
  • The person who has an ostomy is described as incontinent (not able to control their bodily function.)
  • While they take some time to get used to, a person with an ostomy can lead a functional and normal life
  • There is an ostomy community that provides support and solidarity for all.

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Whether you’ve just had an ostomy or have been living with one for quite some time, Cymed pouching products provide comfort and can allow you to experience a quality of life that you’re entitled to. Visit our website for more info at https://cymed.us/.