Main content

    Health Information

    Colostomy for Colorectal Cancer

    Colostomy for Colorectal Cancer

    Anatomy of the colon and rectum

    The colon and rectum and where they are in the body
    slide 1 of 5

    The large intestine (colon) extends from the cecum to the anus and includes the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon, the sigmoid colon, and the rectum.

    Colon cancer site

    Cancer in the wall of the descending colon
    slide 2 of 5

    Cancer is shown in a section of the descending colon.

    Colon section removed

    Possible stoma sites
    slide 3 of 5

    Surgery removes the section of colon that contains cancer.

    Remaining colon attached to create a stoma

    A stoma for a colostomy
    slide 4 of 5

    The surgeon connects the end of the remaining section of the colon to an opening made in the skin. This creates a stoma.

    Colostomy pouch in place

    A colostomy bag positioned on the stoma
    slide 5 of 5

    Body waste passes from the colon through the stoma into a colostomy pouch (or bag), which is taped to your body.

    By Healthwise Staff
    E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal
    Last Revised August 27, 2012

    Last Revised: August 27, 2012

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

    1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.