When is a colostomy bag needed?
Colostomies can be necessary for people of all ages. Typically, they are recommended for those experiencing problems with their colons, such as Crohn’s disease, or when the anal sphincter does not function properly. The temporary or permanent use of a stoma and colostomy bag allows the body’s waste to bypass the colon.
The diversion of waste from the body via the stoma/ostomy may be necessary for the treatment or management of certain conditions involving inflammation of, or damage to, the large intestine, including:
- Abdominal/pelvic region cancers, including colorectal cancer and more rarely anal, vaginal or cervical cancer
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and, more rarely, diverticulitis)
- Bowel obstructions or injuries
- Bowel incontinence, in severe cases
- Hirschsprung’s disease, a rare disease where the bowel lacks nerve cells