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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Colostomy: Home Care and Complications
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System


Colostomy | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

What happens later at home?

Colostomy bags need to be emptied and changed routinely. The person will get instruction on bag changing and other wound care. Otherwise, people can go back to their normal activities.

Those with a temporary colostomy usually have a second surgery a few months later. This is to reattach the bowel and get rid of the colostomy. In these cases, bowel function often returns to nearly normal.

What are the potential complications after the procedure?

Several complications are possible with colostomy:

  • Any surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and even death.
  • Antibiotics can cause allergic reactions, stomach upset, and other side effects, depending on the antibiotic used.
  • Skin irritation may result from feces that do not drain correctly.
  • Diarrhea, or the passage of frequent watery bowel movements, can occur. These watery bowel movements can leak under the drainage bag attachment and contribute to skin irritation.
  • Feces can become impacted, or accumulated in the bowel, and will not pass unaided into the colostomy bag.

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    Colostomy: Preparation & Expectations


    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 09/20/01

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