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What is an ostomy?

An ostomy is a surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body waste products; usually the bowel is brought to the abdomen and used as a duct. There are three main types of ostomy: colostomy, an opening of the colon (large intestine); ileostomy, an opening in the small intestine; and urostomy, which diverts urine away from the bladder. Many conditions, including colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, bladder cancer, and spinal cord injuries, can necessitate ostomy surgery.

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