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Why would someone need a stoma?

There are many different reasons why a person may need a stoma and it can be needed at any time during the lifespan. New born babies right through to people in their elderly years may need one. Some people will be given a stoma during emergency surgery for a critical illness or disease, while others may have planned surgery that results in their stoma, with weeks or months to prepare. Many stomas are considered temporary, which means they will be reversed at some point in the future, while others may require their stoma permanently for the rest of their life.

Some of these reasons for needing a stoma:

  • Being born with an abnormality of the bowel or bladder, this is often called a congenital abnormality.
  • Serious infections of the intestines, such as diverticular disease.
  • Inflammatory diseases of the intestines, such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • Trauma or serious injury to the abdomen, bowel or bladder.
  • Conditions where normal control (continence) of the bladder or bowel is a significant problem.
  • Cancer of the bladder or the bowel.
  • To minimize risk of complications related to other major surgery.
  • To relieve obstruction of the bowel.