A stoma is a surgically created opening onto the skin surface which allows the removal of intestinal waste out of the body, bypassing the large bowel or rectum. Waste products are emptied into an external bag attached to the abdomen. A stoma may be permanent or temporary.
A doctor decides to perform a stoma only when there are no other options. With careful care and management of a stoma and appropriate diet, complications regarding taking care of a stoma can be prevented. Medical complications must be recognised, and action taken accordingly.