Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

  • Ostomy refers to a surgical procedure resulting in the external diversion of feces and urine through an abdominal stoma.
  • The most common ostomies are a colostomy and ileostomy for feces, and a urostomy for urine.
  • The most frequently performed ostomy is the colostomy (55%); followed by ileostomy (31%); and urostomy (14%).
  • Ostomies can be either temporary or permanent and are performed for a number of etiologies such as, but not limited to: colorectal cancer (36%); inflammatory bowel dis­ease (15%); bladder cancer (12%); diverticulitis (11%); necrotizing enterocolitis, congenital anoma­lies, Hirschsprung’s disease and other cancers and conditions such as obstruction, perforation and trauma (The Oryx Group, 2001).