Colostomy /Ileostomy – Functional constipation in children


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In some cases of diseases of colon or intestine requires surgery and that may result in a procedure called colostomy or ileostomy. This paper briefly analyses functional constipation in children and colostomy or ileostomy in children and its possible implications.


Most of the constipation problems in children are functional. Some adjustments in daily routine and food habits may solve such problems. For example, drinking more water , eating more foods filled with fibers and by developing early morning toilet usage habit, these functional constipation problems in children can be rectified. But in some other cases the constipation may occur due to some diseases of the colon or intestine which may require surgical treatment called Colostomy or Ileostomy

Colostomy or Ileostomy is a procedure in which the surgeon connects parts of the intestine to an opening in the abdomen where stools drain out. (X-plain colostomy, 2007) “Colostomy is a surgical procedure that brings the end of the large intestine through the abdominal wall. Stools moving through the intestine drain into a bag attached to the abdomen. For the colostomy, the end of the healthy colon is brought through the abdominal wall. The edges are stitched to the skin of the abdominal wall. A bag called a stoma appliance is secured around the opening to allow stool to drain. (Cowles, 2008) “The use and management of GI stomas in children have evolved since

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the early success with colostomy formation in the 1800s. Treating a child with multiple abdominal stomas can be intimidating and challenging” (Minkes, 2008)

            Colostomy or Ileostomy treatment can create lot of physical, psychological, social and cultural problems to the children. The management of stool though stomas may be difficult for children. It may be difficult for them to clean the stomas and also to handle the stomas properly. They may become irritated by the usage of stomas. Moreover they can develop some psychological problems as well. The members of his peer group may make cruel comments about his stomas usage and that will create psychological problems. It is not easy for the child to accept that he is not functioning s a normal person. The child who uses stomas must be given special attention by the parents. The parents must help him in the management of stomas and stool in the initial stages. They must ensure that the child has attained enough self confidence in managing it himself, before taking the attention off from the child about his stomas usage.

“Pouch systems fall into these basic types: fecal versus urinary, one-piece versus two-piece, disposable versus reusable, and precut versus cut-to-fit stoma openings. The choice of pouch type depends on stoma size and construction, abdominal contour, the patient’s financial status, and whether he has any vision or dexterity problems” (Tolch ; Marion, 1997) The pouches or stomas are expensive materials and hence lot of money needed to be spent on these things. Moreover the patient also need pouch closure clamps, skin-barrier wipes, and pouch deodorant which may again consume lot of

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money.  “Depending on the condition, Colon and intestine problems can be treated using yoga, acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies, meditation, and relaxation techniques.” (Colorectal cancer: Alternative therapies, 2009)


“A colostomy is a surgical opening into the colon from the outside of the body. It provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the colon has been removed” (Colostomy, 2008) It is difficult for the children to manage the stoma and the stool and hence they must be educated well about the management of stoma and also the parents must give extreme care to them to raise their morale up in dealing with this disease.

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1.    X-plain colostomy, (2007) Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from


2.    Cowles Robert A., MD , (2008) Medical Encyclopedia Colostomy Retrieved on

March 7, 2009 from


3.    Minkes Robert K, MD, PhD, Stomas of the Small and Large Intestine, Retrieved

on March 7, 2009 from ;;

4.    Tolch ; Marion (1997), 4 steps to teaching ostomy care, Retrieved

on March 7, 2009 from ;;

5.    Colorectal cancer: Alternative therapies, (2009), Retrieved on March 7, 2009

from ;;

6.    Colostomy, (2008), Retrieved on March 7, 2009  from




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