Living with a Stoma

Sometimes during surgery for Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis (the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease - IBD), the bowel is brought to the surface of the abdomen. An opening is made so that digestive waste products drain into a bag rather than through the anus. This is called a stoma.

This information describes different types of stoma and why you may have one. It also explains how to care for your stoma and manage it in your everyday life.

Your stoma nurse will give you information on how to look after your stoma. You may also find other Crohn’s & Colitis UK information useful, especially our information sheets Surgery for Crohn’s Disease and Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis.

What is a stoma?
Why would I need a stoma?
The digestive system
How should I look after my stoma?
Do I need to change my diet?
How will a stoma affect my life?
Common worries
Help and support from Crohn's & Colitis UK
Other organisations
How we write our information

Last reviewed: July 2017