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A colostomy, the result of a surgical operation in which a portion of the colon is fed through the abdominal wall in order to drain or decompress the intestine. The colostomy is sited according to the position of the obstruction in the gut - an iliac colostomy opens onto the left lower abdomen; a transverse colostomy on the upper abdomen. The colostomy may be temporary or permanent: a permanent colostomy is required when the lower colon or rectum has been surgically removed. An appliance (a stoma bag) is usually worn over the opening to collect the contents of the gut.
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