DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Colostomy in a 65-year-old male patient suffering from diverticular disease. A colostomy procedure is necessary when the colon (large intestine) has become obstructed. It drains or decompresses the intestine. In this case, the colon was blocked by diverticula, small bulging sacs that form in the colon with age in about 15 percent of the population. They may trap food, become painful and may perforate. Surgery is performed to feed a portion of the colon wall through the abdominal wall, thereby by-passing the diseased region. Stoma bags are used to collect the gut contents for disposal.
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