The basics

We know stoma

As a leader in the field of stoma care, we at ConvaTec are dedicated to enhancing your quality of life.

We have been creating stoma care products aimed at improving the standard of patient care for 30 years. It is not just our products, but also our knowledge of stoma care that we want to share with you.


Remember, if you are facing surgery, this is because there is a medical condition such as disease or trauma stopping your bowel or bladder from working properly. Your surgeon will remove the affected part of the bowel or bladder and form a stoma.

Having a stoma is designed to improve your current situation - to reduce pain and suffering, remove disease, and/or improve general health. A stoma is created if the bowel or bladder is too damaged by your illness to be able to recover. Whatever your situation, you have plenty of company. There are at least 1.3 million people today living active, productive lives with a stoma1.


When you have stoma surgery, an opening is created in the abdomen (tummy). This opening helps your digestive or urinary system when, for medical reasons, you are not able to urinate or move your bowels normally.

The opening is called a stoma. It provides an alternate way for waste materials to leave your body. The location of the stoma depends upon where the damage is and the type of surgery you have2.

There are many common reasons for having a stoma, including2:

  • Colon, bladder, or rectal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Inherited conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis (a type of colorectal cancer passed down through families)
  • Birth anomalies
  • Stab and gunshot wounds
  • Spina bifida or other congenital conditions
  • Obstruction of the ureter

Depending on the disease or wound, a stoma may be temporary, to allow for healing and a return to normal elimination, while some may be permanent2. During your initial discussions with your healthcare professionals, they will advise whether you are a candidate for temporary or permanent surgery.


  • Colostomy
  • Ileostomy
  • Urostomy

If you are having a colostomy or ileostomy, you will lose voluntary control of your bowel movements. If you are having a urostomy you will not be able to voluntarily control urination. ConvaTec offers many different pouching systems for stool or urine collection that are designed with your lifestyle needs in mind. You can find them by going to our product pages.

It is very important to take proper care of your stoma and to make sure your pouching system fits correctly. Within these pages you can learn:

  • How to deal with the passage of body waste through the stoma
  • How to care for the skin that surrounds the stoma, in order to avoid skin irritation and complications
  • How your chosen pouching system fits into your daily life
  • What to expect and how to care for your stoma during the early post-operative period

Print this content
Send to a friend [+]
Thank you for sharing ConvaTec content across the internet. In order for us to send the request we will need you to provide the following information.
* Sender name:
* E-mail from:
* E-mail to:

Find a ConvaTec product

Text would be here

Other ConvaTec websites
Click here to exit

Cookies are needed for this website to work optimally. They also help us to know a little bit about how you use our website, which improves the browsing experience.  Cookies on this site are used for traffic measurement and optimisation of page content only. By continuing to browse on this website, you indicate your consent to the use of cookies.  You may block the use of cookies by following the "How to block and avoid cookies" instructions

Learn more about our Cookie policy