A colostomy is created out of the end of the large intestine to divert waste from your digestive system. After you have this surgery, you will pass waste through a stoma that is located on your abdomen.

The location of your colostomy is determined by the location of the damaged portion of your colon or to divert stool from a wound in the perianal area. The pictures below demonstrate the different areas in which a colostomy can be placed. Depending on placement and reason for the stoma, these can be permanent or temporary.1, 2

Ascending Colostomy

  • In the ascending (vertical section, on your right) colon
  • Uncommon type of colostomy
  • Stool is liquid to semi-liquid and very irritating to the skin2 ,3

Transverse Colostomy

  • In the transverse (horizontal section, across the abdomen) colon
  • Stool is liquid to semi-formed
  • Usually constructed as a loop
  • Usually temporary1 ,2 , 3

Descending Colostomy

  • In the descending (vertical section, on your left) colon
  • A more common type of colostomy
  • Stool is semi-formed to formed due to more water being absorbed while in the ascending and transverse colons 1 , 2, 3

Sigmoid Colostomy 

  • In the lower left portion of the large intestine on your left, just before the rectum
  • Stool is formed. All water has been absorbed in the previous areas of the intestines 1, 2 , 3