How a colostomy is carried out
A colostomy is carried out under general anaesthetic, using either:
open surgery (laparotomy) – where a long cut (incision) is made in the tummy to access the colon, or
laparoscopic (keyhole surgery) – where the surgeon makes several smaller incisions and uses a tiny camera and surgical instruments to access the colon
Generally, keyhole surgery is the preferred option because recovery is quicker and the risk of complications is lower.
There are two main types of colostomy: a loop colostomy and an end colostomy. The specific technique used will depend on your circumstances.
A loop colostomy is often used if the colostomy is temporary as it's easier to reverse.