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colo-anal internal colostomy bag

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008


Although I've not had the colon surgery myself, this idea always intrigued me- especially since I've already been told if I ever do have a recurrence in the rectum or colon that I would need the surgery. A neighbor's son who had ulcerative colitis needed a colostomy a couple of years ago. My neighbor told me that he had his surgery done at Scripps in San Diego and he doesn't have the external bag. He has an internal bag that he empties with some kind of vacuum made for such things. I just googled "internal colostomy bag" and a couple of things came up- it's apparently called a colo-anal colostomy bag. A pouch is made with part of the patients small intestine and it's like a bag that can hold the waste. Apparently it has a cap to keep everything inside until it's time to empty it.
For my own curiosity and wondering about it in case I end up needing a colostomy at some point, I was wondering if anyone out there has had such a thing or has heard about this. Since the person I know of didn't have cancer, but ulcerative colitis, maybe that makes a difference, I don't know.

Posts: 124
Joined: Jan 2008

I Googled "coloanal internal colostomy" as I hadn't heard of this. The definition I found was when the surgeon uses a portion of the patients colon to recreate the rectum that has been removed. If the colon has been removed and they use the small intestine, I believe it's called a J pouch. But for these procedures there's no "cap" - you just poop out your bottom when you need to go (sorry to be so graphic - not sure how else to phrase that). Since you no longer have a rectum, there's varying degrees of success and you're never what you were pre-surgery, but for some people it works. I had an ileostomy for a year. My rectum had to be removed and my colon was reattached to my anus. The ileostomy allowed me to eliminate waste into the bag while my bottom healed and I went through chemo and radiation. I've since completed my treatment and I've been "reattached" or had what they call the "take down" surgery.

In case you don't get many replies here and/or are interested in discussing this further, there is an excellent group called United Ostomy Associates of America - www.uoaa.org that you could post your question to. There are lots of people on that board with colostomy's, ileostomy's and urostomy's as a result not only of colon cancer, but also crohn's, ulcerative colitis and other medical reasons. I've never heard of the "internal colostomy bag" that you described, but who knows - maybe someone there has heard of it.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi, thanks for your reply. This is actually different than a j pouch, in that there is actually a cap and you "vacuum" yourself to empty the bag. Just curious if anyone has heard about this.

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2011

Have you found any more info about this? My husband is scheduled for a colostomy May 6th and would definately love a better option. Please let me know! shannon561@hotmail.com

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

I saw something on this a while ago. It is a colostomy irrigation system, and yes there is just a cap over the stoma and no external bag, you irrigate with water as needed, if I remember, every few days, not sure. Anyway, there were demos of it on U-tube. I don't know if it is for everyone but worth checking out as an option.

Take care - Tina

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

The internal pouch may sound like a great thing, but it's not
without it's problems. The failure rate is quite high, and infections
are fairly common.

The placement of a Colostomy, or an Ileostomy is very important
for "quality of life" aspects. Time should be taken prior to
surgery, to locate the exact best spot for the ostomy. Many
surgeons will have you wear a pouch full of some substance
(usually apple sauce) prior to the surgery, to make sure the
ostomy will be located in the best spot for you.

It takes some time to adjust to an ostomy, and most everyone
hates the damned thing initially. Once one is adjusted to the new
life, things get easier.

Don't be too quick to avoid a normal ostomy, or too quick to
choose an internal pouch as an option to a normal ostomy.

Key Ostomy Terms

J-Pouch info at the UOAA

The United Ostomy Association site

Good health -


lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi John,

I was surprised to see this post of mine from 2009 up again. I haven't heard anything about anyone having these other than the one neighbor's son. I'm thinking there must be a reason that they aren't done routinely, but have not checked it out any further. My doctors are not considering surgery for me now, but who knows what the future holds. I just like looking at options and like for others to know about them too. It seems like if it didn't have problems that it would be so much nicer to not have a bag of poop hanging down the front of you, if possible. I think that if I ever am in the position of needing to get a colostomy/j pouch, that I would look further into this possibility.
Thanks for pointing out the info you found.


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