A stoma comes from the Greek word meaning mouth or opening and this case it is a surgically created opening that connects a tube like vessel (intestines) to the outside of your body. There are various types of stomas and the most commonly know are for the bowel colostomy and ileostomy and for the bladder urostomy.
A colostomy can be made at almost any point along the large intestines, it is created depending on the medical reason from bowl cancer to just being temporary to allow your body to repair itself. A colostomy is usually sited on the left hand side of the abdomen and the output may be almost fully formed stools and wind is common.
An ileostomy is made from the small intestines (ileum); usually located on the right side of the abdomen, an ileostomy is usually formed due to Crohn’s or Colitis and the out put is more liquid to paste like stools and can often be corrosive due to the presence of digestive enzymes.
A urostomy is a a stoma which drains urine and is made using small portion of the small intestines. It is generally located on the right side of the abdomen and because it uses small part of the small intestines, the output is urine and sometimes you may find mucus is secreted due to the nature of the surgical operation.
Stomas can be temporary or permanent depending on the reason for creating them, a temporary stoma can be for a month or two or even a couple of years, at which time it is then can be rejoined to the existing part of the intestines. A permanent stoma, a urostomy or either of the bowel stomas, depending on the medical grounds can be for life.