Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 1094–1102 | Cite as

The present role of colostomy in the management of trauma

  • William F. FallonJr.
Current Status


The role of colostomy in the treatment of abdominal trauma has changed over the past several decades. Primarily as a result of its successful use in military settings, colostomy initially was the mainstay of treatment for penetrating injury to the colon, rectal injury, and some forms of blunt trauma. Subsequent civilian experience with the techniques of primary repair of penetrating colon injury resulted in a decrease in the number of colostomies performed. Coupled with this experience, early data on adverse outcome from colostomy closure tended to support the trend of the ever-diminishing place of colostomy for trauma. Colostomy has always been used for two purposes in trauma care: prevention or arrest of fecal contamination of the peritoneal cavity and diversion of the fecal stream. Despite the decreased need for colostomy in some forms of penetrating colon injury, there are several conditions that still utilize colostomy to accomplish one or both of these purposes. Indications for colostomy can now be regarded as absolute or relative depending upon the need for diversion or the requirement to prevent contamination. There are relatively few contraindications to colostomy use. Present results of colostomy closure do not represent excessive risk to the patient and should not impact negatively on the decision to perform a colostomy for trauma.

Key words

Colostomy Trauma Injured patient Blunt trauma Penetrating trauma 


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Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • William F. FallonJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Trauma SurgeryUniversity of Florida Health Science CenterJacksonville

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