Stomas of the Small and Large Intestine in Children Clinical Presentation

Updated: Aug 27, 2021
  • Author: Robert K Minkes, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Harsh Grewal, MD, FACS, FAAP  more...
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History and Physical Examination

The clinical presentation depends on the specific diagnosis and age of the patient. In infants and children, stomas are used for various purposes, including access, decompression, diversion, and evacuation. As a rule, most ostomies are for temporary use and are typically reversible in children. Certain medical conditions may dictate the need for a permanent stoma.

Several differences between adult and pediatric ostomies are recognized. Most stomas in adults are formed in the distal ileum or colon for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, malignant conditions, and trauma; more proximal stomas are only rarely created. In contrast, stomas in infants and children may be required anywhere along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract because of the wide variety of congenital and acquired conditions that necessitate stoma formation. The effect of a stoma on physical and emotional development and on growth is an additional consideration in children.