"Because ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and rectum, once these organs are removed, the person is cured. For many years, those who underwent proctocolectomy were required to wear a bag over a small hole in the abdomen to collect stool. This procedure is called total proctocolectomy with end ileostomy. While this procedure is still performed, modifications to the procedure allow many patients to undergo variations that eliminate the need to wear a permanent external bag. To understand the descriptions of these procedures, it is helpful to know the meaning of these terms:

  • Proctocolectomy: Surgical removal of the colon and rectum.
  • Colectomy: Surgical removal of the colon.
  • Ileum: The lower portion of the small intestine.
  • Ileostomy: A surgically created hole in the abdomen for the elimination of waste. Ileostomy can be permanent or temporary.
  • Stoma: A hole in the abdomen created during ileostomy.
  • Ostomy bag: A small plastic pouch worn over the stoma to collect stool. An ostomy bag is also known as a pouching system, collection pouch, or appliance."


1. https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/pdfs/surgery_brochure_final.pdf