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What Happens to Your Anus After a Colostomy?

A colostomy is a surgical procedure that involves creating an opening in the abdomen. This opening is called stoma whose purpose is to divert the flow of waste out of the body. To catch that waste material, a colostomy bag is worn. While there are so many benefits of colostomy surgery like improvement of health and well-being, here this surgery can raise many questions and one common concern is what happens to the anus after colostomy surgery.

In this article, we’ll explore the post-colostomy changes, including issues like stoma poop, mucus discharge, and other related concerns. Let’s begin


A colostomy is a surgery that changes the way your poop leaves your body. Instead of going out through your anus, it goes out through a new opening in your abdomen called a stoma. People who have this surgery might need to use a special bag to catch the poop called a colostomy bag. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent. A colostomy is often done after another surgery called a colectomy, where part or all of the colon is removed.

Read More: Why would you need a colostomy bag


A colostomy is required for the following medical conditions:

Colorectal cancer:

When part of your colon is affected by cancers, a surgical process is carried out that involves the removal of the affected portion. The aim of colostomy here is to effectively manage the disease by rerouting waste through the stoma.

Related: Which is worse colostomy or ileostomy

Inflammatory bowel disease(IBD):

Disorders like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may require colostomy. The aim here is to divert the stool away from the areas of the colon that are inflamed or affected by disease.

Trauma or injury:

Severe injuries to the colon, such as perforations or damage resulting from trauma, may require a colostomy. The aim of colostomy here is to facilitate the healing process of the affected area by allowing waste to bypass it during recovery.

Related: What is a colostomy bag and how does it work

What happens to the anus after you get colostomy surgery?

All the people who have undergone colostomy surgery complain of discharge from the anal route. Now the question arises what is this discharge and why it’s discharging?

This discharge is mucus that is there in the lining of the bowel. Normally, mucus keeps the wall of the bowel wet and moist. Not only this,  but it also helps in the movement of stool in the bowel. After the colostomy surgery, the lower part of the large intestine or bowel no longer holds stool, but it still makes mucus which discharges from the anus after the colostomy surgery.

Due to this, you may feel an urge to the toilet to expel mucus from the anus. The mucus often appears clear or white, resembling egg white or glue. There are instances where it might dry up and form a ball inside the rectum, leading to discomfort or pain. Some people often complain of brown discharge which is due to a small amount of poo that may pass into the lower part of the bowel.

Related: What stage of colon cancer requires a colostomy bag


Usually, the amount of mucus discharge is often more noticeable in the initial weeks and months after surgery. However, this amount tends to decrease gradually over time. The mucus discharge depends on the length of the colon remains. If there is a large part of the colon left after surgery then there will be more mucus discharge But if you notice an unusual amount of mucus discharge then you should consult your Stoma nurse as it may be a sign of any infection.


You can easily get rid of mucus discharge by Sitting on the toilet every day and gently pushing down (without pushing too hard). This is the natural way of getting rid of mucus discharge. There are some people who prefer to use suppositories whose purpose is to loosen the mucus so it gets released easily. Mucus when comes in contact with the external skin may cause irritation, so it’s advisable to use Vaseline or any cream for rashes If you’re concerned about unexpected leaks, you can wear a small absorbent pad to keep your clothes safe.


One simple way to manage discharge is to sit on the toilet seat and gently push down.

Moreover, Engaging in pelvic strengthening exercises is a beneficial way to enhance the muscles responsible for controlling the leakage of mucus. These exercises, which focus on the pelvic floor, contribute to better muscle tone and improved control over bodily functions.

Additionally, considering the use of pads can provide an extra layer of protection for your clothing,

Regular practice of these exercises, along with the use of protective pads, can support your overall well-being and confidence in handling any challenges related to mucus leakage.


If you’re dealing with a lot of mucus, especially if it’s causing significant discomfort, has an unpleasant smell, or appears green or yellow, it’s important to reach out to your healthcare provider for further investigation. If you experience pain or notice any symptoms related to your rectum or the passing of mucus, it’s essential to contact your healthcare provider promptly.

If you happen to see blood mixed in with the mucus, try not to panic. In many cases, it may not be a serious issue, but it’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider about it. They can assess the situation and provide guidance on the best course of action to address any concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing.


In conclusion, getting a colostomy brings about significant changes in how waste is eliminated from the body. It is therefore necessary to understand what happens to your anus after colostomy surgery which involves identifying the normal mucus discharge. Managing mucus discharge is part of adapting to post-surgery life. So for this, individuals may follow the approach mentioned above which includes the use of suppositories and pelvic floor strengthening exercises. With proper knowledge and support, individuals with colostomy can lead fulfilling lives and manage these changes effectively.

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