Ostomy Support Group of Tucson, Arizona
Who Are Ostomates?
Men and women, rich and poor, all races, creeds and colors. No one is exempt; from a new born babe to
the very elderly. Some have felt alone with their ostomy, apart from the rest of the world. Nothing could be
farther from the truth since there are over one million ostomates in the United States and Canada alone.
And our numbers are increasing at an annual rate of more than a hundred thousand. When we add the
millions living in other parts of the world, we find that we are far from being alone.
What is an Ostomy?
An ostomy is a surgically-created intestinal or urinary tract diversion that modifies the normal pathway for
waste elimination. In a classical ostomy, an opening called a "stoma" is made through the abdominal wall
and the patient must usually wear an appliance (plastic bag) to collect waste that flows out from the stoma
(stoma is derived from the Greek for "mouth"). An ostomy may be temporary or permanent. There are
three kinds of classical ostomies:

An abdominal opening from any part of the large intestine (colon), made because part of the colon has
been removed or must be bypassed. The most common type is a sigmoid colostomy, where only the
rectum has been removed or must be bypassed, and the stoma is usually on the lower-left abdomen.
Output from a sigmoid colostomy has nearly the same consistency as normal stool because it has passed
through the whole small intestine and most of the large intestine. Colostomies of this type are often
managed successfully with irrigation (enemas through the stoma). Colostomies from the transverse or
ascending colon have a less solid output--more like an ileostomy.

An abdominal opening from the terminal small intestine (ileum), made because the entire colon has been
removed or must be bypassed. An ileostomy stoma is usually on the lower-right abdomen. Its output has
passed through all or most of the small intestine, but none of the large intestine; consistency of this output
may vary from very liquid to a semi-solid paste. Ileostomies are never managed with irrigation.

An abdominal opening from the urinary tract. The stoma for a urostomy is often built from a short length of
ileum (this is called an ileal conduit), and may look nearly the same as an ileostomy.
In fact, people sometimes mistakenly use the word "ileostomy" when referring to a urostomy. But the
difference is simple: If it flows urine, it's a urostomy. An ileostomy flows
digestive waste.

Please see the
Ostomy Information page on the United Ostomy Associations of America web site for
additional information about ostomies.

The Ostomy Support Group of Tucson, Arizona is one of many support groups affiliated with the United
Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA).

The purpose of the Ostomy Support Group of Tucson, Arizona is to aid patients and their families in the
practical and emotional adjustments to an ostomy. We offer support but do not provide medical advice.
Nothing in this site should be interpreted as medical advice.
Banner-University Medical Center, Tucson
Kathy Mehaffey*
(520) 694-4855
Mario Lluria
(520) 694-4861
Victoria Beall (Peds)
(520) 694-7328
Patti Anderson*
(520) 694-2873
Banner-University Medical Center, South Campus
Tonda Franklin
(520) 874-2424
Northwest Medical Center
Judy Gonzalez*
(520) 469-8879
Oro Valley Hospital
Laura Elliott*
(520) 901-3500
St. Joseph's Hospital
Julie Gilles
(520) 873-3916
Denise Walker
(520) 873-3916
Mary Lloyd
(520) 873-3916
Leanna Price
(520) 873-3916
Fran Schmidt
(520) 873-3916
St. Mary's Hospital
Amy Magnon
(520) 872-2564
Janie Sorensen
(520) 872-4471
Southern Arizona VA Health Care System
Kathy Hugen*
(520) 792-1450
Berna Goldentyer*
(520) 792-1450
Suzanne Pennington
(520) 792-1450
Tucson Medical Center
Julie Arbogast
(520) 324-2911
Anna Braden (Hospice)*
(520) 324-5624
Niccy Cammack
(520) 324-2911
Intrepid USA Home Healthservices
Denise Ferrell, WOCN
(520) 742-0272
Also Members of OSG-TAZ*
Nancy Tallman*, Carol Richelson*, Debbie Ohlrich*
Barb McLean*, GI Oncology, Kay Lehman, RN, CWON*
You can find a Find a Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse
(WOCN) at the following web address:

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