Colostomy on CT and fluoroscopy: What the radiologist needs to know

Published:February 20, 2019DOI:


      • Types of colostomies include end, loop, double barrel and end colostomy with mucous fistula
      • Ostomy evaluation is usually performed via fluoroscopy
      • Earlostomy complications include infection, abscess, leak, ischemia, stomal retraction and obstruction.
      • Delayed ostomy complications include hernia, prolapse, colitis, stenosis, and peristomal varices.


      Colostomies are commonly created in conjunction with colorectal surgery performed for both malignant and benign indications. Familiarity with the different types of colostomies and their normal imaging appearance will improve radiologic detection and characterization of colostomy complications. The radiologist plays a large role in assessment of colostomy patients either via fluoroscopic technique or multidetector computed tomography (CT) in order to help identify ostomy complications or to aid the surgeon prior to colostomy reversal. In this article, we will review: (1) the types of colostomies and indications for their creation; (2) the proper radiographic technique of ostomy evaluation; and (3) the potential complications of colostomies and their imaging manifestations.


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