Elective Colostomy in the Patient with a Spinal Cord Injury: An ET Nurse's Perspective

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The patient with a spinal cord injury presents significant challenges to the nurse seeking to promote an optimal state of physical wellness and maximum independence with self-care. This article describes the nature of spinal cord injuries and their long-term effects on the gastrointestinal system. The preoperative and postoperative needs that the WOC nurse must consider when designing a care plan for the patient with a spinal cord injury and a colostomy are discussed, as well as the indications and efficacy of elective colostomy surgery as a management alternative for the neuropathic bowel.

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