THE COLOSTOMY concept is one of the bravest and boldest in the history of medicine. This dramatic feat of physiologic engineering has saved countless lives, but the prospective possessor of a colostomy must view his future with disgust, especially since it is explained as inevitable. Anything to make his existence more tolerable is gratefully received by the patient.1
In addition to the possibility of surgical complications, such as prolapse or stenosis, the imperfections of control of loss of fluid, fecal loss and gas make life miserable for the patient even though colostomy is the method used to effect a possibile cure of a miserable disease. Even the best designed and executed colostomy opening is a severe household difficulty and social embarrrassment.
Interest in the rehabilitation of the colostomized patient is of great sociologic, economic and psychologic importance.2 These patients have often remarked that occasionally the surgeon fails sympathetically to evaluate the plight of one