After effects of colostomy

Patient

Q: 11 years ago I had a colostomy done. I am in a wheelchair. Right after I had it done I noticed leaking from my anus and then it stopped. It has done it a few times over the years and usually quits. It has started again and has been going on for over a week. One- what is this and what causes it. I have asked several doctors and no one really give be an answer. Most of the time the stuff that is leaking is in a solid form and does not give me a problem. But is has a foul odor to it and is embarrassing when it leaks the way it is doing it now. I was on iv antibiotic back in Feb and March and then on clindamycin for a month in April. I read where clindaycin can cause problems months after taking with your bowels. Could this be what is happening.

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. Long term antibiotic treatment can cause the development of an infection with a bacteria called Clostridium difficile. Clostridium difficile causes a very foul smelling type of infectious diarrhea. Even though you have a colostomy, it is possible that this bacteria can infect the colon before and after the colostomy bag. Such an infection requires treatment with a stronger antibiotic such as metronidazole of vancomycin. Please see you doctor for further evaluation of this. You may need to provide a stool sample in order to be tested for the clostridium difficile bacteria.

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