BBC Physician and Nurse to Speak About Ostomies

April 19, 2013

Most people are familiar with the term ‘colon cancer,’ but not so much with ‘ostomy.’   An ostomy is a surgical procedure performed to create an opening on the front of the abdomen that allows waste to exit the body when it can’t eliminate it in a normal way due to illness or medical condition.  

To help bring more awareness to this growing condition, Dr. Kerri Murray, a board-certified general surgeon and Elizabeth Doorn, a certified wound ostomy nurse -- both members of the Bronson Battle Creek medical staff, will speak at Burnham Brook Center on Wednesday, May 15 about ‘Ostomy Wound Care Treatment and Options.’  

The program, which is free to the public, is sponsored through Senior Health Partners in coordination with Bronson Battle Creek.  A light lunch will be provided beginning at 11:30 a.m. followed by the presentation at noon.  Seating is limited.  For reservations call toll free 1-877-462-2247.  

To better understand what an ostomy is, it helps to know a little about the body's anatomy. The gastrointestinal tract begins in the mouth, moves to the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth and stomach) and continues through the stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum, and anus.

When food is swallowed, it goes to the stomach for digestion, then travels to the small intestine where it leaves as liquid.  The colon absorbs water from the liquid material and stores the remainder as formed stool until it is passed voluntarily out of the body through the rectum.

Should a person suffer from cancer of the colon or rectum, from trauma, malformations present from birth, obstruction of the bowel, complications of diverticulosis, and colitis or Crohn's disease, it may be the best and safest form of treatment to have an ostomy.

“There is probably no surgical procedure that produces more misunderstanding and is feared as much as an ostomy,” said Dr. Murray.  “Following surgery, the patient needs time to heal, to learn how to manage the ostomy, and to mentally adapt to these changes.”

“In time, the patient will usually find that life is only slightly altered, if at all,” added Doorn.  “In the end, most would agree that they would rather have the ostomy than their previous medical conditions.”  

For more information about ostomies or related procedures, please contact Dr. Murray at the Bronson Medical Group—Battle Creek, 363 Fremont St., (269) 245-8350.  Or contact Elizabeth Doorn in the Bronson Medical Group Battle Creek—Internal Medicine, 363 Fremont St., (269) 969-6145.  Both are accepting new patients.

Senior Health Partners, a community partnership of Bronson Battle Creek, CentraCare, Region 3B Area Agency on Aging, and Summit Pointe, works to expand wellness and educational offerings to senior citizens in Calhoun and surrounding counties.  

Bronson Battle Creek is a 218-bed hospital that provides full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms.  It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and 3.0 Tesla MRI.  Bronson Battle Creek has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, and the only hospital in Michigan to receive the CoC’s Outstanding Achievement Award three times in a row. Specialty services include inpatient behavioral health, the county’s largest accredited sleep center, and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  For nine years, Bronson Healthcare has been included on Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies list as a leading family friendly employer.