A stoma, or “bowel bag”, is where the bowel has been joined to the skin to allow the bowel content to empty into a bag. There are a number of reasons why a stoma might need to be created and these should be discussed with your colorectal surgeon. In some cases the stoma may be temporary, but in other cases it will be permanent. Whilst most patients prefer not to have a stoma, the vast majority that do have a stoma are able to participate in all their usual activities including work, play and sport. It is important that you consult a specialist colorectal surgeon and stoma nurse/therapist to ensure that a stoma is the best thing for you.