If she had UC, she will have an ileostomy (all of large intestine removed - they don't leave any in the case of UC) rather than a colostomy (part of large intestine removed). The surgeon will have bought a tiny part of her small intestine aka ileum to the surface of her abdomen and anywhere up to about 1 inch of her intestine will poke out (called a stoma) - how many people can actually prove they have guts? :) Her bag fits over the stoma to catch all the waste products (she can't control when it goes since there are no sphincter muscles). Therefore, she must wear the bag permanently.
People can have ostomies from birth (I was 10 years old), so 27 isn't really that young to have one. It's just that, for some reason, we tend to think of only older people as having such surgery.
She will need to empty it approx 4 - 6 times a day (usually no more than she pees really) and she will do this simply by draining the bag into the loo. It takes a couple of minutes and all done. Other than that, it shouldn't affect her life at all.
Just bear in mind that just like some people wear glasses to correct an eyesight problem, so she wears a bag to correct a bowel problem. You won't be able to tell she's wearing it (unless she undresses) and she can go swimming, shopping, running, rock climbing etc, just like 'bowel intact' people can.
She will need to drink more fluids than 'bowel intact' people since the large intestine primarily absorbs salts and fluids so without it we need more to replace what is lost.
You've probably already met quite a few people who have a colostomy/ileostomy but you just haven't known it :)
Hope this helps :)
I have had an ileostomy for 32 years now due to UC.
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