The days after ostomy surgery can be challenging. You have a pouch attached to your abdomen and lots of new things to learn. It's important to remember that it takes time to adjust, but it will get easier. With support from your ostomy care nurse and practical guidance on how to change your ostomy pouch and care for your skin, you should soon be able to do the things you've always done.
Taking care of your stoma and the skin around it will ensure that you will get the best results from your ostomy pouching system. This will help you feel confident in any situation.Read more
When you wake up after the operation you'll be wearing your first pouch. This will probably be a transparent one so that your nurses can check on your new stoma easily.Read more
Your ostomy care nurse will explain how to take card of your stoma while you're still in hospital. There's a lot of information to take in, so don't be afraid to ask questions.Read more
Most people living with an ostomy experience irritated skin now and then. However, irritated skin is not normal. In order for your ostomy pouch to be comfortable and worry-free, it is important to prevent skin irritation and maintain healthy skin around your stoma.
Leakage leads to contact between output from the stoma and the skin, which causes irritation. Once your skin becomes irritated, the adhesive on the pouch won't attach properly leading to more leakage and continued skin irritation. It is important to prevent leakage and keep the skin around your stoma healthy. A proper fitting pouching system and the appropriate accessories can help prevent leakage.
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When you wake up after the operation you’ll be wearing your first pouch. This will probably be a clear one so that your nurses can check on your new stoma easily. You may also have drips and drains attached to your body. This is perfectly normal and they will be removed with very little discomfort when appropriate.
Your stoma will be moist and pinkish-red in color and should protrude from your abdomen (though it's also common for a stoma to remain flush with the skin surface). It may be quite swollen to begin with but will reduce in size over time – usually 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Your stoma is a mucous membrane, just like the mucous membrane inside your mouth. There is no sensation in the stoma, so it is not at all painful to touch. The stoma can bleed a little when being cleaned, especially in the beginning, but this is normal and should stop shortly afterwards.
Your stoma will begin to work shortly after your operation, usually within a few days. At first the output will be a watery liquid and may be strong-smelling as your bowel hasn’t been working for a while. Don’t worry, though, the consistency will thicken slightly and the smell will diminish as you resume a more balanced diet. Your doctor will advise you when you will be able to eat and drink as usual.
Initially, it’s also likely that a certain amount of noisy gas will come from the stoma – again this is perfectly normal. It is not uncommon to feel the use the restroom as you did before. This is normal and should reduce with time. If your anus is still present, there may be some mucus discharge from it.
If you have a urostomy, the stoma will begin to work immediately after your operation. The tubes -- called "stents" -- placed in the urostomy will be left in place for seven to ten days. At first, your urine may be slightly red, but it will soon return to its usual color.
After your operation, your stoma care nurse will focus on helping you become confident in taking care of your stoma. It will help to have a close relative or spouse with you for this training.
Your nurse will help you with:
There will be a lot of new information to take in at once; it may even feel a bit overwhelming. Take your time and ask all the questions you need, as many times as you need to. The more you ask and try things out, the better prepared you will be once you are back at home.
Before you leave the hospital, your enterostomal therapy nurse will likely make arrangements for follow-up care to make sure you feel confident caring for your ostomy.
Once you are home, you may experience some challenges caring for your stoma. But remember that your ET nurse, as well as our Consumer Support Specialists, will be more than happy to help you with any issues.
Life after ostomy surgery is a journey, with challenges along the way. Here we provide you with some of the explanations of ostomy appliance terminology you may come across.Read more
To help you better understand your ostomy system and discuss your needs with your enterostomal therapy nurse, here is a glossary of commonly used terms.
Baseplate: The part of an ostomy pouching system that attaches the appliance to your skin while you are wearing it. The adhesive must ensure close contact with the skin surface and protect it so that output from your stoma does not touch the surrounding skin.
Coupling System: This attaches the barrier to the pouch in a two-piece appliance, allowing the pouch to be changed without changing the barrier. It can either be mechanical, or adhesive.
Convexity: A specially shaped baseplate with an oval shell that puts light pressure on the skin around the stoma. It is designed to accommodate a stoma that is difficult to manage, for example, a retracted stoma that lies below the skin.
Extended wear adhesive: An adhesive that can be worn for a longer time period, or if there is “aggressive” output from your stoma. Some types of ileostomy or urostomy can have output that breaks down standard adhesives too quickly. Extended wear adhesives are generally used with two-piece appliances.
Filter: From time to time, your stoma releases gas. The filter included in the appliance has a deodorizing action which helps ensure there is no odor, one of the things that people often worry about. It also controls the release of the deodorized wind, so that your bag doesn’t inflate (which is also called ‘ballooning’).
Non-return valve: Urostomy appliances have a non-return valve to stop urine from flowing back to the stoma and help prevent urinary infections.
SenSura is the core range of ostomy appliances from Coloplast. A unique double-layer adhesive makes SenSura pouches secure, as well as keeping skin healthy.Read more
The Alterna spiral adhesive is a combination of materials designed for security and protection in a spiral-structure, for Secure adherence to your skin and absorption of moisture from your skin - providing skin friendliness and protection from irritationRead more
Our new Brava® range of accessories features products that are designed to reduce leakage and protect the skin. They also help to achieve customized solutions for different body shapes and needs.Read more
Clothes are a part of my identity, so I worried about what I could wear after my operation. Today, I still dress the way I want.
I was so glad to get back to work, it meant a lot to me. At first I worried about my ostomy appliance, but now I’m just focused on the job.
I lost 35 kilos when I was ill. But I have put it all back on. I feel determined, I’m training regularly and I’m now a specialist personal trainer.
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