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Before the surgery

Before ostomy surgery

It's natural to have a lot of questions before ostomy surgery. Having an operation is hard physically and can be an emotional experience. Being well prepared can help you to know what to expect.

This section covers questions many people have on ostomy surgery as well as providing information on support and community.

What is a stoma?

A stoma is the result of an operation to remove disease such as cancer, Crohn's disease or diverticulitis - or from a bowel obstruction or injury to the digestive or urinary system. It is an artificial opening that allows faeces or urine either from the intestine or from the urinary tract to pass.

There are three main types of stoma related to the digestive and urinary system - these are: ileostomy, urostomy, and colostomy.


In a colostomy operation, part of your colon is brought to the surface of your abdomen (belly) to form the stoma.

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In an ileostomy operation, part of your small bowel (ileum) is brought to the surface of your abdomen to form the stoma.

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If your bladder or urinary system is damaged or diseased and you are unable to pass urine normally, you may need a urinary diversion. This is called a urostomy, an ileal conduit or a Bricker bladder.

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Why do I need to wear an ostomy bag

An ostomy pouch is necessary to securely and conveniently collect the output from your stoma.

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What does a stoma look and feel like?

A stoma is usually moist and pinkish-red, and will stick out slightly from your abdomen.

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How your stoma might affect daily life

It will take time to adjust to life with a stoma. But there’s no reason why it should stop you doing the things you already do, from sports to socializing.

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Precautions to take after Stoma Surgery

In addition to product information, you’ll find helpful tips in this section about keeping your skin healthy, dealing with stoma bag problems, and other important information for after surgery.

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Ostomy Care Patient Testimonials



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.



Assistance and Guidance just a call away!

Our Care programs, designed for people living with an ostomy, offer straight-forward advice, personalized support and inspiration. Care is available when you need it. Our dedicated regional language speaking CARE team of advisors and specialists are here to help you live a better life by helping you do more of the things you love, so you can be you!

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