A stoma is an opening in your stubborn belly’s wall that a cosmetic surgeon makes in order for waste to leave your body if you can’t have a defecation.

You might obtain one if you have surgery to eliminate or bypass component of your large intestine (colon as well as anus) as well as can not have defecation the normal means. The operation is called a colostomy.

The specialist will affix the end of your colon to the stoma. Defecation will leave your body via it as well as gather in a special bag that you’ll empty out.

Your health care group will certainly show you ways to change your bag as well as take care of the stoma. With time, you’ll obtain utilized to this brand-new routine.

When You Need Surgery to Get a Stoma

You might need this kind of operation as a result of:

  • A bowel clog or tear
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s condition or ulcerative colitis
  • Abnormality
  • Injury to the colon
  • Pouches in the colon, called diverticulitis

In some cases physicians do a colostomy to offer a damaged area of digestive tract time to heal. In this case, the stoma is momentary. You’ll have it for a couple of weeks or months.

When the damage has actually recovered, your surgeon could reverse the treatment as well as reattach completions of the intestinal tract. Yet if you had to have a large piece of the bowel removed, you could need the stoma permanently.

What Happens in a Colostomy


Your specialist will certainly remove the harmed or unhealthy component of your colon. She’ll take out the healthy component of colon as well as attach it to a little opening in your abdomen– the stoma. Then you’ll obtain a plastic bag over the stoma to accumulate wastes.

You’ll remain in the healthcare facility for a few days to a week after your surgery. Prior to you leave there, a physician or nurse will instruct you the best ways to transform the bag and keep the skin around your stoma tidy.

How to Care for Your Stoma

You’ll change it a couple of times a day. Try to do that when the bag is just a 3rd complete to protect against leakages, which can irritate your skin.

To eliminate the pouch, very carefully lower on your skin to divide it from the sticky component of the bag. Vacant its contents into the commode prior to you toss it away, or clean it bent on make use of once again.

Delicately tidy the skin around your stoma with a damp washcloth or paper towel. Rub the area completely dry. Then put the pouch back on.

Possible Stoma Complications

Skin irritation is just one of the most typical troubles that could occur with a stoma. Clean as well as completely dry your skin well to assist stay clear of inflammation and discomfort.

The stoma will certainly be dark red initially. The color needs to get lighter over time, although it will stay pink or red.

It will additionally obtain smaller sized in dimension. You may require to transform the opening of your pouch so it’s the right dimension for the stoma. If the opening is too large, stool can leak out.

Also ask your doctor concerning skin barriers and also sealers you can put about the opening of the pouch to maintain feces from dripping.

The stoma may bleed a bit when you cleanse it. Call your doctor if the bleeding doesn’t quit, or if you observe blood inside your bag.

If you have a great deal of gas, the bag could over-expand. You could take medication to reduce gas. Or make use of a bag with a vent that releases it. Additionally, restriction foods that make you gassy, like broccoli, cabbage, beans, as well as cauliflower.

In some cases after a colostomy, feces could become very watery. To remain hydrated, drink great deals of liquids. Include sporting activities drinks, which likewise change several of the salt, potassium, and also other electrolytes you have actually lost.

It’s unusual, but often a piece of the bowel could push out via the stoma. Doctors call this a prolapse. You could need surgery to repair it.

When to Call Your Doctor

Get the phone if you discover any one of these problems:

  1. The skin around the stoma looks red, raw, or it leaks liquid.
  2. You have a fever of 101 degrees F or greater.
  3. You have queasiness, throwing up, discomfort in your gut, extreme irregular bowel movements, or looseness of the bowels.
  4. You’re weak, have muscle cramps, or pee much less compared to normal– these are warning indications of dehydration.

Living with your stoma


You need to have the ability to go back to your regular daily tasks after you’ve totally recovered from your stoma procedure. You could need to use suitable support if your work is laborious and entails heavy training or puts a pressure on your stomach muscles.

If you have a stoma, you must be able to put on normal clothes, although high-waisted undergarments and also pants may be extra comfortable.

Having a stoma can make you feel a bit down, specifically if you find it difficult to change your stoma bags initially. It could likewise have a huge effect on your body image.

Your stoma treatment nurse will support you through the psychological elements of having a stoma. You may locate it beneficial to talk with other individuals with stomas as well as that remain in a comparable circumstance.

Your registered nurse could have the ability to place you in touch with a support system in your city.


In the very first couple of months after your operation, your body will need to adjust to your shortened digestive tract and also your stoma. Your stoma treatment registered nurse will certainly give you details on the ideal foods to eat as you recover.

After you have actually recovered totally and also your stoma is functioning typically, you must have the ability to eat a typical healthy and balanced diet regimen.

You may discover that some foods offer you wind or make your faeces smell bad. These include beans, cauliflower, cabbage, beer, fish, eggs and fizzy beverages.

Having a day-to-day section of cranberry juice, yoghurt or buttermilk could assist to reduce any type of odour. Your doctor could suggest charcoal filters or pouch deodorisers if you find that odour is a trouble.

It is necessary to consume alcohol enough fluids and eat high-fibre foods to make sure you do not become constipated. High-fibre foods include gruel oats, root vegetables and also bananas.

Some foods, such as beetroot, spicy foods, alcohol and fruit juice, could offer you diarrhea. Over time, you’ll learn which foods you can as well as can’t eat, while you deal with your dietitian or stoma treatment nurse.

Your huge bowel normally absorbs water. If you have an ileostomy and also your large bowel has actually been eliminated, the faeces coming via the stoma will certainly be watery. It is very important to consume alcohol sufficient liquids or you could obtain dehydrated.

Some foods, such as white rice and also cooked apple, could make your faeces thicker if you’re losing way too much fluid. If you have an ileostomy, you may should stay clear of foods that could trigger a blockage, such as mushrooms, nuts and also dried out fruits.

Skin care

Your skin could become aggravated around your stoma, so you should care for it thoroughly. A variety of different cleansing products, protective creams and also creams are readily available.

Your stoma specialist or nurse will certainly reveal you how to make use of these as well as what to do if your skin ends up being damaged or aching.

Often the adhesives you utilize to attach a stoma bag to your body can harm your skin. You can make use of a number of various products to shield your skin, including obstacle creams, wafers and gels.

Developing a barrier in between your skin and also the adhesive will certainly additionally secure your skin if your stoma bag leaks.

To shield your skin, you could make use of a versatile safety skin wafer. Skin wafers come in a variety of forms and dimensions and also could occasionally be cut to fit your stoma. You can use a barrier paste under the wafer for additional defense, even if your skin is harmed.

You could also use a barrier lotion, such as zinc oxide. If you utilize an obstacle lotion, massage it right into your skin and also clean away any type of excess prior to you affix your stoma bag.

Don’t utilize strong or scented soaps, as they might aggravate your skin, or utilize anything that quits the skin wafer sticking properly. Just usage skin gels and lotions if they are alcohol-free.


If you have an ileostomy, your General Practitioner or registered nurse may advise you to stay clear of taking particular sorts of medicines. These include slow-release tablet computers as well as capsules and enteric-coated medicines, which have an unique coating that makes them resistant to tolerate acid.

The items may not launch enough of the active ingredient in your belly or bowel. It is necessary to tell your pharmacist regarding your stoma prior to you get any type of over-the-counter medicines.

Sport and physical activity

There’s no reason you cannot continue with most sporting activities and tasks after your stoma procedure. Walking is an excellent type of gentle task to start with.

Get in touch with your stoma treatment nurse prior to you do anything more exhausting.

You should have the ability to return to doing a variety of sports, although you might should avoid rough contact sporting activities as well as hefty lifting.

You can even go swimming, as there are unique smaller bags you can use and also water-proof guards to secure your stoma.


If you’re flying, you could discover that the change in aircraft cabin pressure offers you wind. This impact will be worse if you consume fizzy beverages or beer on the trip.

It’s best to lug spare bags in your hand luggage when you take a trip. You might require to bring a special certification for lugging these.

Like you would with medicines, constantly carry added stoma materials with you– greater than you believe you’ll require.

It’s likewise a great idea to consider exactly what you would certainly do if you’re separated from your hand baggage.


Can I have a baby if I have a stoma?

You must still have the ability to have a baby if you have a stoma. It’s vital to speak to your specialist prior to you obtain pregnant.

Pregnancy as well as child birth are considered to be safe in ladies that have a stoma. You must have the ability to transform your stoma bags as regular while pregnant. If you discover it hard to see your stoma as your baby grows, attempt utilizing a mirror in order to help you transform your bag.

Occasionally your stoma can grow throughout pregnancy. As your skin and also muscle mass stretch with your growing child, a few of your digestive tract might protrude into your stoma bag. If this happens, ask your stoma treatment nurse for advice.

Most ladies with a stoma are able to have a vaginal shipment yet there are a few factors that could affect exactly how you deliver. If you have an internal pouch, for instance, your doctor might recommend that you have a caesarean section to avoid rectal urinary incontinence.

If you have any type of issues about pregnancy and also a stoma, talk to your physician, stoma care nurse or midwife.

Can I have a stoma reversed?

If you have an irreversible stoma, it can not be turned around. If you have a short-lived stoma, you could be able to have it turned around.

You could have a temporary stoma fitted if your digestive tract needs time to heal or rest. This may be since you have bowel cancer cells, inflammatory digestive tract condition, diverticulitis or an injury to your bowel.

Your stoma won’t be reversed up until your bowel has actually fully recuperated from the effects of your preliminary surgery. How well a stoma reversal procedure jobs will depend upon just how your stoma was created to begin with. It will certainly also depend on just how much of your bowel was gotten rid of and which component. After having your stoma turned around, it will certainly take time for your bowel to settle. The moment it will take will certainly specify to you but it can typically be at the very least a few weeks. You could have some troubles throughout this moment. These might consist of:

  • Loosened movements or bowel irregularity
  • Should most likely to the bathroom to pass faeces a lot more commonly and also more quickly
  • Problem discriminating between passing wind and also having a digestive tract motion
  • Aching skin around your rectum

Ask your physician if stoma turnaround is an alternative for you as well as exactly what you can expect after the operation.

How can I help my child cope with their stoma?

It is necessary to preserve a favorable mindset about your kid’s stoma. Your child will need a great deal of assistance initially. As time passes, it deserves encouraging him or her to take on even more responsibility for taking care of their stoma.

Most stomas in youngsters are short-term, which implies they can be turned around. Just how much functional support you have to offer your kid will certainly vary depending upon their age.

Babies and also little ones will need full assistance. Your kid could be able to take even more duty for taking care of their stoma as they grow older. The kind of stoma bag that’s best for your kid will rely on their age and might transform as they age. Ask your child’s stoma care registered nurse for suggestions.

Having a stoma fitted can impact your youngster’s lifestyle, whatever their age. Your youngster’s stoma treatment registered nurse could provide them confidence as well as support as well as assist them fit their stoma management around their school and social lives.

Your kid requires to discover how to care for their stoma, because the skin can easily end up being inflamed and infected, specifically in kids.

It is necessary to motivate a positive mindset to the stoma from a young age. As your child gets older, they will come to be a lot more familiar with their stoma. Having a stoma could make your youngster or teen feel uncomfortable and also ashamed.

There are a number of assistance teams, publications and also task camps particularly developed for youngsters with stomas. Ask your stoma treatment nurse for info on helping your kid to care for their stoma.

Leave a Comment