Waking up after your surgery
When you wake up after your operation, you will feel tired. It is possible that you may experience a range of emotions during this time and for some time afterwards. This will vary as we are all different.
Remember that it may take a while for you to recover, both physically and emotionally.
When will my stoma start to work?
The time it takes for your stoma to start functioning properly will depend on a variety of factors, including what type of operation you have had. Find out what you can expect by selecting the relevant link below.
Wearing a stoma bag
Getting used to wearing a stoma bag can take time and it’s important you find the one that’s right for you. Here’s an overview of what type of bags are available for each stoma type and how often you can expect to change them.
The type of bag you will wear will depend on the type of stoma you have.
Changing your stoma bag
Everyone has different requirements when it comes to changing their stoma bag. Some bags will need changing relatively frequently and others, less so. This section will tell you all the equipment you’ll need to keep handy at changing time and how you can make removal and application stress-free.
Caring for your skin
Caring for your skin is an essential part of looking after your stoma. Immediately after your surgery, your stoma and surrounding skin may look swollen and even a little irritated. This is all to be expected post operatively and with good care it should improve in appearance over time.
You may find that your product requirements may alter due to the changes in your stoma size and shape. Your stoma template will alter and should be checked at least weekly for the first 8 weeks, or particularly if lots of healthy skin can be seen through the hole.
The area of skin around your stoma needs ongoing care and attention to prevent and reduce the risk of soreness.
If you start to develop sore, irritated or even broken skin, do not delay in contacting your Stoma Care Nurse for appropriate advice on treatment and the need for alternative products.
Aim to keep your skin in optimum condition by considering:
- Good nourishment and hydration – take time to look at the section in this booklet about foods and drink that aid healing and promote hydration.
- This could be an excellent opportunity to stop smoking – smoking effects how nutrients and oxygen might get to your skin and so results in a drier, dull skin that is at more risk of breakdown.
- Regular exercise increases your body’s metabolism and encourages oxygen to reach your skin cells quicker and in greater supply.
- Care for your skin on a daily basis; keeping it clean and moisturised as adaptation to life with a stoma depends largely on the health of the peristomal skin (skin around your stoma).
- Remove any hair from the skin around your stoma. This is so the adhesive does not pull at the hair shafts causing inflammation and trauma to the skin. How often you need to remove hair from around your stoma is very individual, and you will get to know when removal is necessary.
Tip: To remove the hair around your stoma you might find it helpful to use a plastic deodorant lid or empty toilet roll cardboard to place over the stoma, for protection, and shave around it.