Early days at home after your stoma surgery
When you are first discharged from hospital after your stoma surgery, you will feel tired and find everyday tasks such as having a shower exhausting.
This is normal and will improve over time. You should not need to stay in bed when you get home, but you will need plenty of rest, and should make time for a nap during the day.
You may experience some pain and discomfort initially whilst recovering from your stoma surgery.
This is a normal part of recovery and you may need to take regular pain relief. There is no need to suffer!
Avoid tight fitting clothing during this period as your abdomen may be sore and swollen.
Asking for help
It is normal to feel emotional after major surgery, so don’t worry if you have ‘down’ or ‘teary’ days to begin with. Talking to family and friends can be helpful – don’t feel you need to cope alone.
Your Stoma Care Nurse is there to support you, and there are patient support groups who can help too. Don’t be frightened to ask for help.
Changing your stoma bag will be slow at first, but with practice and as you gain confidence, this will become part of your normal daily routine.
Tips for early stoma surgery recovery
Below you can find a list of helpful tips for early recovery following on from your recent stoma surgery:
- It is advisable to go for a short walk daily.
- You should be able to manage stairs.
- Spread tasks over the day and rest in between, but remember you are likely to feel more tired as the day goes on.
- Do not lift anything heavier than a half-full kettle.
- You will be able to make small light meals.
- You must not drive in the early days after your surgery because you are still sore and may have restricted movement.
- Certain medication can affect your ability to drive.
Overcoming common stoma problems
Below you will find some common stoma problems which you may experience in your every day life, along with information on how to overcome these issues with your stoma:
Leakage is a big concern for many people with a stoma. Read more information about leakage and find out how to prevent leakage.
Ballooning is a problem for many people with a stoma. Read more information about ballooning and find out how to help manage ballooning.
Pancaking is a problem for many people with a stoma. Read more information about pancaking and some helpful tips to manage pancaking.
Sore skin around your stoma is common. Read more information about sore skin and find out how to overcome sore skin.
Bleeding when you wipe your stoma is common and nothing to be alarmed about. Read more information regarding bleeding here.
Parastomal hernias are a concern for many people with a stoma. Read more about parastomal hernia, how to help prevent its development and practical ways of coping with a parastomal hernia.
Tips for ongoing recovery:
Below you can find a list of helpful tips for ongoing recovery after your stoma surgery:
- Over the next few weeks, increase the amount of activity that you are doing as your body allows.
- Continue to rest when you get tired.
- Continue to avoid heavy lifting due to the risk of developing a hernia.
- If you do need to lift; keep the objects close to your body, bend knees and wear a light support garment. Your Stoma Care Nurse will be able to advise you.
- Household activities such as ironing can be done sitting down.
- Continue to walk on a daily basis, going further over the weeks.
- Avoid stretching up to reach high cupboards.
- You should be able to drive after 3–6 weeks, depending on your type of surgery but you MUST check with your insurance company.
- Continue the abdominal exercises you were taught in hospital.
Our Stoma Care Products
Please see below the stoma care products which are available for you to try after you stoma surgery:
Register with the Medilink® Home Delivery Service
Get your stoma bags and additional products delivered directly to your home with Medilink®, our stoma prescription dispensing and home delivery service (UK only).