Taking Care Of Your Colostomy

The presence of come conditions in the large intestine may necessitate a patient to undergo surgery aimed at removing a portion of the colon. The surgeon then creates an ostomy. According to an estimate, about one million Americans have an ostomy, and nearly 130,000 people undergo ostomy surgery each year.

Ostomy surgery that involves the removal of a part of the colon is known as a colostomy. The other two types are ileostomy and urostomy. An ileostomy involves the removal of the entire colon, while a urostomy connects ureters to the outside of the body, bypassing the bladder.

Talking about colostomy, it is a surgical procedure that helps people living with severe digestive disorders live a healthier life. Conditions that may necessitate a person to require a colostomy include:

  • Diverticulitis
  • Colon cancer
  • Injury to the colon
  • Blockage

What is a colostomy?

Colostomy surgery results in the creation of an artificial opening in the belly. During surgery, the surgeon brings out a small part of the colon through a cut in the belly and creates a stoma. The section of the colon with diseases is either rested or removed, depending on the severity of the disorder. The stoma is the part of the colon, and the visible part of it is on the colon’s inner lining, which is red, moist, and soft to touch.

You are going to have to wear an ostomy bag over the stoma to manage your stool evacuations. The stoma empties fecal materials into the ostomy bag. The function of the intestinal tract will be the same as before, except stool will pass out through the stoma instead of the anus. With no anal sphincters at the new excretory point, you will have no control over when to move your bowels.

The patient will have to meet an ostomy care nurse before surgery. That nurse will tell the patient about the types of ostomy appliances and how to use them. He or she will also mark a spot for the stoma on the abdomen. The surgeon will have the final say about the site of the stoma.

Caring for your ostomy after colostomy surgery

Your hospital stay after surgery may extend from several days to several weeks. Your doctors will allow you to go back home when you are recovered enough to take care of your ostomy yourself. During the hospital stay, an ostomy care nurse will teach you how to take care of your ostomy in the best possible way.

Here is what you may want to know about taking care of your colostomy.

What to eat

While you may have to stick to a restricted diet plan for a few weeks, these restrictions are not going to remain in place for a lifetime unless you suffer from a gastrointestinal condition. You may want to stay in touch with your doctor in this regard.

Activity with an ostomy

Having an ostomy doesn’t mean getting handicapped. You can run, travel, engage in sports, and go to your workplace like before.

Emptying the ostomy pouch

You will need to empty your ostomy pouch once it is one-third to half full. It could mean emptying this bag several times a day.

Changing the ostomy pouch

It is necessary to change your entire appliance once or twice a week. That’s because the skin barrier of an ostomy appliance uses an adhesive material to stick to the abdominal skin around the stoma. Replacing the ostomy skin barrier on time can help prevent peristomal skin infections

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