After your stoma operation you will need some time to recover. This is perfectly normal, and the time needed will vary from person to person. Your stoma will change in the first weeks following surgery, in terms of both size and output. Also, you might lose or gain weight in these weeks.
Getting started with a pouch.
Having a stoma means you have no control over when you defecate or, in the case of a urostomy, when you urinate. This means that you always need to wear a pouch to collect your output.
In order for your pouch to adhere properly, it is very important to keep the skin around your stoma healthy. When the pouch is attached correctly, there is no risk of smell from your stoma and less risk of skin irritation. Before you leave hospital, you will be trained in how to choose and manage your stoma pouch and how to take care of your skin.
What about food and drink?
In general you can eat and drink as normal. Try to see how your stoma reacts to different foods. Your stoma care nurse or surgeon will advise if you need to take special precautions.
In general, your stoma is no hindrance to working, socialising, playing sports, travelling or other hobbies. Your general state of health – physically as well as mentally – will play a big role in determining your quality of life as you move forward.
Talk about it
Nothing is more helpful than someone who really understands what you are going through. You are certainly not alone – the number of people with a stoma worldwide is 1.9 million. Local patient organisations and online support groups offer support through meetings and online chats, to get handy tips, inspiration and personal support.
Join Coloplast Charter to access to our unique online and email support programme
Our support programme offers advice and guidance on how to manage your condition, as well as inspiration from other ostomates on a range of topics.