TIps for Those with a New Stoma

We answer your frequently asked questions about life with a stoma

What is a stoma?

A stoma is an opening on the surface of the abdomen which has been surgically created to divert the flow of faeces or urine. Stoma comes from the Greek word meaning ‘mouth’ or ‘opening’. A stoma may also be referred to as an ostomy.

A stoma may be created for many reasons, including, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis and crohns disease), diverticular disease, trauma and birth defects. Stoma surgery can be performed at any age from birth.

Stoma formation may be planned or may have to be performed as part of an emergency operation.

What different types of stoma are there?

There are three main types of stoma: a colostomy, an ileostomy and a urostomy. A colostomy is created from the large bowel or colon, an ileostomy comes from the small bowel or intestine and a urostomy is made to divert urine from the bladder. Stoma formation may be temporary or permanent, depending on the reason for its formation.

What day-to-day adjustments is a person with a stoma having to make?

Not everyone will find it easy to adapt to life with a stoma, but it doesn’t put an end to a full and active life. You should be able to do nearly everything that you did before surgery, its just the way that you go to the toilet that will change. 

The first few days and weeks after surgery may well be challenging, you will have a pouch attached to your abdomen and will need to learn how to deal with it. However, you will have the support of your stoma nurse throughout this time—they will teach you how to change your pouch and look after your skin.

What after-care advice would you suggest?

After surgery, it is natural to want to go back to how things were as quickly as possible. Please remember that your brain will probably be back to normal before your body! You must allow yourself time to heal, so take it easy for at least six weeks. Gradually increase your exercise every day until you are able to do the things that you did pre-surgery.

You definitely should not do any heavy lifting during this period.

You should contact your insurance company to find out when you will be covered to drive again, if you did before surgery! Most insurance companies will allow you to resume driving if you have permission from your surgeon, this is usually at around six weeks post surgery.

11 Health and Technologies Limited has developed the ostom-i™device which connects to your pouch to send an alert to your i-phone or i-pad when your pouch is filling. This device, ostom-I™ was developed by a stoma patient whilst he was recovering from his bowel surgery. Real time output data can also be sent to your health care professional so that your output can be monitored remotely when you have left the hospital.

11 Health and Technologies Limited is a connected medical device company, whose patented devices use Bluetooth™technology to send secure, real time data to Apple mobile devices. Data is stored on a HIPAA compliant cloud server and then shared with health care professionals and family members who care for you.

Their engineering teams work closely with patients, nurses and doctors to create seamless end user experience across all of our ostomy solutions.

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