How will my life change after ostomy surgery?

There is no doubt that adjusting to life with an ostomy may take some time but, with the right guidance and products, you should be able to get back to doing the things you love!

Getting back to doing the things you love after ostomy surgery

How will my life change after surgery? How will my life change after surgery? How will my life change after surgery? It will take time to adjust to life with an ostomy. But there’s no reason why it should stop you doing most of the things you already do, from sports to socializing. Daily life with an ostomy
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Wondering how your stoma might affect daily life?

After your ostomy surgery 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. You may lose or gain weight in these weeks.

Get started with a pouching system
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 pouching system to collect your output.

 

View pouching product solutions and request free samples

Healthy skin
In order for your pouching system 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 ostomy and less risk of skin irritation. Before you leave the hospital, you will be trained in how to choose and manage your ostomy pouching system and how to take care of your skin.

 

View our Brava Accessories- a range of ostomy accessories designed to reduced leakage and take care of your skin.

What about food and drink?
In general you can eat and drink as normal. Try to see how your ostomy reacts to different foods. Your WOC nurse, surgeon or physician will advise if you need to take special precautions.

In general, your ostomy shouldn't keep you from working, socializing, playing sports, traveling 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
Talk about itNothing 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. Your local patient organization is one way of meeting peers to get handy tips, inspiration and personal support.

 

Enroll in Coloplast® Care and receive customized support 

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Intimacy & pregnancy with an ostomy Intimacy & pregnancy with an ostomy Although an ostomy can influence the way you feel about your body, it doesn’t necessarily have to affect your relationship with your partner or even pregnancy. Keep reading for simple, practical advice on living with an ostomy. Intimacy with an ostomy
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Intimacy & pregnancy with a stoma

Following ostomy surgery, it’s natural to have concerns about your body’s appearance. It can take time to get used to the physical changes and you may feel less attractive as a result. Although it can be challenge, it’s important to learn to accept it as a part of who you are.

What about intimacy?
Intimacy and a normal loving relationship following ostomy surgery can be resumed. How and when depends on the nature of the operation you've had. However, impotence and/or discomfort can occur in cases where the rectum or bladder have been removed (women can also be affected by this).

It’s important to talk to your partner and try not to feel self-conscious because of the operation. It’s also important to talk to your WOC nurse who is used to discussing the issues you’re experiencing and will be able to help in many ways. There are also several handy tips and tricks for overcoming everyday obstacles. For instance, adapting lace underwear so that it’s worn as a tube around your body covering the pouch, or using mini pouches for intimate situations.

Can I have children?
Stoma and pregnancyIn a word, yes. Having an ostomy does not prevent a woman from carrying a baby to term and having a normal delivery. As the belly grows, the stoma will typically just follow the changing shape of the abdomen. In the later stages of pregnancy, you might need to use a mirror when changing your pouch. Delivery usually takes place as normal.  Have a conversation with your physician regarding your surgery.

Talk about it
Ultimately, nothing is more helpful than talking to someone who really understands what you are going through. Your local support group is one way of meeting peers to get handy tips, inspiration and personal support.

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Why do I need to wear an ostomy pouching  system? Why do I need to wear an ostomy pouching system? An ostomy pouch is necessary to securely and conveniently collect the output from your stoma. How often you drain or change your pouch is dependent on whether you have a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy. Practical information about wearing an ostomy pouch
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Why do I need to wear an ostomy pouching system?

No matter what type of ostomy you have, all the output from the stoma must be collected in a secure and convenient way. That’s where your ostomy pouch comes in. These are designed to adhere to the skin on your abdomen around your stoma and collect the output.

Secure and discreet

The design of your ostomy pouch will depend on whether you have a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy. Your WOC nurse will show you which one is right for you, but the overwhelming majority of pouches are secure and discreet. Nobody will know you’re wearing one unless you decide to tell them.

Although it can be difficult at first to accept the fact that you will have to wear an ostomy pouch on your stomach, you should soon start to realize that it’s possible to live much as you did before.

Changing your pouch

How often you change or empty your pouch depends on the type of stoma you have:

  • Colostomy: A closed end pouch will need to be changed 1-2 times per day or whenever you have a bowl movement.  A drainable pouch will need to be emptied after each bowel movement.
  • Ileostomy: The pouch needs to be drained several times a day.  It should typically be emptied when the pouch is 1/3 to 1/2 full.
  • Urostomy: The pouch needs to be drained several times a day. It should typically be emptied when the pouch is 1/3 to 1/2 full. During the night, you may choose to connected to a smaller urostomy appliance, or keep the same pouch that you wear during the day, and then connect the pouch's spout to a night bag so you don’t need to get up to drain your bag.

Request free samples of Coloplast ostomy pouches

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How to put on your ostomy pouch How to put on your ostomy pouch Being able to apply your ostomy pouch correctly is a crucial first step in learning to care for your stoma. Apply your ostomy pouch correctly
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How to put on your ostomy pouch

When you have an ostomy, urine or stool exits the body directly into the pouch on your abdomen. To avoid leaks, skin irritation or social embarrassment, it is very important that you learn how to seal the ostomy pouch securely to the skin.

A snug fit is key
The guiding principle is that the adhesive part of the appliance is stuck to the area around the stoma and that the hole in the adhesive fits snugly around the stoma.

Your WOC nurse will help you choose the best product for you and show you how to apply and remove the pouch in the right way. 

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