Living with a stoma Ostomy Care

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Having a stoma

Having a stoma implies different changes in your everyday life. A stoma is a surgical opening on the abdomen through the skin surface for the purpose of removal of body waste (feces or urine). It is NOT a disease! It is there to relieve you from troubles of diseases, obstruction and pain.

It is important that you understand and talk about it, if you wish to your family and friend circles. Also, after your surgery, your social and professional life should not be put into brackets. It is necessary and recommended for you to plan and organize activities with your family and friends. Having outdoor activities will participate in your rapid recovery and will also help you to avoid unnecessary stress.

Finally, exchanging your concerns with other patients who have as you undergone a stoma surgery can allow you to regain self-confidence and help you to project yourself more easily into new projects. 


Different types of stomas 

There are different types of ostomies depending on the surgery you have undergone.  After a trauma or surgery, a part of your colon may need time to heal, and therefore a temporary colostomy or ileostomy might be needed. In this case, the continuity of the bowel is not interrupted as the stoma is a continuity of the digestive tract. Please note that your temporary stoma will be removed after 3 to 6 months that will not lead to another scar. A colostomy or ileostomy can be a permanent procedure or a temporary one while the urostomy is always permanent.

After your surgery, you must not be afraid to touch your stoma. In terms of appearance, it will be bright red, will look and feel like the skin/mucous membrane and will feel numb to the touch.


A colostomy is a surgically created opening in the colon through the abdomen, an ileostomy in the small intestine, the ileum.

The main role of a stoma is to eliminate waste from the bowel when a number of situations make it necessary to bypass the rectum, part of the colon or the whole colon. 

A urostomy is a surgically created opening made to drain urine from the kidneys, after a part of the urinary tract has been damaged (bladder cancer, trauma…) 

There are different reasons that can lead to someone needing a stoma. The main reasons are:

  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Familial polyposis syndrome
  • Trauma
  • Congenital defects