There is nothing wrong to imagine or wonder about your life after the Ostomy operation. You need some weeks to adjust properly. Though you have exact and enough information, you can face it easily.
You should consider the following things if you are a newly ostomate.
- Learn about your stoma
In Ostomy surgery the surgeon makes a stoma or an opening in the abdomen which reroutes the passage of waste to the outside. In the case of a urostomy, urine is redirected and ileostomy and colostomy redirect the stool. Mostly a stoma is marked somewhere on the abdomen. The location of your stoma also depends on the type of Ostomy.
The stoma should look moist and pink or red. This is a typical appearance.
If you have any soreness, bleeding, or discomfort it will disappear over time. But if you have a lot of bleeding, continuous pain or soreness, or any change in stomal size or shape you should call your doctor immediately.
- Run-through Good Skincare
Typically, the skin around the stoma should appear the same as it was before the procedure, however, it might be faintly annoying for the initial few days as the Ostomy pouches demand some days to adjust properly and easily.
You can take help from your doctor or WOCN, he or she can guide you in the best possible way and teach you about every single thing you need to know after the Ostomy. He or she will give you some useful tips that can help you to keep your peristomal skin healthy. The basics revolve around that how to take a safe bath, how to drive, how to change the pouch, how to shave hairs near the stoma etc. He or she can also help you in the selection of Ostomy products and avoid any kind of allergic products.
Usually, you just need to be very sure that the skin around the stoma is always clean, dry, and hygienic. You should use lukewarm water with a bath towel to cleanse your skin. If you are using soaps then try to avoid the soap with fragrance, oils, or any other chemicals. This will reduce the adhering property of the pouch and also cause skin irritation and other issues such as leakage.
- Catch the Suitable fitting
Your stoma will look swollen after the operation, but it will become normal after some hours. You need to make changes in the size of Ostomy wafers or flanges (also called skin barriers) and other Ostomy products, time to time.
You need to make changes if you notice that your wafer no longer fits around your stoma properly or there is any leakage. Leakage leads to many issues such as irritation and it can also make you feel embarrassed, but don’t worry you can easily prevent this issue.
It is mostly recommended to consult with your Ostomy nurse or doctor, they can guide you in a better way. Then consult with your Ostomy appliance company.
There are a lot of support groups online which can help you in a very well manner about your Ostomy products and other concerns.
- Value your Diet
Once you are fully recovered, you don’t need to worry before adding new food to your routine. Although, it depends on your health condition and allergy to any specific food. In most cases, the individuals can resume their favorite food once they heal completely.
In case you had an ileostomy or colostomy the doctor advises not to take food with high fibers during the first few weeks of the surgery. Based on your health condition, you need to avoid some food items.
In the case of a urostomy, the doctors will recommend you not consume too much caffeine, which leads to dehydration. You should consume a lot of water.
The doctors may also advise you to take some supplements or vitamins to boost your immunity and help you heal faster.
- Jump to Live Best Life
There is nothing wrong to be worried, self-conscious, or concerned after the Ostomy surgery. You may fear the world around you, and you fear that you are the only one going through this, and people will learn to know that you are wearing an Ostomy pouch.
Please relax; there are a lot of people who have undergone the Ostomy and now enjoying their normal life. There are billions or millions of individuals in the world living happily after the Ostomy.
Even though there is nothing shameful or weird about having an Ostomy, you can keep it to yourself or a secret if you want. Many options allow you to keep your Ostomy discreet. There are specially designed pouches that can be completely concealed under the clothes. Once your doctor allows you, you can resume your daily activities such as bathing, driving, workouts, and getting back to the work. Your health will improve gradually as you recover from the surgery. There are a lot of activities specially programmed for the ostomates.
You must have heard the famous proverb “practice makes a man perfect”, you will learn to live with the Ostomy over time and it will no longer bother you. It sounds very daunting at the start but you should always look at the positive side of the picture.
Most Common Myths about Ostomy Surgeries
- Everyone learns about your Ostomy
A lot of people fear that other people will make fun of their pouching system or their physique. But actually, no one can guess that you are having an Ostomy until or unless you tell them yourself. They will never know that you are having a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, you should be grateful to the Ostomy suppliers which have introduced pouching systems or accessories which can be concealed under your clothes.
Even though you can resume swimming and take part in sports while keeping the Ostomy to yourself. There are a lot of Ostomy shops and markets that deliver that offer their services online too.
- Ostomy pouch stinks or gives a foul odor
Luckily, wearing an Ostomy pouch never means that the people around will get you to know about your Ostomy due to the smell from the Ostomy bag. Ostomy pouches are not only advance to be concealed but they also have a feature of built-in deodorant and prevent the foul odor to spread around. Such as many colostomy bags have additional charcoal filters that can release outgas after deodorizing them completely.
The pouch can only give odor or may stink while you are changing it or emptying it. You can talk with your Ostomy nurse if you notice foul-smelling for a long time even after using deodorant filters. He or she will advise you to reduce some foods which may cause odor.
- You can never get intimate after the Ostomy
One of the most common misconceptions about Ostomy is that you can ver get intimate with your partner once you have undergone the Ostomy. Most of the ostomates enjoy normal intimacy after the Ostomy too. Firstly, you must make sure that you are fully recovered after the surgery. You must get permission from your doctor while getting into intimacy.
After the Ostomy you might be mentally upset, and you will not feel comfortable being intimate with the Ostomy. This is okay and natural. It will take some time for you to be out of this state.
If you are having a relationship, you can talk with your partner that you need some time. You can use some specially designed wraps or lingerie from any Ostomy website. Some people also use a stoma cap or Ostomy pouch. Mini pouches don’t work like an Ostomy pouch but they can help in preventing the bulkiness which comes under the typical pouches.
- You need to follow a strict diet
This is also among one of the most common fallacies about the ostomy procedure. You need to stop eating solid food for few days after the surgery. But as soon as you are recovered you can resume your normal diet. Your diet depends on the type of your surgery. It is advised to avoid some specific foods because they can cause allergy or any other issues such as gas, foul odor, thickening or thinning of the output, irregularity in bowel or urine output.
You just need to distinguish between the foods which are good or bad for you.
- It is difficult to clean the stoma and the nearby skin
It is very important to keep the skin around your stoma and stoma as well clean. If there is any contamination it can be a reason for skin irritation, infection, or other issues. It is not very hard to clean the skin around the stoma. You just need to avoid the use of products containing oil, perfumes, or chemicals.