When it comes to colostomies, there’s a few things that you can do after you get the surgery. We’ll discuss this here, and also what these care tips can do for you.
Protecting the Skin that’s Around the Stoma
The skin that’s around there will look just like the rest of the abdomen. At first, this may be a little sore and tender, but there are a few things to do.
First, make sure that you’re using the right skin barrier and pouch for this. Make sure it isn’t too small since it can make the stoma swell up. If it’s too big, the output will get out of there, hurting the skin. If that happens, change and adjust as needed.
Make sure you change the pouch on a regular basis to prevent irritation of the skin. Don’t wait for leaks or burning and itching, just get into the habit of a schedule. Be careful when you do pull the pouch away, since it needs to be done gently. Gently pull it away from the barrier rather than just yank it, since it can irritate the skin
When you’re cleaning the skin, make sure to do it with water. Don’t use soap or anything, and always make sure that you do dry the skin fully before throwing on a pouch or barrier again.
For those who have sigmoid or descending colostomies, you may use irrigation, which pushes stool out of the colon. This is a good way to manage it as well, to control the bowel movements if you’re someone who doesn’t want to wear a pouch. But they’re not as popular these days, since technology has improved the pouches for many.
Whether you want to irrigate or not is ultimately at your discretion. When you choose to do this, you’ll learn directly from the doctor or the nurse themselves who this is done. It’s a little different for everybody.
The biggest factors to consider are of course the following:
- How active you are
- Bowel habits
- Skin and comfort associated with the irrigation
- Feelings about your colostomy
If you do choose to do this, you want to find the methods that best match the normal habits. You may try different things, at first maybe once a day, or a few times a dy. By doing this regularly, you will then have much regular bowel movements, which is a good thing for this to work.
To do this, do the following:
- First, get the things you need, such as the irrigating container with a tip or cone, an irrigation sleeve to push the output out, the tail closure clip to offer more support
- From there clamp the tubes to there, and then throw a quart of water that is lukewarm into the container. Don’t ever do it to the faucet directly.
- Hand this at a height that allows for the bottom to be near the shoulder when seated
- Sit near the toilet or on the toilet straight
- Seal the irrigation sleeve
- Wet the cone to lubricate, or use a lubricant
- Get rid of any air bubbles in the clamp, and then push it as far as it can
- Open the clamp up and let the water flow into the bowels.
- Hold it in place till the water goes in. how much is required depends on the body
- Wait about the water to go in and then get rid of the cone, and then wait for the stool to come out in little spurts
And there you have it, colostomy care tips for you!