For those that don’t know, a stoma is when you get a surgery where there’s an opening created in the abdomen that’s then connected to either your bowels or your urinary tract in order to get rid of waste from the body.
It’s not that big, a pink color, and is circular and sewn directly to the body. It may be flat or protrude out a little bit, kind of like a spout.
Then, at the top of the opening, you put a pouch there, and that’s how the waste is then collected. You may be able to dispense it at the bottom or in other locations.
Because the stoma doesn’t have any nerves or anything, this isn’t painful.
So when do you get a stoma? It’s usually when a part of the bowels or the urinary tract are diseased, oftentimes due to IBD or even cancer.
Usually, they’re either temporary measures, or permanent ones. Now that you’ve understood that though, let’s go into stoma surgery.
What Happens Before Surgery
Stoma surgery is a little scary since it may be hard to be acclimated to wearing the ostomy bag. But once you’ve managed to recover from this, you will be able to live a normal life, minus some adjustments.
You may worry about what this looks like, or even feels and smells like, but these surgeries are done to look discreet, so you don’t have to worry about it being super obvious or anything.
So before surgery, usually the nurse will take your bloodwork, check on your weight, and also go through the different parts of this. You also may get a laxative to clean out your bowel. They’ll mark where they’ll do the incisions and also where the stoma will be located, typically without folds or creases. Usually, for colostomies, they’re on the left, and the rest are on the right.
The surgery length is dependent upon the type of surgery, but usually, an end colostomy keyhole takes about 90 or so minutes.
During the Surgery
You will obviously be knocked out for this, and then, they’ll do the stoma replacement.
Typically, the initial pouch will be a clear one so that you can see what it looks like. You may only eat or drink the liquids for a little bit before you can eat solid foods. Once the soma is active and you are passing bowel movements, then you’ll be able to recover. Typically, this takes up to 5 days, but this also dependent on how the stoma is working. A nurse will also visit you to show you how the pouch changing is done.
And that’s all there is for it. It’s a bit of a rude awakening for some people since it does involve a few different parts to this, but of course for a lot of people, this can be the big change that they need, since of course, it can help them pass bowel and urine movements without of course, it being a problem for you.
You also will learn how to change the pouches and the accessories. You may try out different kinds in order to see which types are bet for you, and which ones are the best for security. You will also get different types of bags, depending on the type of surgery.
It does take a little bit to get used to, but luckily, it isn’t a problem forever, and a lot of people can definitely benefit from this, which is why even though it’s a bit of an invasive surgery, it can definitely help you.