The easiest way to clean your stoma site is to gently wash it with warm water using the dry wipes provided and then pat dry thoroughly using a clean dry wipe. Avoid using paper towels as these can get stuck to the stoma, always use dry cotton wipes.
Use only plain, lukewarm water and dry wipes for cleaning your stoma (if you must use wet wipes, then make sure they are free from lanolin and fragrance as the skin around your stoma can be very sensitive).
It involves washing out your colon with water either every day or every other day. To do this, you gently insert a small device into your stoma and attach it to a bag full of water. You slowly move water into your colon so it washes it out.
To clean the skin around the stoma, just use water on soft paper towels. Do not use baby wipes, oils, powders, ointments, or lotions on the skin around the stoma unless directed to do so.
You can bathe and shower as normal with your stoma and, unless you have been specifically advised otherwise, you can do so with the stoma bag on or off. It won't fall off in the water if you choose to keep it on and if you bathe with the stoma bag off, soap rinsing over the stoma isn't a problem.
Cleanliness is one of the most important aspects when adjusting to life with a stoma. Once you've pushed the stool into the toilet, take some toilet paper and clean the inside and outside of the opening. Flushable wipes are very good to use in this instance, as they'll help eliminate any unsightly odor.
Many people enjoy leaving their skin uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes after taking their pouching system off. This is called a skin break. Taking a skin break can help with irritation or keep it from happening. You can decide if you want to take a skin break.
You should obviously handle your stoma with care, but there is no need to be afraid of touching it. To clean it, simply use tap water and soft medical wipes or soft cotton wool. The stoma and the skin around it doesn't need soap for cleansing, and in fact, soap could irritate it - as could baby wipes.
You can bathe or shower with or without wearing your pouching system. Normal exposure to air or water will not harm or enter your stoma. If you're showering without your pouch, remove the skin barrier too. Try to create a routine that coincides with when you're due for a pouch change.
The dry air can make your airways produce mucus. The mucus can collect around your stoma and get crusty. To protect your stoma and your airways, try to avoid: extreme temperatures.
Change your pouch every 5 to 8 days. If you have itching or leakage, change it right away. If you have a pouch system made of 2 pieces (a pouch and a wafer) you can use 2 different pouches during the week. Wash and rinse the pouch not being used, and let it dry well.
A colostomy is an operation to divert 1 end of the colon (part of the bowel) through an opening in the tummy. The opening is called a stoma. A pouch can be placed over the stoma to collect your poo (stools). A colostomy can be permanent or temporary.
Stoma products to help prevent odour
Specialised ostomy deodorants such as Limone are available on prescription and can sprayed into the air or it also works well when added to your stoma bag. Peppermint oil capsules have also been found to be useful inside the bag.
On the side with your stoma, your mattress will support the bag as it fills. If you sleep on the other side, you can lay next to a pillow to support the weight of your bag. If you are worried that you will not stay on your side during the night, use a pillow/body pillow/V-shaped pillow to keep your body in place.
Sleeping on your back is a safe option, especially in the days and weeks after surgery. If you are sleeping on the same side as your stoma, you may feel a little vulnerable and worry that it may either hurt or you might roll onto your stoma and even your pouch. The mattress will support the ostomy pouch as it fills.
You may feel concerned about getting your stoma or skin wet, but normal exposure to water and air will not harm your stoma in any way.
Some common complications of stoma include poor siting, parastomal hernia (PH), prolapse, retraction, ischemia/necrosis, peristomal dermatologic problems, mucocutaneous separation, and pyoderma gangrenosum. Each will be discussed separately in further detail.
Protect the skin around the stoma
For the pouch to stick well, the peristomal skin needs to be dry and smooth. If the skin is moist or uneven, the pouch is more likely to leak. And any urine that leaks out of the pouch can pool on your skin. This can irritate the skin.
One major issue to watch out for with a stoma is the laxative effect of some chocolates. The caffeine and fibre within the chocolate can increase the rate of motility (which is the contraction of the muscles in the digestive tract that encourage bowel movements).
Use the palm of your hand to apply gentle pressure to the stoma, very gently pushing it back into its usual position. 2. Another alternative is to apply a cold compress to the stoma with your pouch on. Then try to reduce the stoma again using the palm of your hand.
You may wish to keep your clothing loose for the first couple of weeks, because your tummy may feel uncomfortable. But the good news is that in a few weeks, you should be able to wear your usual clothes. Wearing tight-fitting clothes will not affect your stoma.
After your surgery, your urine (pee) and stool (poop) will leave your body through your wet colostomy stoma. Your stoma will have 2 parts (see Figure 1): A urinary diversion. Your urine will flow from your kidneys, through your ureters, and out of your body through your urinary diversion.