From North Central Oklahoma Ostomy Outlook March 2007:

Tender Loving Care – Your Stoma Needs it Too!

via Northern Virginia The Pouch

Most ostomy patients would agree that there is no substitute for TLC. That is one of the reasons that the specialty of ostomy nursing exists. It ensures that nurses with a special sense of caring and with special education are taking care of the ostomy patient’s needs. Once you are discharged, remember that your stoma needs TLC also. A few pointers might be helpful.

Generally speaking, it is good to set aside a time for giving priority to stoma care. It might be during your morning shower, after breakfast, or at bedtime. It’s important to make it fit into your routine. Don’t change your schedule for the stoma. Make it change for you. Having a regular time for pouch changing, etc. helps put some order into your schedule. It will also ensure that leakage or other problems can be kept to a minimum. If you know that your pouch always leaks on the fourth morning for instance, then begin changing it on the third night, if that time is convenient.

Don’t be rough with your stoma. It’s not unusual for it to bleed a little when washed. Just be careful not to be too brisk with the washcloth or whatever you use, as that might cause excessive irritation.

Eat a well-balanced diet; following special instructions from your physician, dietician, ostomy nurse, etc. Drink sufficient water and fluids unless you are medically restricted. Persons with ileostomies and colostomies should chew their food very well. Avoid eating too many hard to digest and gaseous foods at one meal.

Urostomy patients need to be sure to have sufficient fluids, unless told otherwise by the doctor, as fluids help prevent infections. Rinsing the pouch daily with a solution of 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water helps prevent crystals from building up on the stoma, and the wash will also keep the inside of the pouch acidic. Acid conditions prevent growth of bacteria.

Patients can usually shower with the pouch off or on unless instructed otherwise. Water will not hurt the stoma. Peristomal skin especially needs TLC. A properly fitting pouch, changed regularly, usually accomplishes this. Never tape the pouch if it is leaking. Change it!! If you have frequent leakage and have to change too often, call your ostomy nurse to make an appointment for re-evaluation. Perhaps another type of pouch would be better suited, or perhaps your stoma and peristomal skin need re-assessment. There might be some new products that will work for you. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment.

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This page last revised 2007-03-07
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