What is stoma?
Stoma surgery results in a small opening on the surface of the abdomen being surgically created in order to divert the flow of faeces and/or urine. Conditions like colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can end up with a surgery and creation of a stoma. A stoma looks like a small spout, deep pink in colour similar to the inside of the mouth and, although it looks raw, it has no feeling. Waste matter comes out of the stoma and is collected in a stoma bag. The type of bag used depends on the type of stoma.
What challenges an individual with stoma is facing with?
Leaking is a common issue in people who have stoma. Leaking is more common in an ileostomy. Colostomy is less leaking in a normal condition. Leakage can cause skin rashes and skin breakdown. Odour, and passing gas is another challenge which these people experience; it causes some challenges in social interactions. Some of people with stoma embarrassed to attend social events due to faeces smelling and gas. It can cause social isolation and end up with depression.Also, output consistency can be challenges for people with stoma. loose output in ileostomy and constipation in colostomy are two important part of the stoma which should be addressed. Urostomy leaking can cause urine smell and some social interaction issues.
Financial challenge is another important part of the life for an individual with stoma. You can receive $800 grant each year from the government if you are qualified. However, it is not enough to cover all the expenses.
What is important for patients to know about stoma?
An individual with new stoma needs to adjust the lifestyle. At the beginning you need to learn about the diet. You need to learn which food make output loose and what can make it soft. Some foods make more gases and more odour.
learning how to apply the pouching system will help you to prevent leaking, and skin issues. If you try to learn it to be independent, it will make the life easier for you. Ideal wearing time is between 5 and 7 days, however at the beginning it maybe more frequent.
Stoma ssessment is another important part of a person with stoma. It is very important for you to know what is normal and what is not. You need to know what are red flags which needs to be addressed immediately.
You need to find out what resources you have in hand. What kind of financial assistance you can get? Who you can call if you have challenges with your pouching system.
What WOPG can do for you?
Enterostomal Therapist (ET) is a trained registered nurse (RN) which can help patients with stoma to manage stoma’s complications, managing pouching system, and choosing the right pouch. An ET nurse can teach you about your diet as well.Registered dietitian (RD) will be involved in the care if needed . WOPG is the best resources for you in GTA to get professionals if you have any challenges with your stoma. Contact us and we will help you.