A stoma is the result of an operation to remove disease such as cancer, Crohn's disease or diverticulitis or from a bowel obstruction or injury to the digestive or urinary system. It is an artificial opening that allows faeces or urine either from the intestine or from the urinary tract to pass from the body.
Types of stoma
There are three main types of stoma related to the digestive and urinary system - these are: colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy.
In a colostomy operation, part of your colon is brought to the surface of your abdomen to form the stoma. A colostomy is usually created on the left-hand side of your abdomen. Stools in this part of the intestine are solid and, because a stoma has no muscle to control defecation, will need to be collected using a stoma pouch.
In an ileostomy operation, a part of your small bowel called the ileum is brought to the surface of your abdomen to form the stoma. An ileostomy is required where the end part of the small bowel (ileum) is diseased and is usually made on the right-hand side of your abdomen. Stools in this part of the intestine are generally fluid and, because a stoma has no muscle to control defaecation, will need to be collected in a pouch.
If your bladder or urinary system is damaged or diseased and you are unable to pass urine normally, you will need a urinary diversion. This is called a urostomy. An isolated part of the intestine is brought onto the surface of the right-hand side of your abdomen and the other end is sewn up. The ureters are detached from the bladder and reattached to the isolated section of the intestine. Because this section of the intestine is too small to function as a reservoir, and there is no muscle or valve to control urination, you will need a urostomy pouch to collect the urine.
The days after stoma surgery can be challenging. You have a pouch attached to your abdomen and lots of new things to learn. It's important to remember that it takes time to adjust, but it will get easier. With support from your stoma care nurse and practical guidance on how to change your ostomy pouch and care for your skin, you should soon be able to do the things you’ve always done.
To be continued next week…I will discuss the stoma bag (pouch) and stoma care
Free Stoma Clinic on Tuesday May 10th
Whelehans Pharmacy host a Stoma Care Clinic at Whelehans Pharmacy Pearse St, Mullingar on Tuesday May 10th. This clinic is free of charge. The clinic is run by Debbie Rooney, Clinical Nurse Specialist from Coloplast● who has years of experience caring for people who have had stoma surgery. If you have a stoma or caring for someone with a stoma, book your free place by calling Whelehans at 04493 34591 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. . It doesn’t matter what brand of stoma products you use; you get impartial advice on all brands and ranges from our nurse specialist. If are experiencing issues with managing your Ileostomy, Colostomy or Urostomy, book your free 45-minute private consultation now.
Thanks to Coloplast for information for this article and for enabling the stoma clinic at Whelehans Pharmacy. For more detailed on stoma care and on Coloplast’s range of products and services including free samples, check www.coloplast.ie or Freephone 1800 409 502
Disclaimer: This article has general information and is not meant as a substitute to medical assessment with your doctor or other health professional
For health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).