Preparing for Ostomy Surgery in Three Steps

Having ostomy surgery may be intimidating, but the surgeons at West Valley Colon & Rectal Surgery Center want patients to know that they are in good hands. Each of our physicians are expertly trained at minimally invasive ostomy surgery and will do everything in their power to make patients feel as comfortable as possible. They recommend using these three steps in order to be prepared before and after your procedure.

Step 1: Learn about your procedure

The first step towards preparing for your surgery is to learn everything you can about your procedure. Learning what the surgeon will be doing while you’re under anesthetic may ease your fears about surgery.

Procedure:

After prepping and cleaning the area, the colon and rectal surgeon will begin by making a small incision. The diseased section of the bowel will be carefully removed and bring some of the intestine through the abdominal wall where it will be attached to the skin. A pouch will be attached to collect waste.

Our physicians will teach you how to care for the pouch, but if it would make you feel more comfortable, you can do some research on your own. Our team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the ostomy procedure. 

Step 2: Get ready for the hospital and return home
With the use of minimally invasive techniques, our patients are able to have a shorter hospital stay. However, they still need to stay for a couple of days. Make sure you are packed and have everything you need for the stay. Don’t forget to prepare your home as well. You will be required to rest and limit your mobility, so make sure everything you need will be near to you. Our surgeons recommend keeping a schedule of your medication and having plenty of fluids within reach.

Step 3: Learn about your pouch
Caring for your stoma and ostomy pouch can seem overwhelming at first. The pouch will need to be changed a few times per day, so after ostomy surgery, pay attention to how quickly it fills up, because each patient has a different output. Our staff will teach you how to empty your pouch and how to prevent excess gas from filling up the pouch.

FAQ’s about the pouch:

Can I shower normally?
Yes! Patients can shower comfortably and get the pouch wet. Just be sure to pat it dry with a towel afterwards. 

Will it smell?
The pouch is designed with odor-proof material. Most people will not be able to detect any smells coming from the pouch. However, if you are still worried, there are deodorizer products available for ostomy pouches. Patients should not poke a hole in the bag to let gas out because the bag may begin to smell if the material is broken.

Can I resume my diet?
After their procedure, patients can go back to eating their normal meals. If gas becomes bothersome, our physicians recommend modifying the diet as certain foods can cause gas. Each patient is different, so find the diet that is right for you so you become comfortable wearing your ostomy pouch.

If you have any questions or wish to make an appointment, please call our office at (623) 875-7330. Thank you again for visiting our weekly blog. In future weeks, you can expect patient education, colon, and rectal educational information, and lifestyle blogs, so check back soon!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.