Keys to Caring for Your Ostomy

Learning the proper care for your stoma is a crucial initial step in transitioning to life after undergoing ostomy surgery. Familiarize yourself with these essential principles.

Once your healthcare professional gives you the go-ahead, you can gradually resume your daily activities. It may take time, but eventually, you will become accustomed to your ostomy pouching system and establish a schedule that suits your lifestyle.

In the beginning, it is crucial to acquire and implement good habits for ostomy care, which includes regularly changing your skin barrier (the part that adheres to your skin). A properly fitted skin barrier will shield your skin from irritation caused by the stoma output.

Here are a few fundamental tips for ostomy care:

Empty your pouch when it is approximately one-third to half full of output or gas.
If you use a cleansing product, ensure that it does not contain oils or lotions that might interfere with adhesives.
Rinse your skin with water and thoroughly dry it before applying a new pouch.
After applying your skin barrier, press it against your body for 30-60 seconds. The pressure and warmth will help activate the adhesive. Check for any gaps or leakage.
If you utilize a two-piece system, consider placing your skin barrier at an angle to create a diamond shape, which promotes a smoother fit.
Regularly replace your skin barrier. Eventually, you will determine what is most comfortable for you, but many individuals change it every three to four days.
If you notice redness, broken skin, moisture around your stoma, or if your pouch is not staying in place, seek assistance from your ostomy care nurse. Additionally, regularly inspect your peristomal skin to ensure it appears healthy and prevent any issues.

Uncertain about what to do during showers or baths? You have the option to keep your skin barrier and pouch in place or remove them.

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