What Should You Pay Attention to During the Initial Stage of Ostomy Surgery?

"After ostomy surgery, facing this 'uninvited guest' called 'ostomy,' both family members and new ostomy friends often feel overwhelmed and helpless. They are unfamiliar with how to wear the ostomy bag, how to transition their diet, and various other aspects. The early post-surgery period is the most critical time, and if not handled properly, various challenges can arise. Today, I will discuss the initial stages after surgery and how to navigate them smoothly.

Psychological Adjustment

After the sudden change in circumstances and the significant physical trauma from the surgery, ostomy patients may initially struggle to accept this new reality. This can lead to psychological stress, anxiety, insomnia, and a loss of confidence in their future life. During this period, it is crucial for family members to provide emotional support and understanding.

First, help the ostomy patient recognize that the ostomy saved their life and that it's just a change in their bowel elimination method. During this time, ostomy patients need more care and empathy. It can be helpful to learn about the stories and experiences of other ostomy patients to find inspiration and rebuild self-confidence, thus overcoming the 'post-surgery blues.'

Product Handling

 For new ostomy patients, mastering the care routines can be challenging. They are unfamiliar with ostomy care, and their hospital stay might have been too short to learn all the necessary techniques. Here are some key aspects of ostomy care that newcomers often find challenging:

  1. How to cut the right-sized opening in the baseplate center: The proper center hole size is crucial for preventing leakage. After ostomy surgery, the stoma might be swollen and larger. As the swelling subsides in 6-8 weeks, the stoma size will reduce. During the swelling period, measure the stoma before each baseplate change, and ensure the center hole is 1-2 mm larger than the stoma. Additionally, try to match the shape of the hole to the stoma's shape.

  2. How to apply the baseplate and ostomy pouch: Newcomers often struggle with applying the baseplate correctly. They may find that the baseplate detaches easily or have trouble aligning it with the stoma. Here are some steps to follow, and with practice, it becomes easier over time.

Skin Care

Almost every ostomy patient encounters skin issues like redness, itching, or discomfort, often caused by leakage. Preventing leakage and keeping the skin dry are key to reducing skin problems. Structured skin care is recommended around the stoma. Additionally, ostomy barrier rings can be used to fill in any creases or folds around the stoma to provide a better seal and prevent leakage.

Dietary Adjustments:

  1. For patients with underlying conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or hypertension, dietary recommendations should be followed as per medical advice.
  2. Gradually introduce new foods, starting with small quantities and monitoring for any adverse reactions.
  3. Avoiding excessively greasy, spicy, or hard-to-digest foods is advisable.
  4. Pay attention to the characteristics of foods and the timing of meals to avoid discomfort or odor issues, especially during outings or at night.

It's important to remember that everyone's body is different. The main goal is to understand what your body needs and what you're comfortable with. Generally, ostomy patients don't need to restrict their diet, and they can try a variety of healthy foods as long as they eat small, regular meals. With proper care and a balanced diet, ostomy patients can lead a healthy and fulfilling life."

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