Your First 12 Weeks After Stoma Surgery
Welcome to the start of your new journey.
Surgery is done. And you’re on the path to growing a healthy bond between you and your stoma, so that you can be free to grow a healthy bond to the world around you. Of course, you’ll probably have questions and concerns. Particularly during the first 12 weeks of living with a stoma. This is natural. You may feel nervous, confused or even angry. You may be excited by the freedom, improved health and new activities you can enjoy after healing from your surgery. Or you may have a mix of these emotions. Again, all of these reactions are perfectly normal.
More importantly, you’re not alone. Your stoma nurse and healthcare professionals are there to assist you every step of the way. And so are we.
Bonding with your ‘new normal’
During the first few months after stoma surgery, it is important to recognise you and your loved ones will be undergoing a major period of adjustment. Life has changed. And it often takes time to adjust to the ‘new normal’. But you’ll get there.
If you’ve had a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy, for example, you’ll need to learn how to manage the passage of body waste through your stoma, as well as how to care for your skin after stoma surgery.
For the first six to eight weeks, your stoma will most likely shrink in size. Regular measuring will help ensure you are wearing the correct size of pouching system, increasing your confidence, and reducing discomfort.
Over time, your stoma will become more a part of you as a healthy bond grows between it and your body. Managing your stoma will become part of your daily routine. And to help you get to that point, remember to keep in close contact with your stoma nurse. The answers to any problems or concerns about post operative stoma care are usually just a phone call away.
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