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Your First 12 Weeks After Ostomy Surgery

Your ostomy surgery is finished, and you are at home. For many people, surgery can be the beginning of a more comfortable life. But it still requires adjusting to life with a stoma—physically and mentally.
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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 an ostomy. 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 ostomy 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 ostomy surgery, it is important to recognize 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 ostomy 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 ostomy nurse. The answers to any problems or concerns about post operative ostomy care are usually just a phone call away.

More in Getting back into life

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Getting Back into life

Immediate Weeks Following Surgery

When you are in the hospital, you will be taught how to care for your stoma.

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Ostomy care

Urostomy Tips & Insights

A urostomy is a type of surgery which enables urine to exit the body through a stoma after removal of a diseased or damaged portion of your urinary tract.

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Getting Back Into Life

Your First 12 Weeks After Surgery

Your ostomy surgery is finished, and you are at home. For many people, surgery can be the beginning of a more comfortable life. But it still requires adjusting to life with a stoma—physically and mentally.

Read more

Adapting to Your Ostomy

Understanding Your Feelings

Living with an ostomy will take some adjustment. In the first few weeks following surgery, you may find yourself feeling confused, angry, sad or frustrated.

Read more
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