Interim Healthcare has various services available regarding ostomy care. Educating patients, teaching them to clean and change their ostomy, providing realistic expectations, providing emotional support, ensuring patient application competency and promoting higher levels of independency in ostomy care though diet education and education on how to properly irrigate the ostomy and skin care of the surrounding tissues results in greater independence for the client.
What is an ostomy? An ostomy is a surgically created opening between the external body surface and the internal organ needs to be accessed. This opening is called a stoma. Typically, ostomies are created as an intestinal surgical procedure when new ways are needed for waste products to exit the body. Possible reasons for this necessity are cancer, trauma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), bowel obstruction, infection, fecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements) and diverticulitis (inflammation of tiny pockets that commonly form in the colon wall). The most common form of ostomies include “ileostomy” (connecting the ilium – the last part of the small intestine – to the skin of the abdominal wall) and “colostomy” (connecting part of the colon – part of the large intestine – to the abdominal wall).
An ostomy can be either permanent or temporary, with temporary ostomies normally being reversible. They are created in order to temporarily keep stool material away from a downstream area (closer to the anus), a healing surgical site, an inflammation site, or due to a blockage from scar tissue or some disease. A permanent ostomy may be necessary when a disease or the treatment of a disease impedes normal intestinal function or the muscles controlling normal elimination no longer function properly.
Will My Diet Be Limited?
Diet modification may be suggested in order to control the consistency and frequency of your bowel movements, depending on which type of ostomy is required. It is also suggested that thorough chewing of your food and drinking plenty of fluids can help with this process. You may be instructed to avoid certain types of food, particularly high roughage foods. Patients may begin to reintroduce those types of food back into their diet slowly after a period of time, in order to monitor how that particular food reacts with the ostomy. Your WOC nurse and colorectal surgeon will be able to give more details pertaining your specific dietary needs.
Will Other People Know I Have An Ostomy?
Unless you choose to tell others, no. An ostomy can be easily hidden by your normal clothing. Chances are you have met somebody with an ostomy and not even realized it!
Where Will My Ostomy Be Located?
The optimal placement is on a flat portion of your abdominal wall that is easily seen and accessible for you. The placement should be marked before surgery by your surgeon or WOC nurse. A colostomy is normally placed on the left of your naval, while an ileostomy is typically on the right.
This service is available at these locations: