Ostomy Care FAQs


What Is Irrigation And Can I Do It?

Colostomy irrigation is a kind of enema which helps with bowel movement control. It means that you would not experience any bowel movements between irrigations. It also helps reduce gas. It might be possible to wear a stoma cap over your stoma if you irrigate your stoma rather than having to use a pouch system. Irrigation can be done daily or every other day. As for those of you that have a sigmoid colostomy, it may be possible to irrigate. However, anyone who has an ileostomy should not irrigate as it would cause dehydration.

Which Color Should My Stoma Be?

The stoma should either have a red color or deep pink color. As it works to move bowel movements out of the body, it might experience a slight color change. However, it should only happen for a few seconds or a minute. Call your healthcare provider immediately if it has a black, brown, grey, or dark red color.

Is It Normal If The Stoma Bleeds When I Change My Pouch System Or Touch It?

The stoma has various blood vessels. This is why it is possible to bleed with irrigation or touch. It is normal for there to be some blood on the tissue while cleaning the stoma. It should take a few minutes for the bleeding to stop. But, you may bleed more easily if you are using a blood thinner. Apply pressure to the area and contact your healthcare provider if you bleed a lot or the bleeding does not stop.

Is It Normal For The Area Around The Stoma To Bulge?

Let your WOC nurse or healthcare provider know if you have a change in the curve next to the stoma. It is possible to have a stomal hernia. Generally, it happens when the abdominal wall muscle is weak and the intestines start to bulge at the weak area. Initially, people do not feel any symptoms of a stomal hernia. It is not necessary to undergo surgery unless you experience a complication. You should contact your healthcare provider if you experience abdominal bloating, pain, vomiting, and nausea.

How Can I Wear A Belt Over The Stoma?

Try wearing your belt below or above the stoma. Avoid wearing a belt directly over the stoma as it would lead to bleeding, irritation, or even an overgrowth of tissue.

What Can I Do If I Experience Leakage of Bowel Movements Under The Wafer?

Tell your WOC nurse if you experience leakage. You might just require a different pouching system that fits perfectly.

Can I Do Anything To Prepare For Tests Like Scans With Contrast Dye?

When you visit your healthcare provider for tests, you should take an extra set of supplies as you might need to remove the pouch system. You will need to empty or change your bag during your trip to the hospital if you live an hour away or even further. It will ensure that the pouch does not overflow.