Stoma Care

At Great Western Hospital we perform and look after approximately 180 new stoma patients per year, the ages can range from newborn to 100 years old.

For those of you who need to have a stoma as part of your treatment, we appreciate that this can be a very stressful time.

Ideally a confidential, pre-operative consultation should take place prior to admission to hospital, so that you have the opportunity to ask questions and receive information about the surgery, hopefully dispelling any preconceptions and allaying anxiety. 

If you wish, we can arrange for you to meet with someone who has had similar surgery. Visitors can demonstrate successful rehabilitation and give responses based on personal experience.

A vital aspect of our role is the siting of the stoma prior to surgery.

Choosing a suitable site for the stoma is the first step to ensuring you will enjoy optimum quality of life after your operation.

It is important that the siting of the stoma is carried out with your participation.

The biggest concerns for patients following stoma surgery are fear of leakage, odour and pouch changing.

This highlights the importance patients place upon their initial ability to cope with the practical aspects of stoma care. 

Ongoing care

Following surgery we focus on teaching self-management of your stoma, advising on the choice and use of appliances and skin care so that you are confident before you go home.

We also provide your GP with specific details about your prescription requirements, and on how to obtain supplies of your chosen stoma equipment either from a chosen chemist or a delivery service.

For some patients, managing stoma care is not easy.

Part of our role is to liaise with your GP, district nurse and home care service, to ensure you can be discharged home with full support.

We will review you, usually within one week after you are discharged, to ensure you have no management concerns and to answer any questions you may have.

Further stoma care will take place as required, depending on your individual needs.

You can refer yourself to the Stoma Care Nurse for any stoma related issues.

Most of our patients find they are able to return to their normal lifestyle after surgery and a suitable convalescent period.

For those of you who are likely to require stoma surgery, we hope this introduction has given you a brief idea of what you can expect from your Stoma Care Nurse.

For established ostomists, please remember we are always available for advice and support for as long as you need us.

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