Stoma Questions

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SocalJohn
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 8/23/2009 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
So tomorrow night Ill be 2 weeks post surgery. Getting well adjusted to the bag at this point, although Ive had to change the bag pretty often cause it seems to not stay on real well. It seems that as I sit down, the bag gets folded, which eventually pulls up the gasket. I guess Im going to have to get a belt or something. The only problem is I havent gotten my first order of bags yet, so I only have 1 left from what they gave me at the hospital.

Anyways,

Questions about the stoma.

1) I was taking a shower. They said water shouldnt hit it directly. Now its easy to prevent this, but it doesnt seem like it really matters if a little water hits it. Is this true or false?

2) Do you usually clean your stoma? Mine had some gunk (reminds me of a salt water fish tank) on the top of it. Obviously its poopies. I used my clean finger, and just rubbed it off. Okay, or bad?

3) Gaskent sealant. I decided to used the toothepaste style sealant this time due to me loosing my last bag in 24 hours. I used to alot, and some pushed up the sides, and is now on the sides of my stoma. Im assuming this stuff wont irritate the stoma. True or false?

4) Stiches-I had a stitch come out in the shower. This is really the first time I noticed the stitches, and Im thinking the rest are going to fall out soon. So it made me wonder, how does this thing heal to the skin. Obviously stiches are always temporary, so does the stoma just heal in place, and not need the stitches?

Okay,

Thanks everyone. Please let me know if anyone can answer these questions. I would greatly appreciate it.

John

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 8/23/2009 9:40 PM (GMT -6)   
1. the water can hit it it wont matter. It might be that right now with it all being new the stiches and all is why they said that. Personally i shower with my bag on casue i cant stand to have it off, lol.

2. I dont clean mine, i clean the area around it, but i cant stand touching it, lol. Its fine to touch it though. BUT be sure that you dont have any soap or lotion or anyhting cause that could mess up your seal. AND they bleed really really easily so its possible to make it bleed just by touching it. And it will bleed ALOT. CeCe and i will just talking about this. I cut mine a little with my nail and blood just poured out, lol. But its ok wont cause a problem or anything.

3. I use the paste, but less is more, its fine if some smushes up there though. thats kind of what its for, to fill in the spaces around the sides.

4. i have no idea, but i didnt wanna leave the question out, lol.


Im not sure what you mean about the bag getting folded, but it shouldnt be pulling it off. to keep the top of mine from flopping down, i use a little bit of medical tape and tape it to my stomach.

crohnielass
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 8/24/2009 4:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, i agree with everything summerstorm has said, as  for queation 4 i had stitches removed from around the stoma 10 days after although there were 10 a few fell out on their own the skin would of knitted together so i think thats why the stitches fall out because they have done there job! smilewinkgrin   Bev x
Diagnosed with crohn's at 13 now 42
resection, right hemi 1993 In remmision from 93 till last sept with no meds or docs
2 resections small bowel  and fistula jan 09 and given temp stoma.  reversal sheduled for Nov09 Meds:Pentasa 500mg 3x day,  B12 shots, every 3 months, iron syrup,loperimide,folic acid, Back on citalopram 40mg (for Anxiety.)


Shaz032
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 8/24/2009 4:34 AM (GMT -6)   
1) I was taking a shower. They said water shouldnt hit it directly. Now its easy to prevent this, but it doesnt seem like it really matters if a little water hits it. Is this true or false?

I let the hot water hit it directly and run over it at least once a week when I change my bag. Stomas are a lot more hardy than they actually look and water won't hurt it even if it hits it directly.

2) Do you usually clean your stoma? Mine had some gunk (reminds me of a salt water fish tank) on the top of it. Obviously its poopies. I used my clean finger, and just rubbed it off. Okay, or bad?

I do the same as you for stubborn poop whilst in the shower. Any excess Eakin Seal I gently scrub off with a finger nail too.


3) Gaskent sealant. I decided to used the toothepaste style sealant this time due to me loosing my last bag in 24 hours. I used to alot, and some pushed up the sides, and is now on the sides of my stoma. Im assuming this stuff wont irritate the stoma. True or false?

Your stoma is used to having a lot worse than paste on it. Paste is made to go around the stoma anyway, so it's fine :)

4) Stiches-I had a stitch come out in the shower. This is really the first time I noticed the stitches, and Im thinking the rest are going to fall out soon. So it made me wonder, how does this thing heal to the skin. Obviously stiches are always temporary, so does the stoma just heal in place, and not need the stitches?

Most people seem to have dissolvable stitches around their stoma. Yours might have dissolved enough to fall out. As long as you're not losing your insides and your stoma is staying put where it should be, I wouldn't worry about it.
Ileostomy for 33 years due to UC

Moderator of the Ostomy and Psoriasis Forums

_______________________________________________

I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!


Chasblah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 788
   Posted 8/24/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
ditto what those very smart ladies told you.
I just have to add that the bags they give you in the hosp. are usually crap. So hopefully you'll get a better seal with better quality bags.
Chassity
28 yrs. old. married with one beautiful daughter (born 11/20/07)
-diagnosed with severe pancolitis u/c 2002 had total colectomy 12/19/08; emergency surgery due to abscess-had to redo ileostomy and switch to left side 12/25/08; 2/15/09 found blood clot in superior mesenteric vein (prob. from inf. and surgery inflammation)
coumadin, prenatal vit.
(temporary ileostomy....maybe)

"Things turn out the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out."


Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 8/24/2009 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I shower with my appliance on just because I don't like to shower with it off...it's a personal preference thing.

I clean my stoma and the surrounding area, when I change my appliance, with Dial soap and water. I make sure its clean so a new wafer will adhere without problems.

Paste will squirt through the edges...have you tried a seal instead?

I had to have one stitch removed...the rest dissolved on their own.

If your appliance is popping off when you sit down it might not be the right one for you...I would ask to see your WOCN and have them see if something might work better for you. Make sure you explain everything that happens and how often you are changing things so they can understand what needs to be adjusted.

SocalJohn
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 8/24/2009 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
OHIO76, or whoever can answer this. Pardon my ignorance, but what is a WOCN?

Thanks,
John

justjenjen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 8/25/2009 5:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I think the reason they said not to let water hit your stoma directly is b/c your stoma is still new and tender. I was told that at first it may not feel very good to have the shower water directly hit it, but over time if I didn't mind it, it really didn't matter.

SocalJohn--a WOCN is an ET nurse...I think it stands for Wound Ostomy Care Nurse--but I couldn't be totally wrong.

Wild Meeca
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/25/2009 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I have psoriasis so it's very common for me to change my bag often. I would suggest getting in contact with an ET nurse so they can look at your skin and supplies and help you out. They're a HUGE help. :) good luck with everything!

RobinByrd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 8/25/2009 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi John!  I agree with almost everything suggested above, but I thought I'd give you a bit of my experience too...  smilewinkgrin

1) I actually shower with my appliance completely off when it's time to change it...which is about once a week.  I used to change it every three to four days, but now am up to every six to eight days! yeah   
 

2) Yes sir, I do clean my stoma in the shower.  I scrub fairly hard on the skin under the skin barrier and my stoma as well.  I don't mind the bleeding.  I also don't mind if there are some messes in the bath tub.  I try to shower before having breakfast or immediately after dinner so my stoma (Penelope) isn't in over drive.  :-)    I also clean the skin in the shower and dry it off with a washrag (so the blood from Penelope doesn't stain my towels) and I make sure my skin is as dry as possible before adding the Eakin Seal, and I do try to keep the seal as close to her as possible.
 

3) I tried the paste for the first month or so, but learned it just wasn't for me.  I now use the Eakin Seals by ConvaTec...or is it Coloplast...hmmm...sorry I don't really remember right now!  I also learned that each brand and style of flange/skin barrier/wafer will fit differently.  I really think you may need to experiment with them and find what is best for your body.  I tried two-piece systems for a while, but decided that one-pieces are what I need, and after additional trial and errors I have found my match!  turn   If you call around to all the different companies they will be more than happy to send you trials of anything and everything!  I have to admit that I have been most impressed with Hollister and Coloplast for the appliances and ConvaTec for the seals...again, I think that's right.  confused
 

4) I hated seeing my stitches...they broke off and just kind of stuck out around Penelope like huge nasty hairs!  Totally gross.  However, they did fall out over time.  Most of mine were actually pulled out b/c they were attached to the skin barriers!  That was weird too.
 
 
I do suggest that maybe give yourself some time to heal before exposing your stoma to a lot of water.  The first time I took a shower completely nudie was about a month post surgery...I had a blockage (broccoli...beware!!!!!) and soaked in a hot tub and took a hot shower and Penelope was okay...she was traumatized b/c of the stupid broccoli, but the shower and bath didn't hurt her.
 
It is weird how the skin and stoma are...it's hard to explain...in a way mine looks like it's just there, but Penelope is secure...
 
I like seeing Penelope.  She's a part of me and I accept every bit of her presence.  When she makes little noises or BIG noises everyone (my family and friends) knows it's her being obnoxious!  turn   
 
Sorry this is so long...I hope you continue positive adjustments!!!!
 
smurf  
: )  Robin
 
29 year old Mommy of an amazing 1 year old and Wife for 2 years!
Dx-May 2007 Moderate/Severe Pancolitis - failed all medications
 
Proctocolectomy w/ permanent ileostomy on 02/06/09!!!
 
"Your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open."  -Unknown


SocalJohn
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 8/26/2009 1:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Everyone has such good info, thanks.
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