Questions about upcoming surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 1/16/2009 5:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to everybody who takes time to help us. I hope I can help others as I move along on this path.

I have decided on permanent bag b/o my age (63) and I have decided to have my surgery asap and not wait until weather breaks because I am miserable. Second appt with surgeon and first appt with the wound care nurse will be Jan 27. I think I read on this board or another board that surgery is done a week after that appt. I think the nurse marks the spot where the stoma will be. Please let me know if my assumptions are wrong.

Now, my questions: I have UC and have ongoing nausea in afternoons. I'm hungry but the thought of eating is repulsive. I eat anyway but even then the food tastes bland. I have not vomited. Will my appetite come back when I'm "cured" and will my taste return? (Even chocolate is bland)

My GI says that it is the fecal matter in colon that smells bad b/o all the bacteria in the big colon; thus, the matter that comes out of small intestines into the bag does not "smell". Yet I read here that smell in the bag is a problem. What is everyone's experience with this smell business?

What kind of colon prep will I need for surgery for permanent bag which I think you call ileostomy bag. Is it easier than colonoscopy prep? My colon is pretty sick and I don't know how much more it can take.

My belly is kinda big even tho I have lost twenty pounds in past two yrs. I'm not huge but below belly button it sags some and wonder how my bag will fit there? Seems like I will crush it when I lean over; will leaning over while sitting cause leakage?

Will someone ie surgeon office or wound care nurses tell me in advance what kind of food I can eat post op? I will need to prepare because there is no one who can shop for me once I am discharged.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 1/16/2009 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, your nurse should discuss with you where the stoma will be located. Be sure to wear your regular clothes and after she marks you try bending and sitting and such. If your body 'creases' near the possible stoma location then you should seek an alternative location. Also, check to see if it sits right where your pants will be--they could be uncomfortable. You may want to ask her for a couple bags. You could put them on and see how they feel when you sit, bend, etc.

I have no idea about the taste issue--sorry! --but you should feel better regardless of that.

The small intestines have bacteria, too. You will still have smell. There are lots of products available to help with this but most of ostomates have found hydrogen peroxide or mouthwash works the best for the least amount of money.

The prep is pretty much the same--MISERABLE!!!!

As for the leakage--it will happen in the beginning until you find a bag that suits your body/stoma type. Once you have found the appliance for you it will be smooth sailing. Of course, the questions you asked about the bending while sitting are another good reason to ask for some bags to stick on your belly beforehand and see what happens. Oh--and you should contact ostomy suppliers and have them send you some samples so you can try out various different systems until you find the one that works for you. I don't know 'em off the top of my head but Shaz will know for sure and there is a thread out there about it as well.

Your nurse should be able to provide you with a list of good post op foods for you--just ask. I would recommend getting some convenience foods b/c you will not feel like cooking or anything. Personally, I lived off cereal....

I hope this helps!! Good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 788
   Posted 1/16/2009 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I was so lost b4 my surgery too. I had all of those same questions you do. Kinda makes me laugh... :)
The location:
I was worried about stoma placing. I had an ET nurse mark it just in case they didn't the day of surgery, but it wore off. I asked my surgeons office about marking it b4 surgery and they acted like I was dumb and told me Dr. B knows where to put it, He does it all the time. I wasn't convinced, but they were right and it was almost exactly where the ET nurse marked. It had to be redone, and they put it almost exactly in the same location on the other side, and from the sound of it, they put it pretty much in the same location on everybody. Almost the level of belly button and a few inches to the side of it. BUT ask them anyway.

The Nausea/Vomiting/Lack of appetite:
I was so afraid that even after surgery, I'd still have all of this nausea that I had all the time with my u/c. It seemed too good to be true that it would go away. It was hard to convince myself that it was truly my colon making me that sick. But it was. I had some nausea in the hospital a few days post-op, but now I have none and I'm eating everything!

The Smell:
Yes it will have a stink. But it's poop. After I empty, the bathroom smells like I just went poop. Who cares. You won't be stinking up your whole house wherever you go, just when you empty or vent (fart). I don't really smell it much even in the shower-and today's shower without the bag, it was very active.
After my 2nd surgery, they removed more sm. intestine, and it didn't stink as much. the nurses told me it depended on which part of the intestine the stoma came off from made it smell differently, but nobody thought "oh she's on antibiotics to get rid of infection and that might have something to do with the no smell" b/c when I got off the antibiotics WHEW! But for me, it's not enough to treat.

The Prep:
It's the same as for a colonoscopy. For me it was always hard. I vomited with EVERY prep I did. Even the pill prep. So MISERABLE. Same with the surgery prep. BUT it's the last one you'll ever do. That thought got me through it.

The Belly:
I have a saggy belly from having a baby and lots of stretch marks YUCK. doesn't seem to bother it so far......

The Diet:
The hospital made sure I could tolerate whole foods b4 I was released. At first it was clear liquids, then whole liquids, then soft foods, then ANYTHING. And when you go that long without much to eat, Hospital food gets a five star rating!!!! (The best green beans and mashed potatoes I've ever had!)
I would stock up on soft things though, just in case, like pudding and rice, mashed potatoes, bananas, eggs, cake :)

Good Luck with everything and keep us posted,
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; pred. and pain meds, (ileostomy temporary....not so sure?)

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

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