elderly family member with new ileostomy

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/8/2009 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I have an elderly family member with a new ileostomy bag, which she says is not being properly cared for by her skilled nursing facility. She will not show me the problem, but says she has 2 holes because the doctor left one in case they reverse the colonostomy. Could this be true? I know it is reversible, but we were told this would not be an option for a 87 yr. old with severe breathing issues. She says they are not forming the bags correctly to prevent leaks because the common bags do not fit her without modification.
Thanks for your time and attention.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 788
   Posted 10/8/2009 10:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Does your family member have an ileostomy, or a colostomy? you mentioned both, so i just wanted to make sure.

I think she may be confused about the two hole thing.

some ileostomy stomas have two "holes" because of the way they attatch it to your skin. It's called a loop ileostomy. It's hard to explain (so you may want to look it up for better understanding) but it's when they make a loop with the small intestine, pull the loop through the abdomen, and then cut the loop open, so therefore, it will have two holes. one at the top, and one at the bottom. The top, active poo exit hole, and the bottom hole that is dormant, which will still produce mucus.

Or, she could be talking about another incision hole, but i still can't make sense of it.

The "common bags" could mean the pre-cut bags. Some people are lucky enough to have nice round stomas and can purchase them pre-sized and ready to go. Others (like me) have oval shaped stomas, and have to buy the cut-to-fit ones. Then we measure our stoma size, in order to get the bag to fit correctly and not leak. If they are cutting the hole too big, her output will get on her skin and irritate it. It's uncomfortable when that happens. Paste and seals can help a bit with that problem, unless they are just cutting it way too big.

Maybe someone else will have other ideas. I hope this is helpful, and i hope you can get the right help for her.

I would find out if an ostomy nurse would be willing to visit her and maybe even teach her staff, or you, the correct way to care for her ostomy.
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."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 10/9/2009 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I really think she needs to have an ET nurse see her. Lots of very competent nurses are completely clueless when it comes to ostomies. Good luck.
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