How your stoma looks?

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still a lot to learn
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 11/11/2010 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,
I am curious if I am "normal" or not.  My question is about my perm ileostomy stoma.  When I remove my appliance for a change sometimes my stoma looks all swollen and fat and watery.  Other times it will look all shriveled up like a turtle's neck and solid.  I don't know if this means anything or if one way is "better" or "desired"??  I am lucky in that my stoma usually sticks out almost an inch from my skin.  Does anyone know if either way is a "problem"?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 788
   Posted 11/11/2010 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine changes shape all of the time too. It's even retracted to almost completely under the skin :(
I think it sounds normal, as long as the color is a nice dark pink/red.
29y. married with one beautiful daughter born 11/20/07
-2002 dx with severe pancolitis u/c; 12/19/08 had total colectomy; 12/25/08 emergency surgery due to abscess-had to redo ileostomy and switch to left side; 2/15/09 found blood clot in superior mesenteric vein (prob. from inf. and surgery inflammation)
Feeling Fabulous Now with my ileostomy!!!!!
Pregnant with second baby due 5/26/11

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 11/12/2010 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
     For the exception of it shrinking to one inch from its original 1 1/4 inches after surgery, mine has not changed at all.  There is a little more belly fat around it as I have gained about five pounds or so since surgery....could that be it?

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 11/12/2010 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
My stoma went from being about 1.5inches right after surgery to about 7/8 of an inch. It looks like a tiny red finger that sticks out, lol.
Sometimes it will pull in right to my skin. As long as it is red and moist I wouldn't worry about it. It is your intestine and it is supposed to change shape.
21 y/o male livin' in Georgia. Diagnosed with Left-Sided Colitis in 2002; re-diagnosed with Pancolitis in Nov. 2009.
June 2010 I beat UC by having surgery.
Drugs tried: Just about every 5ASA medicine, enemas, prednisone, turmeric, fish oil, Remicade, psyllium seed powder, Metamucil.
Unable to take 6MP.
Temp Ileostomy and colon removal surgery - 6/2/2010
Readmitted back to hospital because of blockage (my fault cause I ate Steak n Shake 3 days after being released from surgery) - 6/10/2010
Takedown surgery - 8/?/2010

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1595
   Posted 11/12/2010 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine is usually retracted and shriveled up. Sometimes it is out about 3/4 inch and puffed up. You can get a better seal with your wafer if it sticks out.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 11/12/2010 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
mine change depending on whether its active or not. but as long as its pink and healthy looking its ok
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 421
   Posted 11/13/2010 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Exactly as everyone has said, your stoma will change shape throughout the day depending on how active it is. As long as it's red/pink your fine.

RX Crohn's 1999, over 30 surgeries, 3 strokes, permanent colostomy and rectum removal.
"The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that he limits himself by becoming afraid to try anything new."
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