Stoma Bag

This site is dedicated to stoma care.
Stoma Bag

        One of the most important surgical procedures that can be used to treat all sorts of digestive and urinary tract problems is the ostomy surgery. Basically, patients who suffer from colon, anus or bladder cancer and a number of other less life - threatening, but still serious diseases, like Chron's disease or ulcerative colitis, need to make sure that the food they ingest or the urine they eliminate does not come in direct contact with the damaged parts of their body. Therefore, the ostomy surgical procedure, be it an ileostomy, a colostomy or a urostomy, is considered a by - pass operation, meant to replace the anus or the lower urinary tract with a stoma bag.

       The physical procedure itself ends with the installation of the stoma bag, but it begins with something completely different: the surgeon will open the patients' abdomen, search for any cancer - filled parts of the intestines or the urinary tract and cut them out. After that part of the surgery is done, the surgeon will create the stoma, which is a hole in the patients' abdominal cavity, and connect the remaining portion of the digestive or urinary tract to said stoma. On top of the stoma, a stoma bag will be placed. The role of the stoma bag is simple and rather obvious: the stoma bag collects the wastes that your body needs to eliminate in order to function.

       Now, after the operation is done for and the patient has been released from the hospital, the stoma bag must be taken care of day by day. While hospitalized, your stoma bag will be cleaned, changed and refreshed by the nurses and the attending physicians, but after that, you must take on that responsibility. There are some things you need to know about the stoma bag before you even begin to think about accepting the operation: firstly, the stoma bag you will wear could be a permanent addition to your body. Only patients that have not suffered from cancer or ulcerative colitis can have their stoma bag removed after a while. The downside to that would be that the ostomy restoration procedure is rarely successful and the patient is back on the bag in a matter of months.

       The second thing you should be made aware of is the fact that it takes a special kind of stoma bag, more expensive than the regular one, to stop the smell from spreading. Naturally, you bodily wastes have a very poignant and sour smell. It cannot be avoided, but it can be covered. On the one hand, you could try to eat less flavored food so that your wastes will not smell as bad as before. On the other hand, since nobody like food that tastes like cardboard, you should consider investing a bit more in your stoma bag and make sure it has an odorizing layer between the outer shell and the intestine.

       You have to understand that your stoma does not work the same way your anus would. It does not have muscles that help you regulate the waste flow. This means that you will not be able to stop the wastes from being eliminated after the digestion process has been completed. You must be aware of your body and anticipate these eliminations, because right after them you have to clean the stoma bag and ensure that its odorizing layer is still in place.

       If you notice anything wrong with your stoma, including excessive bleeding when you clean it and loosening or tightening of the metal ring that helps keeping it close to the skin, you must contact your attending physician immediately. These things are not like colds, they do not go away on their own and they will get worse very fast.