Life With a Colostomy

Life With a Colostomy

Adjusting to a colostomy can be challenging initially, but it does not mean that you can not live a full and active life. Modern colostomy equipment is discreet and secure, and you can perform the majority of the activities that you enjoyed before.

Colostomy Bags and Equipment

A colostomy bag typically collects you stool. It has to be removed and replaced when full, usually a few times every day.

Additionally, there are drainable bags which just have to be replaced every a couple of days. These might be acceptable for those that have especially loose stools.

An expert stoma nurse, who generally sees you before and after the colostomy surgery, can help you choose the most acceptable colostomy equipment.

There is a variety of colostomy appliances accessible, for example:

A one-piece — the bag and flange (component that sticks to the skin) are joined; the appliance is removed when full and then disposed of

A two-piece pouch — the bag and flange are separate, but can be attached; the flange could be left in your skin for several days, and the bag removed and disposed of several times a day

Colostomy appliances are produced from non-allergic (sterile) substances to decrease skin irritation. They also contain specific filters to protect against any unpleasant odors.

For those who have predictable and regular bowel patterns, you might not always should wear a colostomy bag. However, as intermittent leakages can occur, it is strongly suggested that you put on a little stoma cap.

Your stoma care nurse can offer you more info and information about equipment.

Ordering supplies

You’re going to be given your first supply of colostomy appliances, according to your prescription, when you leave hospital.

Your prescription may be taken to the chemist or delivered to a professional provider, that will deliver the equipment.

You won’t need to pay prescription charges because of permanent colostomy gear. However, you are going to need to pay prescription charges to get a temporary colostomy, unless you are over 60 or being treated for cancer.

Colostomy irrigation

It entails washing your colon daily or every other day.

To try it, you gently add a little device in your stoma and attach it to a bag filled with water.

You gradually move water in your colon so that it washes out it. The equipment is subsequently disposed of after the procedure is complete. A cap is used to cover the stoma between irrigations.

Advantages of irrigation include:

  • you choose when you want to do irrigation
  • you do not need to wear a colostomy appliance (however might need to wear a little cap)
  • you should have the ability to enjoy a more diverse diet
  • you ought to have less gas (flatulence)

Disadvantages if irrigation:

  • it is a time-consuming process that requires 45 to 60 minutes to complete, typically on a daily basis
  • for the best results, irrigation should be performed at the same time every day, which may be difficult once you’re away from home, on vacation, or working

Irrigation isn’t always possible. For example, it’s not suitable for people with Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis, or if you’re having radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Irrigation probably is not a good idea for young kids as it is rather time-consuming.


In the first couple of weeks after a colostomy, you will most likely be advised to have a low-fiber diet plan.

This is since a high-fiber diet will increase the size of your feces, which could temporarily block your gut. After about eight weeks, you will usually have the ability to return to a regular diet.

As you recover, you may begin to consume a healthy, balanced diet which includes lots of fresh fruit and veggies.

You ought to be able to come back to the diet you’ve appreciated. If you had a limited diet, you need to be able to reintroduce the limited foods.

Smell and Gas

Most people will worry about the odor of the colostomy. But a person standing near you will not have the ability to smell the stoma.

You will have more gas than normal immediately following a colostomy, however, that will gradually reduce as your gut recovers.

Your stoma nurse may notify you about products that you may use to help decrease any odor and provide you dietary guidance to decrease gas.


Many medicines are designed to dissolve slowly in your digestive system. Having a colostomy shouldn’t change the effectiveness of your usual medicine.


In the weeks following operation, a few gentle exercise is generally suggested to help you heal.

The best way to recover will depend on how much exercise you can perform.

When you’ve recovered from the surgery, you will slowly have the ability to come back to your exercise regimen.

Many kinds of exercise are possible with a stoma, such as swimming, as most of colostomy bags are watertight.


As soon as your gut has healed, there is no reason why you can not return to work.

Your stoma nurse may advise you about that.

It is likely to ba a few months before you are ready to return to work. It is dependent upon how well you recover and the sort of job that you perform.

You might find it quite tiring when you come back, so to begin you may work fewer hours than usual and perform lighter duties.

Talk about the possible choices with your company before having the surgery.

You do not need to inform your work colleagues on your colostomy if you don’t want. Many folks find it is a fantastic idea to inform 1 individual at work in the event they need any advice or support.


There is no reason you can not travel after a colostomy, but you will most likely have to plan additional time in your travels.

Many stoma businesses have information you may take with you at all times, available in many many languages.

If you have access to disabled toilets, it’s possible to change your colostomy appliance if you want.

stymcomedLife With a Colostomy