Changes to the stoma
It is perfectly normal for your stoma to be swollen in the first few weeks after your surgery before swelling subsides. It’s important to monitor the size and shape of your stoma during the first 4-6 weeks to ensure you adjust your appliance size and fit accordingly.
What changes can I expect?
Your body changes over time and so will your ostomy. Exercising, losing or gaining weight may influence the shape of your ostomy as well as the area around your stoma. Some people may also develop an outward bulge and this can be caused by a hernia. This happens when a loop of the intestine pushes through a hole in the abdominal wall. If you think a hernia has developed, you should contact your Stomal Therapy Nurse immediately.
Why do changes happen?
Changes to your ostomy and the area around it can be caused by changes in weight, changes in routine such as increased exercise or the natural effects of aging on the muscles and the skin. Bulges are often caused by weaknesses in the muscles in the abdominal wall.
How do I know if the area around my stoma has changed?
How do I know if the area around my stoma has changed? Check your stoma and the area around it every time you change your bag. It is also a good idea to use the BodyCheck tool to see if your appliance is still the right match for your body profile. Take me to the BodyCheck.
Check also if the hole in your baseplate is still the right fit for the shape and diameter of your stoma. If not, you should cut the hole to the correct size to protect the skin from output. What do I do?
When should I contact my nurse?
If the area around your stoma changes, it's always a good idea to seek advice from your Stomal Therapy Nurse.