Changes to your stoma

Changes to your stoma

Are you experiencing a change in shape or size to your stoma?

Changes to the ostomy

After the operation, it may take a few weeks for your stoma to reach its final size. During this time, it may appear swollen. You may also experience that the length of your soma changes when you stand up or cough. Over time further changes can occur.

Change in size or length to your stoma

What changes can I expect?

Your body changes over time and so will your ostomy. Exercise, as well as losing or gaining weight can influence the shape of your stoma, as well as the area around it. 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 ostomy care nurse immediately. Find out more about hernias here

Why do changes happen?

Changes to your stoma 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 muscle of the abdominal wall.

How do I know if my area around the ostomy has changed?

Check your stoma and the area around it every time you change your appliance. 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 do I contact my nurse? 

If the area around your stoma changes, it is always a good idea to seek advice from your ostomy care nurse.

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