For those of you who are not familiar with what a stoma is, a stoma is an opening created during surgery on the intestines. It then allows for a person’s waste like urine and feces to be sent through the stoma out of the body and into an ostomy pouch. If you are lucky enough to have no idea what a stoma is, then I suggest that you stop reading this article immediately; things are about to get real nasty up in here, and I am not going to be held responsible if your sensitive eyes are not able to handle it.
With all that being said, today I wanted to write about what happens when something is wrong with your stoma. The last thing that any of us with an ostomy want to deal with is further complications – however, there are a few warning signs that people with an ostomy should look out for in order to catch a problem with their stoma before it gets too bad, and I am going to spend some time today talking about those. Keep in mind that I really do not want to write this article (in fact, I would rather be doing just about anything else right now). However, it is important for me to write about this in order to keep my job. So without further ado, here are some signs that your stoma is not in the best shape and that you may need to go get things looked at by a professional (which I am not).
The first sign that something may be wrong with your stoma is that the swelling does not decrease in size as you are recovering from surgery. Directly after surgery things are going to be pretty tender for a while; this makes sense, since you literally just had your body cut open and your natural organs rerouted to different places in your body.
However, if the swelling does not decrease in size during the weeks following surgery or increase a lot, that may be a sign that something is wrong. I do not want to freak you out at all, but it might be advisable for you to seek some professional opinion on what could be wrong with your stoma. Another sign that something could be wrong with your stoma is that the skin of the stoma no longer looks beefy red or pink as it should. If it looks pale and dry, then there is something definitely wrong with your stoma. Hopefully you have insurance, because you are soon on your way to the hospital my friend! All jokes aside, I hope that everything with your stoma works out okay and that it isn’t anything serious.
There are also signs that the stoma may not be doing well if you look at the skin that surrounds the stoma as well. One such sign is that the skin around the stoma is appearing red, irritated, or swelling. Now, it is true that these things could be happening for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the skin around the stoma can become irritated simply because of frequent skin barrier changes or improper cleaning or hygiene of this area. However, if this becomes a problem that persists often and does not seem like it is going to get better on its own, it might be worth getting looked at from a professional.