Check the pouch occasionally to see if it needs emptying before it gets too full and causes a leakage problem. Always empty prior to going out of the house and away from a convenient toilet. Most people find the easiest way to empty the pouch is to sit on the toilet with the pouch between the legs. Hold the bottom of the pouch up and remove the clamp. Slowly unroll the tail of the pouch into the toilet. Clean the outside and inside of the pouch tail with toilet paper. Replace the clamp.
It is natural to wonder how you will explain your surgery and how others will accept you.
You can tell them as much as you want them to know. A brief explanation would be that you had abdominal surgery or that you had part or your entire colon removed. If you have children, answer their questions simply and truthfully. A simple explanation will be enough for them. Talking about your surgery in a natural way will dispel any misconceptions that they have.
The adhesiveness and durability of pouching systems vary. Anywhere from three to seven day is to be expected. Itching or burning are signs that the wafer should be changed. Changing too frequently or wearing one too long may be damaging to the skin.
You should tell those who need to know, such as healthcare providers, your spouse or significant others, and people who are involved in your recuperative care.
You need not feel you have to explain your surgery to everyone who asks. Those who are just curious need to know only that you had abdominal surgery, or that you had part or all of your colon or bladder removed.
If you are considering marriage, thorough discussions with your future spouse about life with an ostomy and its affect on sex, children, and family acceptance will help alleviate misconceptions and fear on the part of the spouse.
If you have children, answer their questions simply and truthfully. A simple explanation will be enough for them. You may want to confide in your employer or a good friend at work because keeping it a complete secret may cause practical difficulties.
Take your ostomy supplies with you since the hospital may not have your brand in supply. If you are in doubt about any procedure, ask to talk to your doctor.
Ask to have the following information listed on your chart:
1) type of ostomy or continent diversion,
2) whether or not your rectum is intact,
3) describe in detail your management routine and list the ostomy products used. For urinary stomas,
4) do not take a urine specimen from the urostomy pouch, use a catheter inserted into the stoma.