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Thread: colostomy stoma size

  1. #1

    colostomy stoma size

    I'm strongly thinking about going through with a colostomy to make my life easier (I hope) and met with an ostomy nurse today to discuss it. She gave me a DVD from ConvaTec that I brought home to watch. It shows a woman demonstrating how to change the wafer and her stoma looks surprisingly large. It wasn't so much the diameter as it was how far the stoma protruded from the skin. It looked like a red Blow-Pop. Does that sound normal? What dictates how far out this thing will come? As I understand some can be rather flush with the abdomen which requires different types of wafers and seems more problematic.

  2. #2
    Mine I've had for 2yrs, been injured 23yrs, and it's been one of the best things I've done next to my SP tube. My stoma is about as big around as a golf ball, maybe a touch bigger and only sticks out just above the surface, yes it looks like a flat blow-pop. I don't use the wafers, I use a precut bag, which is like: peel off the old bag, clean, stick on new bag. very easy. good luck

  3. #3
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    im having colostomy done monday and am very nervouws about the surgery and hospital stay. would appreciate hearing some experiences from anyone. i know ill be glad after

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    Mine is about 1 1/4" in diameter, and protrudes 1/2" or so. I can't use pre-cut b/c it isn't a circle, more of an oval.
    Last edited by sjean423; 11-06-2008 at 03:57 PM.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  5. #5
    Mine is about 1 1/4" in diameter and protrudes about 1". It will change shape and size briefly if/when there is "activity". I call it "the alien" when it does this--then it goes back to normal.

    bnb66--it is normal to feel apprehensive. It is a big change. I think you will definitely be glad you did it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtimeonmyass View Post
    She gave me a DVD from ConvaTec that I brought home to watch. It shows a woman demonstrating how to change the wafer and her stoma looks surprisingly large. It wasn't so much the diameter as it was how far the stoma protruded from the skin. It looked like a red Blow-Pop. Does that sound normal?
    I think I saw the same Convatec DVD you are referrring to when I was considering surgery. I shared the same concern. If I recall correctly that woman is a long time ostomate due to bowel disease. It seemed to me her abdomen / abdominal wall protruded out and made her stoma look more pronounced.

    I had laproscopic surgery for colostomy in April. I have not had any problems with stoma as appear in the DVD.

    Like others I am very pleased with procedure and improved quality of life. I researched it for several years , was concerned about making a bad decision but it has been excellent choice for me. As a long time injury, 30+ years I found my BP routine had changed and my daily activities were suffering due to amount of wear and tear & time increasingly being taken up by my bowel program.

    I think you are smart to do your research. Several excellent threads on CC, visits to surgeons, and ostomy nurses are what finally got me to take the leap and life has improved since I made the change.

    I would strongly recommend laproscopic surgery if you decide on ostomy.

    good luck.
    Last edited by ChesBay; 11-06-2008 at 04:27 PM. Reason: ETA : good luck bnbb6 . things will go fine and you'll be glad you made the choice.

  7. #7
    Best thing I ever did. 3/26/79.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by bnb66 View Post
    im having colostomy done monday and am very nervouws about the surgery and hospital stay. would appreciate hearing some experiences from anyone. i know ill be glad after
    It's a day surgery, and it's a little weird at first seeing the stoma sticking out. but you get use to it, then after a few weeks you'll wonder why it didn't happen sooner. good luck

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ChesBay View Post
    I think you are smart to do your research. Several excellent threads on CC, visits to surgeons, and ostomy nurses are what finally got me to take the leap and life has improved since I made the change.

    I would strongly recommend laproscopic surgery if you decide on ostomy.

    good luck.
    This place is terrific for getting answers and the opinion of others. The feedback seems to be mostly positive toward it.

    I have an appointment to meet with a general surgeon at the VA November 17th. The ostomy nurse told me she didn't think they did laparoscopic colostomies at that VA. If that's true, my next question is going to be why not. BTW, it's one of the largest ones too. The nurse said I could be looking at a 10 day-2 week hospital stay. That's longer than I had hoped.

    Another question is where do most people have their stoma? The nurse was saying how most people in wheelchairs have theirs higher up rather than level with the bellybutton or lower. That makes me wonder where the pouch is going to hang and how to position it so that it can be both hidden and also have room to fill. Since it's a one-shot deal I want to make sure it is in the best spot for me, but how would you know exactly if you've never had one?

  10. #10
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    I didn;t pick mine, it was emergency surgery, but mine is a little below the belly button on my right. It works out well, as the entire bag and appliance is covered by my pants, but not effected by my waistband. It is easy to access to empty. I wear my pants a little bigger than normal, it gives the bag plenty of room, BUT I need them a little bigger to be able to dress easily as well. In fact, I have one pair that is tight enough to make dressing an issue, but still fits well when they are finally on, and there is still plenty of room for the bag.

    I think above the waistband would be a nuisance, if you tucked it into your pants, it would hinder filling. And I think harder to conceal under a shirt that pants.

    I guess it would depend a bit on your reach?
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

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