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Ostomy care after surgery

Everyone recovers differently from ostomy surgery. In general, you can expect the following process when healing from your procedure.

  • At first, your stoma will be swollen, but it is usual for the stoma to change in size and shape in the weeks after your surgery.*
  • The abdominal muscles take about three months to heal. Your doctor will most likely suggest a soft, bland diet in the weeks after your surgery, and you can gradually reintroduce foods with your health care provider’s approval.
  • Do not lift heavy objects in the weeks after surgery, as your muscles will be sore and weak.
  • You can expect to be tired after surgery as your body heals. When you wake up from surgery, you will have an ostomy pouch in place.
  • Your nurse will explain how to use your pouch and change it.

*Note: Stoma shapes are as individual as belly buttons – no two are exactly the same. Ostomy products are specially designed to help you get the right fit with your ostomy pouching system. Some people with ostomies find that if their stoma is flush to the skin, a convex pouch can help them get a better fit. Talk to your WOC (Wound, Ostomy and Continence) nurse if you have any questions and/or concerns about your pouching system.

Related articles:
Deciding on an ostomy pouching system
Daily management tips for ostomy care
Preventing ostomy pouch leaks