Helping ostomists to regain a healthy lifestyle after recovery from surgery. 2014.

Pregnancy outcomes after stoma surgery for inflatmmatory bowel disease: the results of a retrospective multicentre audit. 2022.

‘Let's talk about sex’: a patient-led survey on sexual function after colorectal and pelvic floor surgery. 2021.

Knowledge of stoma care among nurses working in acute settings: an integrated review. 2021.

Rising to the challenges faced by people living with dementia and a stoma. 2019.

The burden of peristomal skin complications on an ostomy population as assessed by health utility and the physical component summary of the SF-36v2®. 2018.

Stoma support garments: a survey on patient information needs, products selection and equity of provision. 2020.

Prevention of parastomal hernia: a comparison of results 3 years on. 2007.

A holistic view of the stoma care pathway in Italy: a nationwide learning survey. 2022.

Parastomal hernias and information retention: how and when to educate ostomates on risk minimisation. 2022.

Resuming activities with a stoma

02 August 2022
Volume 27 · Issue 8

A stoma, or ostomy, is surgically created for individuals with diseases such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There are three main output stomas, the most common being the colostomy or the ileostomy (faecal stomas) and the ileal conduit or urostomy (a urinary output stoma).

During the formation of a stoma, the abdominal muscles are divided so that the bowel can pass through; it is then attached to the abdominal wall. Healing of the wound mainly occurs within the community setting. When it comes to the reintroduction of activities, it can be difficult to know how and what to prescribe. This article outlines ways in which individuals with newly formed stomas may resume activities in a community setting, and the guidance and advice that community nurses should provide.

Initially after surgery, people with a newly formed stoma are advised to avoid strenuous activities such as lifting heavy items; however, walking is encouraged. A recent literature review described a lack of knowledge about stoma care within the acute setting of nurses who did not specialise in stoma care (Dunne et al, 2021). In this review, nurses who had been qualified for longer and had more exposure to stomas demonstrated greater confidence. It could be argued that in the community, there is more contact with people with a stoma than in the acute setting. However, without consistent exposure to stoma-related issues, confidence in providing advice may be limited.

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