Members of the medical team will help to prepare and advise you about your forthcoming operation and answer any questions you may have. In most hospitals, specialist Stoma Care Nurses will be closely involved in your care. A mark is usually made on your abdomen before the operation. You may be involved in the siting of your stoma by indicating what might suit you best and by discussing where your waistbands are likely to come.
Your stoma will begin to be active within a few days. The stoma will be swollen at first and the stoma bags used initially are large, transparent and slightly cumbersome. The swelling will soon begin to go down and the stoma will become smaller and neater. The stoma will continue to become even smaller after you are allowed home and you will need to check that your stoma pouches are still a good fit.
The Stoma Care Nurse will teach you how to change your stoma bag, how to measure your stoma and how to care for your stoma generally. The nurse will also fit you with a more discreet type of stoma bag and will discuss the different types available.