How to Prepare for an Ostomy Surgery?

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An ostomy surgery, like any other surgery, might seem scary at first but preparing for an ostomy surgery can help to reduce the stress and fear to a great extent and might help you cope with the surgery as well as the post-surgery process.

Educating Yourself on Ostomies

One of the first steps while preparing for an ostomy surgery is to gain all the information that is required to undergo ostomy surgery and for managing an ostomy. Here are a few important things you should know about ostomy before you undergo ostomy surgery.

What is an Ostomy?

An ostomy is an incision made on the body that allows an individual to expel waste materials from the body with ease. When an individual is not able to expel waste through the standard excretory system, an ostomy helps the person stay healthy. The incision is called a stoma and the location of the stoma depends on the condition and the needs of the individual.

What are the Types of Ostomies?

There are three major types of ostomies:

Colostomy A stoma is made near the colon or large intestine

Ileostomy - A stoma is made near the ileum or small intestine

Urostomy - A stoma is made near the lower abdomen near the urinary tract

Why does one need an Ostomy?

There can be a number of reasons one might need an ostomy. They include:

  • Colon or rectal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Birth anomalies
  • Spina bifida
  • Obstruction of ureter
  • Inherited conditions
  • Crohn’s disease

Psychological Preparation for an Ostomy Surgery

It is normal for a person to feel stressed and fearful before undergoing ostomy surgery. But understanding the entire process of getting an ostomy surgery and preparing for it can help you skim through this process. There are a few things you can do to mentally prepare yourself for an ostomy surgery.

1. Meet with a WOC (Wound, Ostomy, and Incontinence) nurse.

They are professionals who are trained in helping you understand the entire process of ostomy surgery and will also help you understand the basics of managing an ostomy. It is a good idea to share all your information with a WOC nurse since they can help accommodate all your needs and worries about ostomy while helping you choose the right kind of ostomy surgery or ostomy supplies

2. Writing about your experiences

Psychologists have proven that writing about your experiences and your feelings helps in understanding them better and can help you get rid of your fears and stress. Note down all that you feel, your learning, or you read about ostomy and ensure that you keep reading your notes daily to help you build your confidence about undergoing ostomy surgery.

3.  Join an ostomy support group

An ostomy support group includes ostomates who have undergone ostomy surgery or will be undergoing ostomy surgery. An ostomate group can help you talk about your fears, inhibitions, and you too can learn from their experiences of how they coped with ostomy and the factors associated to it. At Shop Ostomy, we have our very own ostomy support group that can be a great place for you to share your experiences and learn from the experiences of other ostomates.

Physical Preparation for an Ostomy Surgery

Overall health and wellness of the body is important for preparing for ostomy surgery. Stress and fear can be managed by exercise and maintaining overall fitness. Leading up to the day of the surgery you can physically prepare yourself by setting a fitness regime and following it on a daily basis. Managing your diet is also important while physically preparing for ostomy surgery. Make sure you consult your doctor on what you can eat and what you cannot since diet is an important part even while managing your ostomy.

Since you would be spending a few days in the hospital for the surgery it might be good to carry a few things with you to ensure that you are de-stressed and comfortable during the surgery. Always consult your doctor before you carry anything to the hospital.

  • Carry a few books if you are into reading.
  • A device like a laptop or a tablet for streaming your favorite movies and shows
  • Headphones, since you do not want to disturb others at the hospital
  • An eye mask and nose plugs
  • Cozy socks or gloves and clothing (If it is allowed at the hospital)
  • Your personal pillow
  • A journal or notebook to note your experiences
  • Other important personal items like toothbrushes, toiletries, etc.

Preparing for an ostomy surgery is as important as managing an ostomy and if you are well prepared for your ostomy surgery, managing it also becomes comfortable. At Shop Ostomy Supplies we have a wide range of products that help in preparing for an ostomy as well as managing an ostomy. 


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