4 Most Common Ostomy Issues You Need To Know About

4 Most Common Ostomy Issues You Need To Know About

Posted by Jeanne Lowry on Apr 12th 2023

4 Most Common Ostomy Issues You Need To Know About

Before going getting an ostomy surgery, most people take the time to learn about how their lives will change and what they need to do to recover from the procedure. However, many forget to research potential problems they might run into.

That’s why we’re here today. We want to take the time to go over the most common ostomy issues you should know about. That way, you can be more prepared for your post-surgery life.

Stoma Leaks

One common issue among new ostomy patients is a leaking stoma. Most of the time, this occurs when the ostomy pouch doesn’t attach properly to the stoma. For new users, this usually comes down to not knowing how to attach the bag properly. Your doctor can assist with this if you’re still struggling.

However, other times it’s due to changes in your stoma. Sometime after the surgery, a person might experience some fluctuations in their abdomen’s shape. This can slightly change the size of your stoma, making your ostomy bags no longer fit properly. It could also have to do with potential output problems, which we’ll address next. Either way, consulting your doctor and buying better ostomy supplies will help.

Constipation or Diarrhea

Many people don’t realize you can still get constipated or have diarrhea with a stoma. Typically, they occur for the same reasons, either a lack or excess of water in your system, but there are plenty of other reasons.

The more important thing here is knowing what happens to your stoma if they occur. For constipation, you might experience abdominal pains and not be able to pass stool. Doctor-prescribed laxatives will be the best fix for this. As for diarrhea, some mild abdominal pain might occur, but your main concern should be leaks and overfilling pouches. Both of these issues are important to handle immediately if they happen to you.

Skin Irritation

Once you’ve worn your ostomy pouch for a while, you could start experiencing some skin irritation in the area around your stoma. Between potential leaks and the adhesive that secures the bag to the location, you could start experiencing soreness or cracked skin. In extreme cases, you might even develop a small parastomal ulcer.

To prevent these issues, you need to be proactive about your skincare. Fortunately, there are many ostomy-focused skin products available. You’ll just need to remember to keep up with the treatments.

Unusual Bathroom Routines

Finally, the last common ostomy issue you need to know about is a change in how you use the restroom. With an ostomy bag, you won’t need to get to a toilet to use the bathroom. You’ll only need to head to one to drain or replace your bag.

For a drainable pouch, you’ll still need a toilet to empty it, but this will be very different from how you used to use the restroom. While this isn’t so much an issue as it is something you’ll have to adjust to, it can still be an uncomfortable transition for many new ostomy patients.