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A stoma is an opening on the abdomen that can be connected to either your digestive or urinary system to allow waste (faeces or urine) to be diverted out of your body.
Although it may look sore due to its bright red colour, the intestine has no nerve endings so I can’t feel any pain.
Generally, I change my bag every three days – but this can vary depending on what climate I’m in, for example if I’m swimming a lot on holiday it may need changing more often.
People end up with bags for many different reasons. Mine was due to Ulcerative colitis, however there are many conditions that may lead to someone having one fitted. For example, Crohn’s disease, bowel cancer, bladder cancer, diverticulitis, Hirschsprung’s disease and things like polyps. Some people have them temporarily but for others they may need to become permanent.
This may be a case of trial and error, as it’s down to personal preference and what works best for you. You want to be using products that provide you with comfort and soothe your skin, as well as ensuring you get a good stick to prevent leaks. I highly recommend the vast range of products Coloplast provide.
This will be dependent on a number of factors and will be specific to each person. My recovery took around 7 months, however I will always need to ensure I provide my abdomen with the right support to prevent herniation, which is why I wear my stoma support belt.