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A member of our team will call you back within one business day.
You just underwent a colostomy. This procedure involves removing or disconnecting part of your colon (large intestine). If your large intestine was diseased, your doctor may have removed it. If it was injured, your doctor may have disconnected it for a short time so that it can heal. After it heals, your doctor may reconnect it. During a colostomy, your doctor reroutes your colon through your abdominal wall. Stool and mucus can then pass out of your body through this opening, called a stoma. The following are general guidelines for home care following a colostomy. Your doctor and nurse will go over any information that is specific to your condition.
Excessive bleeding from your stoma
Blood in your stool
Stool that is very hard
No gas or stool
Change in the color of your stoma
Bulging skin around your stoma
A stoma that looks like it’s getting longer
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or chills
Redness, swelling, bleeding, or drainage from your incision
Nausea or vomiting
Take care of your stoma as directed. Your doctor and ostomy nurse discussed how to do this with you before you left the hospital.
Ask your doctor or ostomy nurse for a patient education sheet about colostomy care before you leave the hospital. This will help remind you how to care for yourself.
Don’t lift anything heavier than 5 pounds until your doctor says it is okay.
Don’t drive until after your first doctor’s appointment after your surgery.
If you ride in a car for more than short trips, stop frequently to stretch your legs.
Ask your doctor when you can expect to return to work. Most patients are able to return to work within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
Increase your activity gradually. Take short walks on a level surface.
Wash your incision site with soap and water and pat it dry.
Check your incision every day for redness, drainage, swelling, or separation of the skin.
Take your medications exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses.
Don’t take any over-the-counter medication unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.