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Ostomy Care

There are three major types of ostomies.  These include colostomies, ileostomies, and urostomies.  Each ostomy is named for the portion of the intestine used to create it.

  • Colostomies are created using the large intestine and are commonly placed on the left lower abdomen.

    • Colostomies will produce mushy to semi-formed stool.

  • Ileostomies are created using the ileum or small intestine and are commonly placed on the right lower abdomen. 

    • Ileostomies will produce watery to mushy stool.

  • Ileal Conduits are created by connecting the ureters to a small piece of ileum (small intestine) and bringing the conduit to the skin.

    • Ileal conduits will produce urine and mucous.

Ostomy Care Guidelines

Patients with new ostomies (up to 6 weeks after surgery):

The ostomy appliance change should be done twice weekly.  Generally, you are able to select the days that work best for your individual life.  The best time for an appliance change is in the morning prior to eating breakfast.  However, appliance changes can be done at any time you deem appropriate; keeping in mind that after you eat the stoma will function.  This may make your appliance change more difficult.

After about 6 weeks and under the direction of your physician, the appliance changes can be done once weekly for patients with colostomies.

All Ostomates:

Patients with ostomies should always carry supplies for a complete appliance change.  This should include your pouch, a skin cleansing product, and accessories (adhesives, adhesive removers, scissors, etc. as needed). 

Ostomy Tools:

Ostomy Appliance Suppliers

Help for the Uninsured or Underinsured

Convenience Items: (undergarments, covers, belts, etc.)

Durable Medical Equipment Companies

 Ostomate Resources

Ostomy Support Resources/Groups