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Frequently asked questions following stoma surgery

When you first have your stoma there may be many questions you want to ask.

Frequently asked questions following stoma surgery

Some of these may be answered by your stoma care nurse immediately after surgery. However, many questions may arise sometime after surgery.

We have created a list of common questions following ostomy surgery.

What will my stoma look like?
Stomas will vary in shape and size.  They will however be moist and pink/red in colour.

How do I know which pouch to choose?
This will depend on the type of stoma surgery you have had ie. Colostomy, urostomy or ileostomy, this will indicate the type of pouch that you should wear. Your Stoma Care Nurse will advise you on what is the best option for you. Click here for details on the Eakin range of pouches available.

Is my pouch likely to leak?
Your Stoma care Nurse will advise you on how your pouch should be fitted. If the pouch is fitted correctly then it should not leak. Click here to visit our online tutorial ‘Fitting an Ostomy Pouch’.

When will my stoma begin to work?
Your stoma will begin to work within a few days of your operation. However, it will take a further few days for your stoma to begin to function normally. Your Stoma Care Nurse will be able to advise you further on this subject.

Will I still be able to wear the same clothes as before my stoma operation?
Yes you should be able to continue wearing your own clothing as usual so don't feel that you will need to change your style or buy a whole new wardrobe. Your stoma pouch is designed to sit flat against your body so it will not be visible under most clothing.

Will I have to change my diet?
No, you will still be able to eat a varied diet but it is advisable that you eat regularly. For more dietary advice please download our Diet booklet, written especially for ostomates.

Will I still be able to work?
Yes, as with any operation you will need a period of rest before undertaking any activities but in time you will be able to return to regular employment. The type of work you do will determine the amount of time you need off, you should discuss this with your doctor before returning to work. For more information read our ‘Getting back to work’ blog.

Will I still be able to travel?
Yes, travel should not be restricted because of your stoma. It is advisable, however, not to fly within the first 6 weeks following surgery, as with any operation, due to the increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. For more information read our ‘Travel advice for ostomates’ blog.

We have a comprehensive ‘Your Questions Answered’ section available on our website covering topics such as skin care, odour prevention, leakage, wear time, cost savings, patient mobility, etc. Please visit it at for further help and advice.