The type of stoma pouch used depends on the type of stoma you have, which can be either a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy.
For some colostomy or ileostomy patients, the stoma may be temporary to allow time for the bowel to heal before the stoma is reversed. The length of time required before reversal depends on individual circumstances.
What kind of stomas are there?
A colostomy can be made at almost any point along the large bowel (colon). Where the Colostomy is created will depend on the medical reason, but generally they are located on the lower left hand side of the abdomen. The output may be almost fully formed stools and wind is common.
An ileostomy is made from the small intestine (Ileum); usually it will be located on the lower right hand side of the abdomen. The output is generally liquid to paste-like stools and can be corrosive due to the presence of digestive enzymes
A Urostomy is a diversion which drains urine and is made using the small bowel. It is generally located on the abdomen on the lower right hand side. The output may contain mucus as a portion of the small bowel is used to form the stoma.
Stomas can be permanent or temporary, depending on the reason for creating them. You may have a temporary stoma for just a month or it may be 2 or 3 years. A temporary stoma is often a loop or double-barrel stoma which has two openings and any output will emerge from the largest one.
A permanent stoma is constructed if it is unlikely that the portions of the digestive segments can be rejoined or in the case of a Urostomy. Permanent stomas are usually end stomas (not loop) and only have one opening.
What should my stoma be like?
Your stoma should be red in colour similar to the inside of the mouth; this is due to the rich blood supply to the stoma. If the colour of the stoma changes, turns pale, dusky or darker then please contact your stoma nurse.
You may find that your stoma bleeds when wiped, this is normal and is again due to the rich blood supply very close to the surface.
Your stoma will have no feeling when you touch it as there are no nerves in the bowel tissue. Your stoma should also feel warm to the touch.
A stoma will usually be raised above the skin to form a spout and this allows the
output to flow into the pouch more easily.