Living well

Your Stoma Care Routine

Dealing with managing your stoma on top of recovering from major abdominal surgery will likely leave you feeling frustrated and worried about coping. It is totally natural to feel this way and being open about these feelings is important in helping you to overcome them.

Initially your stoma care routine will be slow, which is to be expected, but with patience and practise you will become quicker and more confident. Be mindful not to rush yourself. Take your time to understand what works best for you individually and you will soon develop the routine that is right for you.

Your nurse will be able to answer all of your questions so please don’t be afraid to ask, no matter how insignificant you think your question is. You will also get great help and advice from Colostomy UK, the Ileostomy Association and the Urostomy Association.

Changing your Pouch

Your nurse will give you lots of advice about changing your pouches, but the following tips may also be useful…


• Be prepared; have everything you need to change your pouch to hand before you start.

• Be gentle removing your pouch as the skin around your stoma may be tender or sore.

• Adhesive removers (such as Vitamin E Elements) help to remove the pouch gently and protect the skin around your stoma.

• Wash your stoma slowly with warm water and dry-wipes.

• It is not uncommon for a stoma to bleed if rubbed too firmly because it contains sensitive blood vessels.

• Many users find barrier sprays/wipes (such as Vitamin E Elements) effective at protecting the skin around their stoma.

• Warm the skin protector of your new pouch in your hands before you apply it. This will help it stick more quickly.

Before surgery Find out more
Early days Find out more

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