The stoma is the part of the bowel the surgeon has bought to the surface of your skin on your abdomen.
- Should be shiny reddish pink, wet like the inside of your mouth.
- Will be a different size and shape from other people – your stoma is unique to you.
- Is swollen after surgery and then shrinks down for the next 6-8 weeks.
- Can change size and shape with weight loss or gain of 10 pounds or more for as long as you have your stoma.
- Has no feeling when you touch it.
- May bleed slightly when you wipe it or wash it. This is normal.
- Does not look like the picture of stomas in the book or online after surgery. It takes time for the stoma to heal.
- May have sutures around it after surgery, like tiny dark threads, which will dissolve over time.
The skin around your stoma
Your skin around your stoma:
- Should look like the skin on the rest of your abdomen.
- Should not be itchy or painful or feel like it is burning.
- Should not have any stool on it when you remove your pouching system.