Ostomy Telehealth Tutorial

Often a visit to your Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence (NSWOC) is to address a skin issue, a fit issue, or leakage. In many cases, these issues can be addressed using Telehealth – a mixture of photographs, phone calls and video chat.

Your NSWOC will need certain photos to be able to properly assess your pouching system and fit:

  • With your pouch off, from about 2 feet away, standing. This helps us see the contours around your stoma.
  • With your pouch off, with a measuring guide around your stoma (or, with your current flange held against your tummy). This helps us see if sizing needs to be adjusted.
  • A close up of your stoma to help us see the skin and offer suggestions
  • The back of your flange or pouching system after removing it (the more of these we see, the more we can tell, so if you have a few different changes to share, that’s great!)
  • If you have a rash, a close up of the rash

This will help the nurse understand better what is happening.

Taking photos of your own stoma can be challenging. If you have someone who can help, that’s great. If you’re doing it yourself, consider taking photos in the mirror.

Getting good stoma photos


  • Make sure the area where you are taking the photos is well lit. Try the bathroom or near a window


  • Zoom in on what you want the camera to capture
  • If you’re using a camera phone, tap the screen where you want the camera to focus
  • For photos of your abdominal contour, stand in front of the mirror:
    • Aim the camera at the mirror.
    • Zoom in so that your stoma and hips are visible.
    • Tap the screen for good focus.
    • Snap the photo.