Having surgery on your large intestine or rectum can require some recovery, and in many cases, your surgeon may feel it better for you to have a temporary ostomy until you've recovered enough for a subsequent surgery. Even with an end date in mind, using a stoma instead of your rectum can be a challenge for most patients. Read on to learn more about a few of the must-haves when recovering from surgery at home while navigating your new temporary ostomy.
A variety of pouch sizes and types
The variety in ostomy supplies can make them more versatile than ever -- you'll have the option to choose between closed and open pouches, single-use and reusable, and even one-piece and two-piece. It can take some trial and error to find the system that works for you, and even then, you may want to have a few spare ostomy pouches in different sizes or with different features for activities like swimming and camping.
A handy handheld mirror
Getting the hang of cleaning your stoma and changing your pouch can take some time, and a mirror that will allow you to see all angles can be invaluable during this process. You may want to choose one with a flexible handle so that you'll be able to hold it or prop it up with equal ease.
Adhesive remover wipes and other skin care items
Often, the adhesive used to attach skin wafers to your stoma can irritate your skin or cause a rough buildup. Using adhesive remover wipes each time you change your skin wafer will keep your skin soft and smooth and reduce the risk of adhesive material finding its way into your ostomy pouch.
Other skin care items, like lotions and cleansers, can be applied as you normally would, although you'll want to take care to keep liquids away from your skin wafer to ensure it remains adhered to your stoma.
A shower bench or swivel seat
Managing your ostomy in the shower can be one of the many challenges you'll face fairly early in the process. Buying a bench or seat that will allow you to sit in the shower or even give yourself a sponge bath without immersing yourself in the water can help you stay clean while avoiding any problems with your ostomy.
Sterile manicure scissors
Skin wafers definitely aren't one-size-fits-all, and you'll want a way to quickly (and in a sterile fashion) cut your skin wafers to fit your stoma. Manicure scissors can be the perfect size and shape for this task and are small enough to easily fit into your portable ostomy supply kit.
You can even buy ostomy products online if you're looking to stock up.