During your hospital stay
- It is very important for you to be motivated during your hospital stay. The amount of time you spend in the hospital is dictated by your motivation (typically 5 to 7 days).
- Surgery will take typically 5 to 6 hours, and your physician will speak to the family immediately after.
- You will be kept in ICU overnight and until we are certain you are doing well; then you will be transferred to a general medical floor.
- We encourage you to ambulate starting the evening of the procedure. Ambulation will assist with all aspects of the healing process.
- Your diet will consist of chewing gum the first day after surgery, clear liquids, 8 oz. every 8 hours on the second day, unrestricted clear liquids on the third day and a regular diet on the fourth day. If you have vomiting this could be delayed.
- Immediately after surgery, you have a drain coming from your abdomen, your urostomy appliance, and dermabond (skin glue) over your incisions. You will have compression stocking on your legs, and it is important to keep these on when not ambulating. Your pain will be controlled with a button push, but we encourage you to use this sparingly as it can delay your progress.
- You will be given a breathing device and instructed on how to use it. Please use it frequently to prevent breathing problems.
CARE AFTER DISCHARGE
- You should continue walking when you return home, gradually increasing the distance. Walking will help you build strength.
- Take planned rest periods during the day. The best gauge is your own body and how you feel.
- You may walk up and down stairs as soon as you return home, but take them slowly. Plan activities so you only need to go up and down stairs several times a day. You will gradually build up to your pre-op routine as you regain your strength.
- Avoid heavy lifting (greater than 10 pounds) or strenuous activity for six weeks after you are discharged. Heavy lifting can increase abdominal pressure, which can put a strain on your incision and could create a small hernia. If you need to brace yourself to pick something up, it is too heavy.
- Avoid bending. This is tiring and also increases abdominal pressure. If you must pick something up, bend at your knees (not your waist) and stoop to pick up the object.
- Avoid driving for two weeks or longer if still taking pain medication. Take car breaks every several hours for extended trips. Get out of the car and walk around a bit.
- Do not drive any motorized vehicles or sign any legal documents while taking narcotic pain medication. The narcotic medication may cause alteration in visual perception and impair judgment.
Bathing when you go home
- Gently wash your incision with soap and water. Rinse and pat dry. You may take a shower. Do not take a tub bath until the incision has healed completely.
- If you have white strips called “steri-strips” on your incision, they should fall off in about seven days. If they do not fall off, you may remove them.
- Once your incision has healed completely, you may take a tub bath with your pouch on or off. Try to choose a time when the stoma is less active if you choose to bathe with the pouch off. Wait a few hours for adhesive to dry after putting on a new pouch before getting into the water.
- Return to normal eating habits; although small frequent meals are better tolerated at first. You may notice that garlic, onions, spices or asparagus may cause an odor of your urine. If you notice an increase in odor, simply limit these foods in your diet if you choose.
- Drink fluids on a regular basis to assist in flushing mucous from the urine. The mucous is produced by the piece of bowel that was used to make the ileal loop. Drinking fluids will keep the mucous thin and prevent plugging of the stoma.
Even with a stoma you can ski, ride horseback, bowl, swim and enjoy yourself in a variety of activities. Your stoma will not keep you from having fun. You should avoid weightlifting and contact sports such as wrestling or football, which could harm your stoma.
You can wear any clothing you want as long as it is loose around the area of the stoma. Tightness around the stoma can cause a rubbing effect, which could cause it to bleed. You can wear belts.
If you were working before surgery, you should be able to return to work usually after 2 to 4 weeks. Just remember to avoid heavy lifting.
Because of the importance placed on physical beauty, the idea of ostomy surgery can be threatening. At first it may be difficult to believe that an intimate relationship is still possible. But do not assume your partner is “turned off” by your stoma or pouch. Talk together about your feelings and your urostomy. Your partner may be afraid of hurting you, and you need to let him or her know that sexual activity will not harm your stoma. Women of childbearing age need to plan for birth control, at least until your doctor approves of a pregnancy after enough healing has taken place.
The following are a few basic tips to remember about sex:
- Empty your pouch first.
- Be sure you have a good seal around your pouch.
- You may choose to wear a pouch cover. Men find it helpful to wear a cummerbund; women may find it helpful to wear panties with an open crotch.
Please do not hesitate to speak with the enterostomal nurse or the doctor about any sexual concerns you have. They will be most helpful in assisting you through some of these very important issues and questions.
- For a man, even if your scrotum is swollen, wear supportive briefs or an athletic support. When resting, elevate your scrotum on a towel.
- Avoid constipation. If you do become constipated, take an over-the-counter laxative such as milk of magnesia. Drinking prune juice or orange juice may also help. You can also increase the roughage in your diet. You may be prescribed a Colace, which is a stool softener, not a laxative. It is recommended that you DRINK AT LEAST 8 to 8 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY TO ENHANCE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COLACE. Should constipation become a problem, call your physician.
Stoma care for ileal loop
- Wash hands before and after emptying the stoma bag. Empty the bag when it is one-third full. Otherwise it will get too heavy and can become disconnected from the water.
- At night, connect the stoma bag to a drainage bag. During the day, wear the stoma bag and empty it frequently. Every morning, rinse the night collection bag with equal parts water and vinegar to prevent growth of bacteria as well as decrease odor. Place the tip of the collection bag in a container that will help keep it clean.
- Refer to the instructions for care of the stoma you receive from your nurse.
Reasons to call your doctor
- The incision becomes red or swollen.
- The skin around your incision feels warmer than elsewhere and is slightly red.
- There is drainage or pus from your incision or your incision becomes open.
- The skin around the stoma becomes red and itchy and does not improve with soap and water cleansing.
- The stoma begins to look dark and is not a healthy reddish pink.
- The urine becomes bloody or you begin to pass clots.
- There is a decrease in urine from the stoma along with feeling “full.”
- Nausea and vomiting occur.
- You have chills or temperature greater than 101 degrees.
- You experience severe pain that is not relieved by pain medication.
You will be scheduled for a post-operative visit after the procedure. However, feel free to call us with any questions or concerns you may have during your healing process.
Physician performing this procedure:
Samuel Deem, DO