Stoma Nurse Q&A
Last week was #stomaweek here at Bladder & Bowel Community, with a focus on all things stoma and related topics. As part of the week, we invited our Stoma Nurse to be part of a Q&A event on Tuesday, and we had some great questions posed. In case you missed it, here are the highlights!
Hi, I’m the Bladder and Bowel Community Stoma Nurse. Welcome to our virtual coffee morning. I’ll be here to answer your stoma care questions until 12pm today. Now is a great time to grab a brew and take a break from work and get your questions answered!
Please add your question to the comments section and I will answer them for you.
Q: My bag seems to balloon up all the time with wind. How can I stop this?
A: While bags have filters, when they get wet they can stop working as well and you might find the bag gets filled with wind. Everyone produces wind, it’s just that now it goes into your bag rather you being able to let it out yourself. Some people find that avoiding wind producing food can help, things like onions, or cutting out fizzy drinks. If you’ve a drainable bag you can “burp” the bag to let the excess wind out.
Q: I’ve got to have a camera into my stoma and it’s freaking me out. Will it hurt?
A: It does sound a little weird doesn’t it? But most people actually find that it’s much easier than having a camera the normal way. If you’ve got a colostomy then you will normally be asked to take the dreaded bowel prep beforehand, so get some samples of drainable bags in ready. If you’ve got an ileostomy then you’ll normally just be asked to fast for a certain time period before. Don’t forget to take a spare bag with you as they will need to remove your bag to get the scope into your stoma.
Q: I’m worried about getting a hernia, where can I get support wear from. Am I allowed it on prescription?
A: You may be able to get hernia support wear on prescription, but it will depend on the local prescribing guidelines. If you speak to your Stoma Nurse they will be able to let you know what is available in your area. There are different levels, level 1 is the same as the shapewear that you can buy on the high street so it is worth trying one of those first. Vanilla Blush, one of the companies that provide hernia support wear, often have sales on their items, so you can buy one to try before requesting it on prescription.
Q: I have really red, sore skin under my bag. What’s the best thing to put on it?
A: Sore skin can make life really miserable. First of all you should look at why it’s sore, is it because the hole in your bag isn’t the right size so output is seeping onto your skin? Or are you having lots of leaks. If you are then make an appointment to see your Stoma Nurse for advice. If your skin is sore then using a barrier spray can help, these are available on prescription. A good home remedy is Gaviscon liquid, just dab it on the skin and let it dry before applying your bag.
Q: My bag keeps peeling up in the one side and I’m struggling to get it to stick. What can I do?
A: If your clothes rub against the edges of your baseplate it can cause the edges to lift up. Once this happens it’s really difficult to get it to stick back down again. You can either use some micropore tape to stick it back down, or you can get something called flange extenders on prescription. Flange extenders are a semi-circle shape and stick round the edges of your baseplate giving you that extra bit of security.
We’d like to thank everyone who took part in the event and for all of your questions. If you need support and don’t know who to ask, email us at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help. To catch up on all things #stomaweek, follow us on Social Media.