How to support my partner after colost... - Living with a Stoma

Living with a Stoma

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How to support my partner after colostomy surgery?

Tinaarena profile image

Hi, I would like some advice. My partner is having surgery after Christmas to remove his large bowel and will have a stoma after the surgery. I know it is a big adjustment mentally and physically. I would like to know how best to support him after the surgery. Thank you for any advice you can give :)

7 Replies

Good morning. Yes the surgery is going to be tough . You didn't say why he's having it . I too had surgery . Just be there for him . Take little steps . Give him small amounts of fairly bland foods initially and not with large pieces of food in as harder to digest . Encourage him to chew his food lots . If he suffers with bad tummy ache with food I found having a few drops of peppermint oil in boiling water sipping it . This helps immensely .

Hope this advice is useful


Christine xx

No need for me to post really save I think Emilyanne 101 has it pegged. mine is i15 years old and were old friends looking on the bright side it comes in useful when used discretionally in a lift full of cretins. Ha Ha

From a practical side re emptying the bag. My grandfather has a stoma bag and I will need a urostomy bag in future due to car accident. I currently self catheterise

Emptying the bag can leave , if not done right, a mess. My grandfather bless him is getting worse at leaving a mess on floor and around tiles. So maybe have a discussion with the nurse on best way to empty and also help him with the cleaning up after if needed. Especially if your bathroom is used by others and visitors. Simple hot bleach and a wash around toilet can be done easily and quickly and a good deep clean weekly. Having wet wipes on hand around toilet for him to use to clean up and put in a bag to throw away - even if they say flushable.. DONt flush! They clog up pipes!

Have plenty of air freshners in bathroom but the good ones which are silent to spray- nothing worse than hearing a spray can. Something like air wick :)

Hope this helps :)

Hi There

My 41 year partner had emergency surgery in Aug (5 years with UC that had 1 bad flare up) to remove his colon and has an illestomy now. I hope your partners surgery went well if he's had it.

We have found things very difficult and still are, 5 months on so my advice is to be there for him, expect mood changes and difficult times. He wasn't discharged from hospital for over 2 weeks as had complications and now 5 months on is still suffering. However the actual stoma and changing of his bag etc is all good its his abdominal wound that is causing our misery and also blood discharge from his anus (which still has a stump).

He regularly feels the need to poo still and a pink muscus discharge comes out which we are told is normal, however when its fresh blood it does worry us and we have ended up back in A&E once and then the GP last night. They don't seem to be overly concerned.

Happy to talk further and share experiences or for you to ask me anything. One of the nurses in intensive care told me about her husband who was also in his 40s and had a stoma and it gave me a lot of confidence that long term we will be ok and things will be back to normal and he will be able to start living his life again.

Supporting someone who has had this surgery can be very hard at times but always remind them you are there for them and want to help.

Food wise - no lettecue, cabbage, beans, corn, peanuts, saultanas, raisins, milk, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms basically nothing that has skin as this is extremely hard to digest and can block their system.

Food must be cut up very small or sometimes they may need a liquid diet.

Give them support and also give them some space cos sometimes they wish to be by themselves as it is life changing and can take several years to accept especially after numerous 20 operations and still having problems. Having been told there is no cure and the next operation is to have the whole bowel removed as things have got much worse.

Upsetting for anyone to hear but something that had to be discussed with the family to make them understand. That the bag can blow up like a ballon underneath a jumper this could be air that needs to be released or the bag needs to be emptied. Understanding that the bag needs to be changed every 3days and understanding that you need a good seal or leaks can happen at anytime and having a complete set of clean clothes to hand in case of an emergency this is something you can not control but you can learn to live with the problems it has new challenges something that has to be faced and finding new ways of dealing with problems.

Having someone to talk to Stoma Nurse family or friend is a great help.

Making sure you have enough supplies of bags, wet wipes, small black nappy bags etc. and medication as the prescription can take several days or weeks to process.

Knowing that the stoma can change in size and a new template may need to be made but this will be dealt with by the Stoma Nurse should a problem arise.

There also needs to be some kind of support for the family member or friend as sometimes things can be a little too much to handle and anyone in this situation needs to have someone to speak to when there is a problem.

There is a support group for anyone with Crohns Disease or Cancer but I can not find a support group for a family member who is supporting the patient if anyone has a Tel. No. or any suggestions can they advise please as this would be so useful.

in reply to alfie19

Hi I am struggling as a recent caregiver. I’m not sure I can handle the situation. I feel guilty and I’m just so tired.

It is so interesting reading this and the responses. Having had a colostomy of a neonatal for 2 years then at 4 a Malone ACE I have never really had the experience of having to 'adjust' to a Stoma it has always kind of just been there. This said as a young adult it took some time for me to become comfortable with my new doctors and them looking at and not caring for it.

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