Preparing for stoma surgery - Trio Healthcare

Tips to help prepare for your stoma surgery.

Going into hospital can be stressful. We’ve pulled together some tips on how to be prepared for both the surgery and any changes that lie ahead.

Learn about your surgery

Before your planned surgery there will be a team of people available to answer any questions you may have. Your surgeon will tell you about the procedure and what type of stoma you need. Your stoma care nurse will also be on hand to give advice on looking after your stoma and any lifestyle changes you may need to consider. Bring a list of questions to each appointment and try to bring someone with you. You can also do research through support groups to learn what to expect and get advice on what to ask.

What to eat and drink

When you wake up after stoma surgery you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Your surgical team will visit you to tell you more about your operation and make sure you have enough pain relief to remain comfortable. You will already have a clear stoma bag attached, but your stoma won’t start working right away. It sometimes takes a few days for the swelling to go down and your body to adjust. Your stoma may even bleed a little. Contact bleeding may occur at any time after surgery. This can be completely normal and nothing to worry about, if you do have concerns contact your stoma nurse who will be able to support you.

Pack a Bag

Take loose fitting pyjamas or a nightie, a dressing gown, slippers, and something to keep yourself occupied, such as a book or a tablet. Remember to take all of your usual medication with you, too. You’ll be asked to remove any make-up, nail varnish, jewellery and contact lenses. Don’t forget to take a charger for your phone or tablet.

Make arrangements

Lastly, ensure a smooth appointment by prebooking any taxis and making childcare or dog walking arrangements with family and friends. Share any important information, such as the hospital or department telephone number and the visiting hours. Try to nominate one person to phone the hospital ward for updates on your condition.