Importance of stoma site marking

Hear from Sarah our Clinical Advisor

From A Bigger Life

One of the most important aspects of the role of the stoma care nurse is the siting of your stoma. Especially in the early discussions whenever you are meeting your stoma care nurse for the first time, they will talk to you about where the stoma should be sited. You may have your ideas of where it should be sited but listen very carefully to what your stoma care nurse is saying.

There are rules of where the stoma should be sited. If you think about your abdomen, and if you look at where your tummy button (umbilicus) and hip bone is, it should be positioned halfway between those two points. It’s important for the stoma care nurse to look at your whole body, they must look at you when you are sitting, standing and bending to ensure that the stoma is sited in an area that is away from your waistband, abdominal wound, any creases, wrinkles or scars.

The stoma care nurse will do take this into account while you are sitting, standing and bending to ensure they have achieved the position of your stoma in the optimum area. By having your stoma sited it should help to eradicate any post op problems such as leakages or pouch adhesion difficulty.

It is a science and it does take a little bit of learning for your stoma care nurse to be able to do that, but if you work with them by wearing your own clothes so you can have the stoma in a position that’s going to be comfortable, that’s going to prevent any problems and that means you’ll be able to live an independent life after surgery.

Whenever your stoma care nurse has sited your stoma and perhaps it’s a few days before your operation, your stoma care nurse may give you a pouch to try. It’s important to put that pouch on to ensure that the site will work for you because the position of the stoma site can be changed slightly beforehand but after surgery, you won’t be able to change the potion.

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