Hear from Sarah our Clinical Advisor
From A Bigger Life
When you have been told that you need to come into the hospital to have stoma surgery, there are a few things to think about to ensure you have a stress-free admission into hospital, surgery time and discharge home. It’s important to think about these things whenever you have time ahead of your surgery.
Things to do before surgery
1. Speak to your employer
Advise them of the surgery you are going in to have, so they have an understanding of how complex it is. You will need to have time off after your operation and that you understand your responsibilities for keeping in touch with them and they understand their responsibilities for supporting you after your surgery. Depending on what you work at, you may need a few adjustments, you may need to access a different toilet or a different set up of a desk to keep your equipment with you.
2. Organise care for children/dependent adults
It’s important that you arrange a plan before you go into hospital and don’t just rely on ad hock people looking after your children or your dependent adults. Try to have that conversation as early as possible because if you’re in hospital and you’re worrying about what’s going on at home, it may distract you from learning how to look after your stoma.
3. Organise a visiting rota
If you have a big family, try and arrange a rota for visiting. You won’t want to have 10 people around your bed. It will help to have a rota, so people can share the visit to ensure there is always someone with you but not that your overloaded with visitors.
4. Travel arrangements
Think about how you’re getting into hospital and how you’re going to get home. You’re not going to be able to drive after your surgery for a number of weeks and you can’t leave your car in the car park at the hospital because if you have to pay for car parking that’s going to be very expensive.
5. If you don’t have a big social circle
If you have a very small family or if you live on your own without many social contacts, ask to speak to your stoma care nurse, they might be able to put you into contact with a social worker that looks after that ward. You might need a few fresh supplies brought in for example, new pyjamas, night dresses or underwear. They may have some ideas on how to support if you don’t have family or friends that can help.
If you don’t have a big family that can help with your washing and bring fresh clothes, ensure you have enough pyjamas and underwear with you before you go into hospital, so you’re not relying on anyone else.
Our video on preparing for hospital will give you some hints and tips about what to pack in your hospital bag – Click here to visit article.