What Happens at an Ostomy Center?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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Specially trained and certified staff at an ostomy center consult with patients before surgery and help with treatment after an operation. These nurses work closely with doctors to prepare a patient for ostomy procedures and treat wounds and problems after the surgery. Wound care typically occurs at an ostomy center, along with fitting patients with the most comfortable and effective incontinence products.

Physicians typically refer patients to an ostomy center when they need one of three surgeries to address disorders of the digestive tract. An ileostomy routes the small intestine outside the body; a colostomy connects to the large intestine; and, a urostomy carries urine to a pouch outside the body. All three operations create an opening in the abdominal wall to allow urine or feces to leave the body through a stoma and collect in an external bag.

Educating patients typically occurs at an ostomy center to prepare them for living with appliances outside the body after surgery. Nurses teach patients how to care for wounds to prevent infection and ensure proper functioning of devices outside the body. Any problems that arise might be treated at the ostomy center, including emotional counseling if issues with intimate relations occur.


Staff at the ostomy center usually explain different incontinent supplies available, such as pouches, and deal with problems of leakage. They reassess products used and recommend newer devises as they become available. Proper fit is considered crucial and represents a common service at an ostomy center.

These facilities also offer wound care services, which are especially important for patients with diabetes or other disorders that inhibit healing. Nurses treat pressure sores, surgical wounds, burns, and sores caused by injury. They use dressings and compression techniques to provide comfort and aid in healing. These services might occur while the patient is in the hospital or after he or she returns home.

Ostomy might be necessary due to paralysis, cancer, or trauma that prevents proper functioning of the digestive tract. Some patients who suffer from diverticulitis or colitis require this surgery, along with patients with urological problems that block the passage or urine or prevent the bladder from operating normally. Dysfunction of nerves or muscles that control urine and feces might also be addressed at an ostomy center.

Patients typically visit the center before surgery for a consultation with staff. Nurses usually mark the site where the stoma will appear. They also discuss the patient’s medical history, medication use, and any allergies. These consultations typically include discussions about patients’ lifestyle and normal activities, including how to manage these pursuits after surgery.


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