"GI Didn’t Know That": Stoma Appearances

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Part 4 in an educational video series exploring ostomy procedures, appliance use and ostomy management

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

by Joy Hooper RN, BSN, CWOCN
The appearance of a new stoma on a patient’s abdomen can be shocking for the patient, family members, caregivers, and even some healthcare professionals. Stomas presented in textbooks, educational literature, and diagrams often appear round and “budded.” Patients will sometimes see images of other stomas and compare it to the appearance of their stoma. If their stoma is flush with the skin on the abdomen or retracted they may feel the surgeon did a poor job. Actually, the patient's body can have just as much to do with the appearance of the stoma as the surgeons surgical technique does.

This video will help explain why a stoma can appear flush or retracted on the abdomen of an obese individual or someone with excess adipose (fatty) tissue on their abdomen.

Colwell J, Goldberg M, Carmel J. Fecal & Urinary Diversion Management Principals. St Louis, MO: Mosby; 2004:241-251.

About the Author
Joy Hooper RN, BSN, CWOCN is a nurse entrepreneur with twenty years of experience working in a variety of hospital and in-home care settings. Ms. Hooper is an avid advocate advocating for ostomy awareness and bowel sensibility having founded the Southern Georgia Ostomy Association. She routinely makes house calls to wound and ostomy patients within her region and provides lectures in colleges and health care facilities.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of OstomySource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.


Your site looks great. Have been a CWOCN for 6 years, an RN for over 34.

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