Take yourself back to your first few weeks with your stoma, did you have regular appointments to see your nurse; to ensure your bag was cut correctly, the products were right and you were okay?
If the answer is yes, that was a very basic stoma review.
I have covered Appliance User Reviews (AUR’s) previously here, but whereas an AUR is a document that goes to your delivery company (DAC) if you use one, this one stays between you and your stoma care nurse (SCN). It is a hospital-based and hospital ‘required’ appointment for anyone who has recently had stoma surgery.
Stoma surgery is a very broad term here – it can be anything from having a brand new stoma, a revision, a change of stoma from left to the right side of the abdomen, or from a colostomy to ileostomy – or just anyone who has issues with blockages or obstructions.
From this list above of reasons, I’ve had quite a few!
So how do they differ from a AUR beyond documentation?
A stoma care review tends to be more focused on you and any issues you might have. Whereas they can come up in an AUR, they aren’t a big part of the document. A review is a more casual and friendly discussion with your nurse about managing your stoma.
What actually happens?
- talk through products you use.
- removal of yoour bag to check the stoma and its surrouinding skin.
- cutting a new bag to size.
- applying products such as barrier, rings or paste to help aid your skin or stoma.
- feeling comfortable with the products you use and how to assess if there are any issues.
- changes to routine if there are already exisiting causes forconcern – ie sore peristomal skin, leakages, pancaking or functionality of the stoma itself.
What happens afterward?
Usually, the nurse makes notes or takes the information she/he might need for their own record. They ensure you have enough product to use right then, and supply you with more if you need. They provide the new codes of products if you require any changes and get these changed with your GP and DAC. For most, this is just a phone call or two.
You can ask questions, talk, and generally feel more comfortable with sharing your stoma with your nurse. Most likely, the nurse will work closely with your surgical team so they might already be a familiar and friendly face.
How do I get one done?
Contact your hospital stoma care team. Some teams will routinely see their patients especially for ‘post-operative follow-up’ for a year or so after your operation.
Until next time,
Do you have any questions or queries? Or just want to share your own experiences? You can leave me a reply here or leave comments via my social media accounts – on Twitter, find my blog page on Facebook and over on Instagram