What to expect the first 12 weeks


Now what?

Your stoma surgery is finished, and you are at home. For many people, surgery can be the beginning of a more comfortable life.

Some people even find that they have the freedom and improved health to enjoy activities they never thought possible.

Of course, you may still have many questions and concerns. Just keep in mind that you are not alone. There are healthcare professionals who are here to help you at every step of the way. So, what can you expect during the first 12 weeks?


During the first few months after stoma surgery, it is important to recognise that you and your family will be undergoing a major period of adjustment. Having a stoma means you must adapt to a new "normal" way of life.

Whether you have had a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, you will need to learn how to deal with the passage of body waste through your stoma. You will need to learn how to care for the skin that surrounds your stoma. And, you will need to learn how the pouching system you have chosen fits into your daily life. For the first 12 weeks, as your stoma shrinks in size, you should be measuring your stoma often to ensure you are wearing the correct size.

Over time, you will become much more confident and comfortable with your new lifestyle. Of course, should you have any questions or problems, your stoma care nurse is only a phone call away.

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