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What if you get bleeding on or around your stoma?

When your stoma was formed, a piece of bowel was brought out onto the surface of your tummy through your abdominal wall. This piece of bowel was then folded back upon itself to form your stoma, rather like when you turn over the cuff of your jumper, so the inner surface or lining of your bowel is now on the outside. This inner surface has lots of superficial blood vessels which can bleed easily. Because of this, a small amount of bleeding when cleaning around your stoma is normal.

What can cause bleeding on or around your stoma?

  • Trauma, often the result of over diligent cleaning techniques
  • Friction
  • Clips or stitches around your stoma
  • Ulcers
  • Granulomas* (over healing of tissue)
  • A ruptured blood vessel

*Granulomas are warty growths around the base of your stoma. They probably occur as a reaction to the continual friction from your stoma pouch. Granulomas are harmless but can be tender. Their persistent bleeding can sometimes hinder the application and adhesion of your pouch.

Hints and tips

Remember, gently does it. Soft cleaning wipes and warm water are all you need to clean around your stoma.
The use of an odour neutralising pouch lubricant on the inside of your pouch can help to prevent friction.
Sometimes ulcers on your stoma can occur when you have been ‘under the weather’, poorly or stressed and will usually clear up as your health improves.
Make sure that you have at least a 1mm clearance between your stoma and the pouch to prevent friction occurring.
You may wish to apply a thin layer of Pelican Paste, a stoma seal or a collar around the base of your stoma for added protection.
Apply cold pressure. A small bag of ice is ideal if you have a specific bleeding point on your stoma. Seek urgent medical advice if this does not stop the bleeding.

See your doctor or stoma care nurse for advice regarding:

  • Treatment of granulomas, a ruptured blood vessel or ulcers on your stoma.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Blood coming from the inside of your stoma where your waste normally comes from.

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