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Q&A With Louise: Common Stoma Surgery Questions

Q&A With Louise: Common Stoma Surgery Questions

As part of my accounts, I regularly get messages or questions on my posts or on a blog post that has gone live.

I thought once a month I can either write a blog post and make a video answering some of the most common questions I get asked on a regular basis. Each month I will answer 5 of the most common questions I get asked.

This month I will answer the surgical related questions, Here are some of the questions I get asked quite frequently.

1) How long will I be down in theatre? / How long is the operation?  

There is no right or wrong answer for this question, everyone is different, for instance all my surgeries have been open laparotomies, I have dense scar tissue, Keyhole isn’t possible, each one of my surgeries has taken 8-12 hrs. Some will have short surgeries, others will be longer, it is based on the individuals case and type of surgery being carried out. 

2) What do you recommend as pain relief? What will they give me? What should I ask for? What did you have?

 This one is a hard one to answer, each individual’s pain threshold is different. Each trust, each anesthetist has a different approach. Some highly recommend the spinal block (epidural), others recommend morphine. My honest answer is take all the drugs they have to offer. Your anesthetist will have your back and will have this discussion with you and have a plan of action prior to surgery.  I have yet to find something that works for me but I am allergic or go into respiratory arrest as I do not have a good tolerance for opiates.

3) How long will I be in hospital? 

Most hospitals will aim to have you out of hospital within the week, this yet again is based on each individual’s circumstances, open surgery vs keyhole have different recovery times. Some trusts have an enhanced recovery programme, they will aim to have you out of bed and sitting after surgery, the quicker you are up and about, the more quickly you will be let home.

4) What is post op ileus? 

Post-op ileus won’t happen to everyone. It is a condition where your bowel goes to sleep after surgery and it takes time for it to start working again, during this time you may experience cramping, projectile vomiting and your stoma will be inactive, post-op ileus will pass. This may sometimes require a Nasogastric tube, other times it won’t. 

5) Why do they put in surgical drains? What are they for?  Does it hurt to have them removed? 

A drain or drains are put in after surgery, it’s placed to keep fluid or infectious material from building up around the surgery site. It does what it says on the tin, it simply drains away residual fluid after surgery, it is also reported to lessen the pain. All drains are typically removed once you are draining less than 25ml per day for two days running. My best advice is to take some pain relief 30 minutes prior to removal, it is an incredibly weird sensation, it feels like a build-up of pressure followed by a pop when it has been removed. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send them to me and I shall be happy to answer them for you. 

As always 

Many thanks for reading 

Louise Xx

Louise uses our Platinum with Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. Try a sample here.

This blog post is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given is based on Louise’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Each ostomates needs are unique to them and their stoma care routine. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse before undertaking any changes to your stoma care routine or if you are experiencing any health issues.

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