Surgical Drain Management After Stoma Surgery
With stoma surgery there comes the risk of being sent home with a surgical drain being left in situ if the exudate drainage is still above 20 ml per day. I myself have avoided being discharged with drain until now.
I have had a pretty torrid time recently and thanks to my Crohn’s disease ended up in hospital for 10 days and needing to have an abscess drained and a drain left in its place. I have named the drain Bob as I find this helps me mentally with yet another decision that has been taken out of my hands.
I am still unsure as to why I still have the drain but it has been explained it is better to be overly cautious just in case that abscess decides to fill back up. This is not my first rodeo with intra abdominal abscesses but it is the first time I came back home with a new friend.
The drain site can be a little tender to start off with but all in all it’s something that you grow accustomed to and live with for that extended period of time.
You will get an appointment with the district news a few days after discharge and they will show you how to manage your dressings and the drain site as it is still classed as an open wound that you will have to keep clean.
How to change your dressings
How do you change the dressing around your surgical drain?
- – Wash your hands with soap and water.
- – Take off the dressing from around the drain.
- – Clean the drain site and the skin around it with soap and water. Use gauze or a cotton swab.
- – When the site is dry, put on a new dressing.
- – Wash your hands again with soap and water.
Showering with the drain
Whilst the drain is in situ, a bath isn’t possible as it’s still classed as an open wound. You can still shower. My nurse has said I can disconnect the bag whilst I shower but have to put it straight back on once I am out. You will need to check with your nurse about this as everyone’s circumstances are different. I also change my dressing covers with each shower and the duoderm dressings once a week as these are waterproof and ok to leave.
Dressing with the drain
You will have to work out how to dress depending on where the drain is situated. For me, I am sticking to jogging bottoms, low waisted trousers and skirts and tucking my drainage tubes around the side of the waistband and I managed to source a bag to cover the drain from eBay.
I am now on countdown for the drain removal, I think I have another 6 weeks before its due to be removed so am managing as best as I can.
I now sleep with the drain in a bag that I keep on at all times.
Many thanks for reading
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.