A urostomy refers to a diversion in the urinary tract to bypass the diseased bladder. The surgical procedure involved in the creation of a urostomy results in the formation of an opening in the abdomen to allow ureters to expel urine out of the body. This opening is known as a stoma. with no sphincters in the stoma, you are going to need to wear an ostomy bag over it to manage your urine evacuations.
Living with a urostomy
Here is what you may want to know about living with a urostomy.
- During the first six weeks after surgery, you will need to abstain from lifting heavy objects.
- A urostomy pouch is waterproof, which allows you to bathe, swim, and engage in other water activities. If you want to secure the edges of the skin barrier of the ostomy pouch, you may need to use waterproof tape.
- Wearing a waist belt may not remain a viable option anymore when you have a urostomy. You can loosen the waist belt or start using suspenders. You can discuss clothing options with your ostomy care nurse.
- You will need to keep an extra urostomy pouch the entire time to deal with an unexpected leakage. If you are planning on traveling, you can have extra supplies in a hand-carry bag. Make sure that these extra supplies are easily accessible to you.
- If you have hair on the skin around your stoma, you will want to get rid of them to ensure an ideal adhesion between the skin barrier and the peristomal skin. You can remove hair with the help of a razor or electric shaver.
- Some men might suffer erectile dysfunction for a few weeks after urostomy surgery. This condition generally subsides when connected nerves recover from the impact of surgery. The best way is to discuss this matter with your surgeon or doctor to find a viable solution to restore your sexual functions.
When to call an ostomy care nurse
You will need to see your ostomy care nurse during the first two weeks after surgery. The nurse will check your stoma and the skin around it.
You may have to call the nurse if you notice the following problems.
- The pouch doesn’t remain in place.
- The skin around your stoma is red, itchy, or painful.
- There is a cut in the stoma.
Urinary tract infections
With a urostomy comes a higher susceptibility to developing urinary tract infections, which can be quite painful. The presence of bacteria in urine can be one of the reasons for these infections, so you will have to take care of your stoma and the skin around it to prevent these problems. You will need to take note of the usual color of urine. Any change in the urine color will denote a problem, which you need to fix to prevent any painfulness.
Signs of urinary tract infections include:
- Strong smelling urine
- High fever
- Back pain
- Pus in urine
To lower the risk of urinary tract infections, first, you have to make sure that you are drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water every day. Taking vitamin C will also help you lower these risks.
It is crucial to wash your hands every time you empty or change your ostomy pouch. Remember, hygiene is the most critical requirement to prevent any infections related to your urostomy. For further details, you may want to speak to your doctor or ostomy care nurse.