Compassionate Support and Education for Patients with Stomas
A stoma is an opening in the abdomen that allows waste products to leave the body after moving through the digestive system. Many patients with colorectal diseases or disorders who are treated surgically may require a stoma, either temporarily while their bowels heal or permanently, if intestinal continuity cannot be restored due to a variety of factors.
At University Hospitals Division of Colorectal Surgery, we understand that having a stoma is a major adjustment for our patients. For that reason, an important aspect of the care we provide is enterostomal therapy (ET), provided by a team of nurses who have specialized training in caring for these patients, educating them in the care and maintenance of their stoma and helping them to restore their quality of life after their procedure.
Enterostomal Therapy Nurses Provide a Wide Range of Services
The skilled ET nurses at University Hospitals provide a comprehensive range of pre- and post-operative services to stoma patients. These include:
- Preoperative counseling about the planned surgical procedure and potential impact on the patient’s life, including sexual function
- Postoperative patient and family education about basic stoma care and recommended dietary and fluid intake changes
- Outpatient counseling and surveillance after discharge to watch for complications that may require medical attention
ET nurses can also recommend appropriate measures to prevent and manage pressure ulcers and skin breakdown related to immobility.