Stoma Retraction (or, changing my flange 8 times in 24 hours)
Posted Jun 20 2009 10:38pm
Since I got home from the hospital, my stoma has been somewhat retracted. I have a loop ileostomy now, so I have two pieces of my intestine forming my stoma instead of one. The working part retracted quite a bit, but went to the point of near disappearance a couple of days ago. Because the stoma was flush with the skin and my skin was sort of concave around the stoma, the output started to continually break through the flange (and by continually, I mean it broke twice at work and a total of 8 times in 24 hours). It was an incredibly frustrating and painful day (my skin is a disaster). I used ever flange I had, and had to go to the medical supply store at 8am in desperation to find out what to do. Thankfully, a woman there called Coloplast (I usually wear their products) and got some advice on which products would work.
I thought it might be useful for anyone who has this happen in the future to know that the basic idea of what to do is to use a convex flange and a belt to help keep it in place. It’s working for me now and the stoma is starting to come back out again, it seems. Also, a retracted stoma is not dangerous or any type of emergency. I was pretty panicked when it first happened since I’d never even heard of it happening but my surgeon wasn’t concerned at all. He did arrange for me to meet with a stoma nurse but he didn’t bother changing the appointment that I had already had for week later, which I actually found reassuring (especially since my first concern was that it was going to completely disappear back inside my body somehow!).