As someone with a permanent ileostomy, I can say that one of the most important aspects of adapting to a stoma is researching and finding the pouching system that is the best "fit" for each person's body type, abdominal typography, and skin characteristics.
Your mother will want to work with an ostomy nurse (called a WOCN - wound care and ostomy nurse) before and after her surgery. Pre surgery the WOCN can mark suggested sites for the stoma placement taking into account the type of clothing your mother wears and her body movements in sitting and standing. After surgery the WOCN can help make suggestions about pouching systems (wafers and bags). But recognize that WOCNs have their own personal preferences and that hospitals typically only stock one brand of ostomy supplies.
Your mother will also want to contact each of the major ostomy manufacturers to get an assortment of samples of wafers, pouches, and accessory supplies. Coloplast, Hollister, ConvaTech, and CyMed are the major ostomy product manufacturers.
There are literally hundreds of different ostomy supplies. The availability is mind-boggling. There is a perfect "fit" of a pouching system for everyone. Sometimes it takes trial and error and requesting samples of products to find the right "fit."
If your mother is short or petite in size, I recommend the Colopast Mio and CyMed lines. Both companies provide small mini pouches and smaller wafer circumferences. You can also look at pediatric ostomy supplies. I am a petite person, 5' 2" and 85 pounds, and use the Coloplast Mio mini pouch. It fits like a dream and is flexible and pliable. I barely notice that I am wearing an ostomy pouch. I have also used the Hollister pediatric wafers and pouches. They are nicely sized for an adult with a small body frame. Do not be afraid to think out of the box.
A critical accessory supply for anyone with an ileostomy is an adaptic ring. These serve like a gasket in a faucet and limit the potential for leaks. Adaptic rings go by the names: Ekin Cohesive Seal (ConvaTech) and Brava Adaptic ring (Coloplast) and Adapt Ring (Hollister). Ekin Cohesive Seals are the dominant favorite.
An ostomy wafer adheres to the skin by means of a hydrocolloid matrix that bonds to the skin by virtue of body temperature. Ostomy wafers do not have any glue or adhesive on their backing. To advoid undue skin irritation when removing a wafer, do NOT pull the wafer off of the skin. Rather, use your finger tips to push into the skin around the margin of the wafer thereby pushing the wafer away from the skin in small incriments.
For me, having an ostomy has not been a big deal. Having a gentle sense of humor can be helpful as stomas can be spontaneous like a geyser in releasing output. For all of the health challenges that I have faced, having an ostomy has not been that arduous.
The United Ostomy Association of America (UOAA) has a valuable support forum. Lee has been nice enough to include its internet link. Feel free to visit the UOAA support forum and seek support and wisdoms from a broad cross section of individuals with ostomies. Like the Colon Club, it is composed of a nice group of people who can help make life with an ostomy easier.
Devoted daughter to my father, diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer Nov-2014.
Dear friend to Bella Piazza, former CC member.
I have a permanent ileostomy and offer advice on living with an ostomy.
I have been on Palliative Care for broad endocrine failure + Addison's disease + osteonecrosis of both hips/jaw + immunosuppression and recurrent infection x 4 years. I transitioned to Hospice Sept-2016, but it was not yet my time. I am back on Palliative Care and live a simple life due to frail health.