Managing a retracted stoma

Managing a retracted stoma

I have an ileostomy with a retracted stoma. It retracted within a couple of weeks after my surgery. Although I have some suspicions about why this occurred, I don’t really know for sure. I understand that sometimes it just happens.  Mine is not as bad as it could be — my stoma is right at skin level, so I’m able to wear a convex wafer with virtually no problems. However, I’ve gained 10 lbs since surgery and that has caused a dip on one side, so I now usually wear a ring to help fill that gap (I sometimes will use paste, but I find it very messy).

Because of the wafer convexity, and now the additional pressure applied by the ring, I pay close attention to the skin directly around my stoma. Being older, my skin is dryer and less flexible, and I want to make sure I avoid any pressure sores.  I usually wear a Hollister Cera-plus convex wafer, but every couple of months I’ll switch to a Convatec Natura convex wafer. The convexity is different between them, and it gives my skin a chance to recover a little bit. I like both of them, and they both work really well, but I’ve developed a sensitivity to the Convatec adhesive and can only wear them for a max of two changes before my skin just erupts and starts itching like crazy. I think this is a problem unique to me, so if you try this approach you will probably not have any problems.

Having a retracted stoma can be problematic, but with the right accessories it can be managed successfully.  Of course, losing the 10 lbs might help to solve some of this problem, and I’m working on that!

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