• Stoma size

    Asked by kevin_ryan on Friday, March 22, 2013

    Stoma size

    I have rectal cancer and had a colostomy so am now wearing a bag for my bathroom needs. My question is for others in this situation and if you experience a lot of changes in your stoma. I find that the stoma seems to shrink and grow significantly to the point where the hole in the bag is at its maximum size. I always get blood in the bag where it cuts into the stoma when it has grown.
    My oncologist says that this is normal, but would like to hear from others that are in a similar situation

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • carm's Avatar

      I am an oncology nurse and until someone responds, I can tell you that it is common for the stoma to evolve, especially if it is newly created. Hollister has a great website with patient information and you might want to Google them. They produce ostomy supplies. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • MajorRedneck's Avatar

      Oh me. Ok I have had throat and neck cancer and I have what I was told a "stoma" hole in my throat. Did I miss understand or are they both called "stoma" hole even though they are at both ends? When I say stoma hole do I need to be more spacific about what I am talking about as not to confuse someone?

      over 3 years ago
    • NanaL's Avatar

      Hey Kevin I also have a permanent colostomy due to rectal cancer. The stoma will continue to shrink some after your initial surgery. It will also expand and contract when you're having a bowel movement. I do occasionally have some blood from my stoma but it is always best that your appliance is a bit too big than too tight. Once your stoma stabilizes then you can tell which size appliance fits the best. I wear 1 1/8 inch but right after surgery and for 3 to 4 weeks I wore 1 1/2 inch. I hope this helps. How long ago was your surgery?

      over 3 years ago
    • jearlesred's Avatar

      Hi kevin_ryan, I had my ostomy reversed a couple of months ago, but when I did have the stoma I also noticed changes in its size - particularly when the stoma was about to become 'active'. Have you tried using the moldable collars? That way the material surrounding the stoma is soft.

      over 3 years ago
    • spirithorse's Avatar

      Hello Kevin. I also had changes in the size of my stoma. I had my surgery last
      August for I am not sure how long this size change continues. Sometimes the stoma is huge and there are other times when I swear the thing disappears inside me. I still get some bleeding once and a while when I clean it but it stops rather quickly. Your situation sounds a lot like mine and I think we just have to learn to get use to what comes. Never a dull moment. When I first got my stoma I was rinsing out the bag with water and for some reason had a chemo moment and forgot to aim down when I was ready to empty the bag. As you can imagine, it was like a waterfall right in front of me. Never one to panic, I started laughing and decided I needed someone else to blame for all the upcoming calamities I knew I would be having. So right then I named my stoma Polly pooper. I never know what antics Polly has in mind but she does help keep me with a good sense of humor. Try and keep your sense of humor. Remember there are plenty of us out there dealing with this "poop" too.

      over 3 years ago
    • CrazyHarry's Avatar

      The stoma is part of your small bowel and it constantly is on the move growing and shrinking to help push "XXX" through. Also as you heal, your stoma will shrink a little. Cutting into your stoma is probably the most common reason for blood in the bag. I would highly recommend a visit to your ostomy or wound care nurse.

      over 3 years ago
    • Jacob's Avatar
      Jacob (Best Answer!)

      Mr. Ryan,

      my wife has colorectal cancer and her stoma grows and shrinks as well. I know, sometimes it's alarming, but we were assured the same thing; that this is normal. We still question it though. Remember, God gave you a brain to ask these questions. Keep asking them. Doing research yourself will give you peace of mind, and the answers you require. I will pray for you.

      over 3 years ago

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