• Upcoming APR surgery: what should I do to get my house ready for my return home?

    Asked by BruceB on Monday, April 15, 2019

    Upcoming APR surgery: what should I do to get my house ready for my return home?

    I have APR surgery scheduled in 2 1/2 weeks, and will be coming home with a colostomy. They are also planning to take care of my liver mets laparoscopically. I'm trying to figure out what I will need when I get home.

    It looks like I will need someplace to store my ostomy supplies, and maybe a "special" trash can with a lid for the bathroom...

    Does anyone have any further suggestions? Anything you were especially glad to have once you came home? (Special pillows, a recliner...? I dunno)

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      It's almost 4 years since my APR surgery. I got one of those rolling carts with 3 tiers for my ostomy supplies (your ostomy nurse will order EVERYTHING!).

      I didn't buy a waffle pillow to sit on. I just leaned on either side of my buttocks when I sat on a chair. I laid on my side on the sofa to watch TV.

      I did put a towel underneath me for a number of weeks because I was so afraid of a "leak." Nothing happened.

      Since you are the man of the household, you probably don't worry about cooking. LOL!

      You'll probably have home health for the first month - they were angels - will help you learn how to take care of your colostomy.

      The BEST news - I have been NED ever since the surgery 4 years ago - I did have to do mop-up chemo due to six positive lymph nodes. BEST WISHES! Please let us know how you are doing.

      3 days ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar
      Skyemberr

      Have the ostomy supplies ordered by the wound care nurse who will teach you how to apply your bandage and keep it functioning. While you are still in hospital.they will send home a few supplies with you, most likely, so you have time to get your box. It is wise to do this because they may have a better idea of what style of bandage you need. The bandaging brand I used and liked was Hollister.

      1. Carry a spare set of clothes in your car, and also take a kit with all of your basic supplies to get 2 our 3 bandages on you in the car with you.

      2. For the first few weeks home after surgery sleep with old towels under you in case you get a leak and keep bandage changes within reach along with diaper wipes. You'll appreciate how gentle those are.

      3. Stick closely to the low residue diet they give you. Its not so bad!! If you hate white bread try the potato bread. Try new foods that are not on that diet slowly and one at a time so you can tell If your body will be ok with them.

      4. Be good about changing your bandages and as long as things are going well They are not so bad to deal with. The skin barrier is very important to keep your skin healthy and so is the waxy Eakin seal. If your skin gets red and irritated call wound care! ❤

      5. I stored my used supplies in double plastic bags, firmly.knotted shut. Then I put them in a tall trash can with a lid in my bathroom. It was not a problem.

      6. Have people around to look after you for a few weeks if possible. Serious complications are possible and you may be feeling too sick to want to eat, much less feed your cat/ dog etc.

      Good luck! The colostomy is so easy compared to an ileostomy! I hope you get to have a reversal like I did!

      3 days ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I had an colostomy for three months.

      I learned to travel with a spare set of clothes and supplies with me whenever I went out.

      I used Chuck pads to throw the used products on the floor when changing it. Then I would just wrap it up and throw it all away.

      I had to learn to sleep on my back. That was hard.

      And if you need help getting used to the products or having trouble with them staying on, don't hesitate to call the nurse. It took 4 visits to the nurse and two different products before we found one that would work for me.

      Good luck as you enter this chapter of your life. Hugs.

      3 days ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Everyone is different - I was a "belly" sleeper and kept on sleep on my side/belly and it didn't bother a thing.

      2 days ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar
      Skyemberr

      Those Chuck pads @Clinda mentioned are fantastic! If you can get them then absolutely do so. They are cheaper than old towels and do help to clean up the mess of all of the opened bandages and plastic, etc that you'll have from a bandage change.

      I'd forgotten about becoming a back sleeper until @JaneA mentioned that. I still sleep on my back a year after reversal. It an odd thing. Maybe you will want a back sleeper pillow if you are not used to it?

      It might get dicey the first few days at home as you get used to changing your Ostomy, but before you know it you will get very good at it!

      Good luck to you ! Please keep posting if you have more questions.

      2 days ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more colorectal (colon) cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Colorectal (Colon) Cancer page.