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Stoma Creation: A Guide for Ovarian Cancer Surgery Survivors

Posted by Fortis Medical Products  on September 15, 2023

Ovarian cancer is another serious condition, which can spread to certain components of the digestive system. Sometimes, if this happens, it could require partial or total removal of various bowels, making it necessary to divert waste in a different direction.

As you may already know, ostomy is a common way to do this by surgically reconnecting the intestines, and allowing them to exit from an abdominal stoma. We’d like to delve further into this topic, and show how this works for women who undergo treatments for ovarian cancer.

Two Types of Stoma: Colostomy & Ileostomy

The two most relevant ostomy procedures are colostomy and ileostomy, which affect the gastrointestinal tract. There’s also a third ostomy, urostomy, involving the urinary tract, but this is less typical with ovarian cancer.

Surgeons may elect to perform a Colostomy to redirect the colon (large bowel or large intestine), allowing waste to exit through an artificial stoma. Patients who undergo this method are more likely to encounter thicker discharge.

Ileostomy works similarly, but involves the ileum (small bowels or small intestine). This allows a more porridge-like discharge to exit into an ostomy pouch from the stoma. 

Will You Need a Stoma?

It’s important to remember that the surgeon must receive your consent to perform any invasive surgery, including creating a stoma. You should expect to discuss this with your medical providers well before anything happens.

If your physician recommends colostomy or ileostomy to address the spread of ovarian cancer, then you should also expect to speak with nursing staff for preparation. You would go over the positioning of the stoma (usually left side for colostomy; right side for ileostomy), and how to cope with post-surgical recovery. They should also offer training and guidance for handling ostomy care supplies.

Obviously, there is much to cover, regarding a topic like this, but we’d like to focus on the most common FAQs.

Ovarian Cancer & Stomas: FAQS

  1. Would the stoma be permanent?
    • While ostomy is permanent for some conditions, most ovarian cancer patients may only require a temporary procedure. You might have the opportunity to undergo an additional surgery to reverse the ostomy later after the cancer remits.
  2. How do you cope with the stoma?
    • Although it’s not a minor procedure, ostomy isn’t that uncommon anymore, and there are many coping strategies. This will include learning how to manage your stoma following the surgery. We’ve written a lot of material dedicated to handling pouches and making reasonable lifestyle adjustments.
  3. Will this affect what I’m allowed to eat?
    • Yes, the ostomy treatments involve some changes to how your body digests food, and that entails certain dietary precautions. Most patients would need to avoid eating anything hard to digest, including seeds, nuts, and other items that create heavy gas.

We hope this helps, but as usual, it’s impossible to cover every pertinent ostomy detail in a brief blog post. Patients should always ask their doctors questions like these before the surgery to ensure the best preparation possible.

You can also learn more about ostomy, including how to manage these conditions, by following Fortis Medical Products for future articles. Our mission is to improve the lives of ostomy patients with user-friendly, safe, and hypoallergenic ostomy supplies. If you’d like to learn more about anything we offer, or how to use them, then contact us anytime at 855-550-2600.

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