Urostomy: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

A urostomy is a procedure to create an opening in the belly that allows urine to flow to the outside of the body. It is usually done during a surgery to remove a diseased or damaged bladder. The urostomy creates an opening called a stoma.

There are two kinds of urostomies.

  • A standard urostomy, also called an ileal conduit, uses a piece of your small intestine to make a tube. The doctor connects one end of the tube to a stoma that he or she makes in your belly. The other end attaches to the two ducts (ureters) that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The urine passes through the tube and out through the stoma. There is no muscle around the stoma. This means that you aren't able to control when urine passes out of your body. A plastic pouch (ostomy pouch) surrounds the stoma. This pouch collects the urine. The pouch is attached to your skin.
  • A continent reservoir uses a piece of your bowel to make a storage pouch inside your body. It acts like a new bladder. The storage pouch connects your ureters to the stoma in your belly. A valve in the pouch stops urine from flowing out. You will learn to recognize how it feels when the pouch is full. You put a thin plastic tube called a catheter through the stoma to let out the urine.

Learning how to care for your urostomy will help you live comfortably with it. An ostomy nurse is a great support. He or she will help you learn to manage your urostomy so you can get back to a normal life. This will include learning how a pouch system works and how to replace your urostomy pouch. Your nurse will also give you tips on how to treat and prevent common problems, such as irritated skin.

It takes time to adjust to having a urostomy. But with time after surgery, you will be able to work and enjoy physical activities, including sex.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Follow your doctor's or ostomy nurse's instructions for changing your urostomy pouch and caring for your stoma and skin.
  • If the skin under your pouch is red, irritated, or itchy, you need to treat your skin. Follow these steps:
    1. Gently remove the pouch.
    2. Clean the skin under the pouch with a wet face cloth.
    3. Dry the skin.
    4. Sprinkle ostomy protective powder on the skin, and then blot it off.
    5. Reattach or replace the pouch.
  • If you are using a catheter instead of a pouch, keep it and the skin around the stoma clean.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have pain in your flank, which is just below your rib cage and above the waist on either side of the back.
  • You have nausea and vomiting.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Little or no urine is leaving your body.
  • Your stoma turns pale or changes colour.
  • Your stoma swells or bleeds.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: July 26, 2016