I have had some issues with my Stoma post surgery. The stitches came away from the skin leaving me with a large hole into my stomach.
It was bloody awful to look at, it was really nasty and made me queasy. I documented the healing process though as in the beginning I couldn’t imagine it getting any better.
Be warned that the images in this post are really quite graphic. If you don’t like images of open wounds and stomas, I really wouldn’t bother with the rest of this post!
The reason for this post is not to shock but to teach and comfort anyone who has had this happen to them, when it first happened to me, I panicked and was really upset and terrified. I could see into my body!! I spoke to my stoma nurse (and I 100% recommend that you speak to a medical professional if you are having any issues!!!) and she told me that it wasn’t that rare, that I needn’t be too concerned and that with treatment, it would soon be sorted.
I used a paste to fill in the hole, it was the Convatec Stomahesive paste that does really sting for the first few seconds when you apply it, but it does the job. It fills the hole so poo can’t get in and then heals it from the inside out.
Apart from the obvious need to heal the hole, what is important is that when you have a would like this, it stops your bags from sticking properly and when you don’t have a well fitting bag, you get extremely sore, wet skin which in turn, further stops your bag from fitting… It is a vicious circle that is miserable as if you don’t have a well fitting bag, you get leaks and leaks stop you from living a normal life.
I feel I have given enough warnings now, the photographs below could be upsetting if you don’t like seeing inside a body!! So scroll down if you want to see the healing process and I really hope it helps.
Day 3 – 17th January – you can see it has got worse here, this is before any treatment. You can see right inside here!
Day 5 – 19th January – I had been using the Convatec Powder but it wasn’t really helping.
Day 7 – 20th January – it was really bad here, though the wound is starting to heal from the inside, you can see how my bags haven’t been sealing properly and therefore the skin around my stoma is blistering and burning. This is from my very acidic poo getting on my skin and burning away at it.
Day 8 – 21st January – still really bad! Those open burns and blisters are extremely painful. I saw my stoma nurse on this day and she wasn’t happy with the powder treatment and started me on the paste.
Day 11 – 24th January- after just three days using the paste, you can see the VAST improvement. The wound is healing and you can see that my skin is healing too. The paste goes around the stoma and fills in the hole, it means no poo can get on my skin. You can also see that the last of my stitches have dissolved or come out.
Day 14 – 27th January – my skin is almost completely healed after 6 days using the paste and you can see that the wound is almost completely closed.
Day 21 – 3rd Feb – after another week using the paste, my skin is healed and the wound is well on it’s way to being filled and healed!
Day 23 – 5th Feb – another two days and it is pretty much there!
Day 29 – 11th Feb – the wound is completely healed though my skin is still slightly discoloured. You can see how well healed the rest of my skin is as my bag is fitting perfectly and so I am having no seepage or leaks.
So there we go, that was my process from wound opening to healing. As I said, I have shared these photos and this post to help anyone going through skin problems and so I hope this has been of use. It can be extremely scary when things go wrong and I think it is good to see other people’s experiences so you can see there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Don’t forget that your stoma nurse is the best port of call for any stoma issues, they have seen it all before and will have treatments and solutions. My first treatment didn’t work for me but the second was brilliant, my stoma nurse told me there were more things to try if it didn’t work though.
I hope my openness helps everyone with a stoma to not worry, not be embarrassed and to speak out and get help if you have any issues. And for all you who just wanted a gawk, I hope you enjoyed it!!!