Healing an old stoma site from the inside out!

Just a word of warning, this post has lots of graphic and medical images of my old stoma site healing and may not be suitable for everyone.

So after the last surgery where they resited my stoma, the old site was left open. I was gobsmacked when I first saw it as I’d never seen an open wound like this before.

They explained that they heal better if they’re not sewn up and they want it to heal from the inside out and so it was packed with dressing and I saw a district nurse every day for just over a month till it healed up.

I had a big cry when I first saw it, it was 3.5cm deep and looked like a gunshot wound, they said it would take around 4-6 weeks to heal and I couldn’t believe that could be true!

So I took photos of the healing process as I found it intriguing and I thought it might help others going through the same situation.

What follows are the images of it healing, as previously warned, they may be upsetting to some so don’t scroll down if you don’t want to look!









Here we go…

Open stoma wound healing

12th June – 5 days post op

Open stoma wound healing

21st June – 14 days post op

Open stoma wound healing

27th June – 20 days post op

Open stoma wound healing

29th June – 22 days post op

Open stoma wound healing

1st July – 24 days post op

Open stoma wound healing

2nd July – 25 days post op

Open stoma wound healing

5th July – 28 days post op

Open stoma wound healing

11th July – 34 days post op

15th July – 38 days post op

18th July – 41 days post op

Open stoma wound healing

11th August – 65 days post op

So there we go! Isn’t the body brilliant!!!

I hope this helps anyone who is facing this sort of healing process to know that it does get better.


Loce Sam xx

4 replies
  1. Wendy Tully
    Wendy Tully says:

    You are an amazing woman Sam and you certainly ‘kick-ass’ you badass! I don’t know anyone who could have held it together for this long without giving in. I can only imagine how ‘tough’ your journey has been but you still bring out the positive in whatever situation you encounter and put it out there for others to gain positivity from it. You are just so bloody awesome! BIG HUGS to you and glad your stomach is healing.
    Care and Thoughts x

  2. Laura
    Laura says:

    I had a stoma “takedown” last August and learned to pack and dress my wound/hole on the days the visiting nurses didn’t come. It was an intense period of worry because I also had to deal with fecal incontinence for 6-weeks. Infection was a real concern. The incontinence finally resolved by keeping a “poop” journal. Dealing with that condition–always near a bathroom, or portable commode chair–was one of my low emotional points.
    The journal allowed me to see what I was newly sensitive to. The IBD diet on the applied nutrition website of UMass Medical School helped me make better food choices. Of course, I had to be fanatical about keeping my hands clean, gloved, etc…What a relief when the hole closed up and the fecal incontinence stopped!

    I had had my sigmoid colon removed about three months before due to an emergency operation for diverticulitis. I had been in extreme pain for many months during the flare (only my 2nd) and increasingly couldn’t take care of myself. It took a l-o-n-g time for my US primary doctor to recognize that I needed help. Eventually specialists deIivered the shocking news; the intervention I needed to stay alive was colon surgery.
    My local surgeon had extra training at the Mayo Clinic (MN) and both operations went well. There is no question in my mind that the stoma saved my life and my surgeon’s skills were key to my lack of major complications.

    A glaring hospital omission was a lack of solid information, such as warnings about hernias or prolapses. I was told not to lift anything over 15 lbs—that’s about it. Bloggers, a few forums, PUBMED research, were far more forthcoming about the potential adverse effects of stoma-related problems. I don’t want to downplay my raw skin issues. I had to use a belted pouch because the smallest leak would cause terrible reactions. I changed it daily after my shower so Medicare (US health insurance for oldies) had to approve 30+ monthly pouches, not the normal 20, and extra supplies. Post-ops, I now use baby soap, shampoo, and mild laundry detergent due to itchy skin, a new annoyance.
    I’m 69 now and the past year has been a blur. My poor husband didn’t have a home-cooked meal for over 8 months because I was too ill to stand long enough to cook. I couldn’t drive, clean much, and so forth. Yes, one feels guilty but it’s important to ease back into activities slowly so the body and mind can heal. Being extremely kind to yourself early will benefit you and your family later. We switched to paper plates, frozen meals, anything that would reduce the care-giving burden on my husband.
    Your blog, and a few others, were extremely helpful to me on many fronts. Hats off to Rachel at Rocking Two Stomas as well. I thought, If these young women can cope with such fortitude
    and honesty, so can I. I slowly resumed driving, cooking, laundry, washing pots and so forth.
    Oddly enough, I do not yet feel any desire to spend time outside, in the garden or elsewhere. This used to be a pleasure but I guess my brain doesn’t feel safe outside
    of the house yet. When I first went food shopping solo in a large grocery store, I felt panic and rushed through it. Little by little, I work on the reluctance I feel to leave the house.

    Anyway, thank you for your writing and photographs because the “experts” don’t seem to think we can handle information on the risky aspects of colon surgeries and don’t explain things very well. The visiting nurses however are invaluable resources.
    The risk of having another colon surgery in my future are greater now but I know I can adapt and adjust to living with a stoma again if needed. Life with chronic agonizing gut pain is not something I would accept if a stoma was the best option to alleviate it.
    Blessings to all readers.

  3. Mary
    Mary says:

    Had colostomy take down 9 weeks ago. Waited 2 years after ER surgery for diverticulitis. Could have had it sooner but was so happy to be pain free I didn’t want more surgery. It was open and I had a wound vac for 45 days. I became proficient living with the bag. But after running in a 5k, and being in excellent health, I got the courage to do the surgery. I am 72. The procedure was laparoscopic with an open stoma wound. The best decision of my life. My surgeon was great both times! I will never forget her. Packing the wound/which did look like a gun shot wound, was very easy. Healed in 42 days. Frequent bowel movements are nothing compared to the BAG! I am so fortunate. Back at my gym 7 days a week.

  4. Stacy
    Stacy says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m three weeks out from a colostomy reversal and dealing with a lot of pain and itching in the wound as it heals. The doctor looked at it yesterday and said there’s no infection; the irritation is just part of healing. Yours seems to have healed a little faster than mine is, but I’m counting down the days until it doesn’t have to be packed anymore. I look at this post every day because it gives me hope.


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