Stomal therapy

A stoma is a surgically created opening on the abdominal wall that allows waste (faecal matter or urine) to leave the body.  

A stoma may be created after bowel surgery (colostomy or ileostomy) or bladder surgery (urostomy). It may be temporary or permanent. A temporary stoma will usually be closed after three months or when chemotherapy or radiation treatments are complete.

For some, adjusting to a stoma and learning to look after it may take time and patience. Our stomal therapy caregivers understand this and help you address any challenges you may have.

Stomal therapy services

Stomal therapy services help you adjust to living with a temporary or permanent stoma. We work closely with medical and allied health practitioners to achieve positive outcomes for you and your family. We aim to achieve your pre-surgery activities of daily living.

A stomal therapy nurse will work closely with you and your family or carers. The nurse will:

  • meet or call you to ensure you understand the surgery and the reasons for a stoma
  • mark the site/s for the stoma on your abdomen prior to surgery
  • educate you about managing your stoma and provide relevant surgical information
  • give you advice on stoma supplies and how to access them
  • give you advice on skin care
  • explain fluid and dietary requirements and arrange a dietitian consultation if needed.

Patient’s report that meeting with the stomal therapy nurse prior to surgery is of benefit to:

  • reduce anxiety
  • provide accurate information that they can understand
  • help with any decision making that is required.

Benefits of our services

You may benefit from our service through:

  • one-on-one consultation with a stomal therapy nurse
  • information and support before and after surgery
  • education and problem solving on the full range of related issues, including skin care, diet, and accessing stomal supplies
  • reassurance that you will be able to achieve good quality of life with a stoma.

Access to stomal therapy services

  • Your surgeon will refer you to the stoma therapist
  • The stoma therapist will try to contact you prior to elective surgery.