The Ostomy Center at The Miriam Hospital
About the Ostomy Center
The Ostomy Center at The Miriam Hospital promotes and encourages independence through counseling and education, whether your ostomy is temporary or permanent. We provide individualized care, support, and guidance in a confidential environment.
The Care and Support You Need
The Ostomy Center is here to assist patients, families and caregivers during the pre-surgery and post-surgery periods and during times when the colostomy bag or the surrounding skin need attention.
Our colorectal surgeon, nurse practitioner and wound ostomy continence nurses possess knowledge, skills and expertise in caring for ostomy patients. All are board certified in colostomy and ileostomy care.
What is a stoma?
A stoma is the result of an ostomy operation which is meant to remove disease and relieve symptoms. It is an artificial opening that allows feces or urine either from the intestine or from the urinary tract to pass.
If you are a new ostomy patient, you may be concerned that life will not be the same as before your surgery. Work, school, sports, social events – just getting back to normal daily activities with friends and family – can cause fear, frustration and self-consciousness.
We are here to help you move toward independence with your ostomy care and management, choose the ostomy system that works best for you, and talk over the challenges of living with and managing your colostomy or ileostomy.
Patients who have permanent colostomy bags sometimes experience different challenges. Changes in weight, activity or body shape are only a few factors that may affect the stoma (the opening in your abdomen) or surrounding skin, causing you to modify your daily routine. We provide expert evaluation and recommendations that will help you maintain your lifestyle.
Whether your colostomy bag is temporary or permanent, we can help address your problems or concerns and give clear answers to your questions. If you need an annual stoma exam, we are here for you.
At the Ostomy Center, we take a multidisciplinary approach in providing:
- Pre-operative counseling for patients who are to undergo creation of an ileostomy, colostomy, urostomy, or continent diversion. Family members are included in these discussions.
- Pre-operative stoma marking to identify the most appropriate location on your abdomen for your ostomy or ileostomy placement.
- Post-surgery follow-up for stoma assessment, colostomy bag and appliance evaluation, and continued instruction in stoma and skin care.
- Evaluation and management of your stoma and surrounding skin.
- Annual stoma and skin assessment of lifelong ostomates for changes that may occur with weight loss or gain, or as a result of aging.
- Evaluation and treatment of skin rashes, ulcers or wounds that may occur around the stoma.
- Fitting of hernia/ostomy support binders.
- Creation of customized ostomy appliances for challenging stomas.
- Instruction in colostomy and ileostomy irrigation.
- Guidance in obtaining your ostomy supplies.
What We Ask of You for Your Ostomy Care
A physician’s referral to the Ostomy Center is required.
For your first visit:
- Bring your current ostomy appliance and any colostomy or ileostomy products you are using. This helps us understand any problems you may be experiencing.
- Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Expect to be with us for 45 minutes to one hour. There is required information we will ask you to provide. We will also have you complete a questionnaire.
- If you are using any over-the-counter or prescription creams, lotions or powders, please bring them with you.
For your follow-up visits, bring a spare of the ostomy appliance you use, because that type may not be available at the Ostomy Center.