Overview

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) nurse evaluates the needs of each patient with regard to his or her specific type of ostomy. The nurse assesses peristomal skin issues and helps individuals enjoy a productive lifestyle. Patients achieve renewed confidence and self-esteem as they become more comfortable with their ostomy and regain their independence.

Ostomy definitions

Sometimes treating diseases of the digestive or urinary systems involves removing all or part of the small intestine, colon, rectum or bladder. In such cases, a new way is created to allow waste to leave the body.

Surgery to create the new opening in the abdomen is called an ostomy. The new opening is called a stoma.

Types of Ostomies

Ileostomy: After surgical removal of the colon and rectum, the small intestine (ileum) is attached to the stoma. An ileostomy is a surgical opening constructed by bringing the end or loop of small intestine (the ileum) out onto the surface of the skin.

Colostomy: A colostomy is a surgical opening constructed by drawing the healthy end of the large intestine or colon out to the surface of the skin.

Urostomy: A urostomy is a stoma (artificial opening) for the urinary system.

Services provided

  • Pre-surgical ostomy counseling
  • Marking of the ostomy site before surgery
  • Post-surgical care
  • Post-surgical education for patients and family members
  • Appliance fitting and adjustments
  • Assessment and treatment of the stoma and the surrounding
  • (peristomal) skin