Ostomy Care

When you live with an ostomy, depend on Essentia Health for sensitive, knowledgeable care. This service is available in Duluth and Brainerd, Minnesota, as well as Fargo, North Dakota.

What’s an Ostomy?

An ostomy is an opening from an area inside your body to the outside. It’s created by a general surgeon or colorectal surgeon to give waste a new way to leave your body. When you have an ostomy, urine or stool passes through a stoma—the end of your ureter or intestines—to a small pouch attached to your abdomen.

Types of Ostomies

Common types of ostomies include:

  • Colostomy – Redirects stool from the colon
  • Ileostomy – Diverts stool from the small intestine
  • Urostomy – Reroutes urine

Depending on your needs, your ostomy may be temporary or permanent.

Preparing for Ostomy

Count on the certified wound and ostomy nurses at Essentia to help you adjust to living with an ostomy. Before surgery, meet with a nurse to:

  • Learn about your procedure
  • Understand how ostomy will change your body
  • See how pouching systems work
  • Choose and mark your stoma site
  • Plan for recovery

Caring for Your Ostomy

After surgery, your certified wound-ostomy nurse is here to support you and your family or caregivers learn how to live well with a stoma. We’ll show you how to:

  • Care for your skin
  • Get the supplies you need
  • Empty and change your pouch
  • Adjust to activities of daily living with an ostomy

Long-Term Ostomy Care

Protect your health by following your ostomy care team’s recommendations for follow-up visits. Call your doctor or ostomy nurse if you experience severe cramps, nausea, skin irritation or ulcers, or other complications.

Make an Appointment

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Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

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