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How to Prepare for Bowel Surgery

Updated on December 18, 2016
AloBeDa profile image

Adjusting to a colostomy is tough. For me it was like a horrible dream! But with a positive mindset, I adjusted wonderfully...

Before a colostomy surgical procedure is to be carried out, assuming surgery isn't done due to an emergency, it is the Doctor's duty to inform and educate the patient about the procedure, how it is done, what it entails, and about life after surgery.

Patients, understandably, are quite anxious and don't know what to expect. They tend to have many fears and concerns about the expectations, acceptance, and how to cope with life after surgery.

The consultation with the Doctor is vital. At this time, the patient may wish to request where they would prefer the stoma to be sited

It helps a lot if the patient will let the surgeon know what part of the stomach they would prefer the colostomy to be placed. It's a patient's right and should be taken into consideration by the Doctor.

Of course, the doctor has the final say, depending on what is required, and the patient's condition.

Necessary Preparations Before Surgery

Many doctors want their ostomy patient to undergo colon cleansing before the surgical procedure. Preparation for surgery may also include a build up of the patient's stamina some days before colostomy surgery.

Pre-Surgery Diet

The pre-surgery diet recommended by the nurse is to be a diet somewhat high in:

  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates

This is to maintain and provide adequate nutrition and to minimize the chances of cramping.

Good sources for this pre surgery nutrition:

  • Fats or Oils
  • Meats
  • Pasta
  • Rice

Bowel Preparation

It is important to "prepare" the bowel before surgery. A couple of days prior to colostomy, the doctor will request a bowel preparation. This is essential to cleanse the colon before it's worked on surgically.

There will be an enema, and a fasting period of about eight hours prior to surgery. If the fasting is not carried out properly ( no tidbits, no snacks, no foods water or drinks!), the colostomy surgery will have to be postponed.

The nurse will walk patients through these preparations, and it is very important that they are followed 'to the teeth'. Any omission of instructions may cause a postponement of the surgical procedure.

Life After Colostomy Surgery

One of the best ways to prepare patients for a colostomy procedure is to have them talk to a colostomy visitor who has had colostomy surgery.

This will be arranged in the hospital, and talking to one who has undergone the surgery makes a whole lot of difference as to how an intending patient will understand and accept the condition.

There are also many other ways to get a better understanding of living life with a colostomy. doctors, ostomy nurses, or other nurses are great sources of inspiration, information, and support.

They are well qualified, and will answer questions, give counseling if needed, and share tips on how to live with a stoma.

© 2010 AloBeDa

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