The purpose of this book is to provide you with understanding and greater confidence about your forthcoming surgery. The more you understand, the more easily you will adjust following your surgery.
You are not alone. There are more than one million men, women and children in North America who have had ostomy surgery and most have returned to normal active lives. After your surgery you may plan to resume your previous activities and lifestyle.
As you prepare for, undergo and recover from your surgery, there are many resource people to assist you and your family. Your physician and nurses are there to help you. You may see a nurse who specializes in the care of people with ostomies. In the US these nurses are registered as WOCN, Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses; in Canada they are called enterostomal therapists or ETs.
You may also meet an ostomy visitor, a person who has experienced similar surgery and can provide practical and personal advice.
After discharge from hospital, follow-up care is available a wide range of sources such as home care, community nurses, your family physician and your surgeon. The United Ostomy Association provides information and support that can assist you with adjustments following ostomy surgery.