How long will it take me to get adjusted to the colostomy bag and using it?

Will I have the colostomy bag on when I return from the operating room? 

Usually, patients who have had ileostomies will return from surgery with a temporary ostomy bag in place. A patient who has had a colostomy will not have fecal drainage until he begins to eat again a few days or a week after the operation. He will return from surgery with dressings but with no ostomy bag. When fecal matter begins to be expelled, a temporary colostomy bag will be applied. Because this is a temporary appliance, it may not work as well as the permanent one. Furthermore, the process is more complicated because you have so recently had the operation. Don't be dismayed by the whole procedure. It will become a simple, routine matter for you when you return home. Thousands of people from every walk of life have had colostomies and are able to attend to their businesses and their homes, marry, have babies, play golf or tennis, swim, dance, go to the movies in other words, live perfectly normal lives.

How long will it take me to get adjusted to the bag and using it? 

A lot depends on your attitude. There will be mental as well as physical adjustments for you to make. It is not an easy adjustment, but a positive attitude helps a great deal. Usually, after a few months' time, you will be accustomed to the routine and it will be a regular part of your daily life. The sooner you accept the fact that your stoma is a part of you, the sooner this adjustment will take place.

Will I have to worry about my diet? 

No special diet is needed. Your body will tell you which foods are best for you. You should be careful about eating highly laxative foods or foods which are "gassy" such as beans, nuts, onions, cabbage. Just be sure you eat a complete and well balanced diet.


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