Question:

My husband has an ostomy, and the two-piece system we are using seems to not be working. In the last two weeks, we have changed it seven times, and this morning it came off again. We recently saw the MD, and he has two more hernias in his stomach and has regained 17 lbs since surgery in June 2023. We are currently using Coloplast Sensura Mio with a convex. We live at Happy Hill Retirement Village and don’t know who to ask for help. If you could call us with any advice, we would greatly appreciate it.

Response:

I looked up Happy Hill Retirement Village online and it seems you are close to London, ON, which places you in the South West LHIN. You can make self-referrals for home care — you do not need a physician to make them for you. The intake phone number is 1-800-811-5146.

Given the significant changes your husband has experienced (weight gain, additional hernias, increased costs for appliances, and decreased quality of life), it is crucial to get a professional assessment of his stoma. These changes are causing frequent appliance changes, major leakage issues, skin breakdown, pain, and affecting his self-esteem, preventing him from going out.

You should request a NSWOC (Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence) nurse consultant to assess the stoma. They will likely send a nurse to conduct an initial assessment. Sometimes, experienced nurses can provide valuable assessments and recommendations if NSWOC nurses are not immediately available due to high demand. It’s important for you and your husband to advocate for appropriate service and seek management intervention if necessary.

I hope this helps.

Warm Regards,

Karen Bruton, RN BScN MCISc-WH WOCC(C)
Nurse Education Consultant – Interprofessional Practice Support
Indigenous Services Canada, Government of Canada
Ostomy Canada (Volunteer)
Medical and Lifestyle Advisory Team Lead

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