Question:

I’d always heard that patients shouldn’t use donut cushions following surgery to close the anus, as it can spread the cheeks apart and impede healing. Lately, though, I’ve been hearing that some surgeons say it depends on whether the patient has a skinny or well-padded bottom – which will either spread the wound open or push it closed. Many people use waffle cushions (with evenly spaced holes) or coccyx cushions (with a U-shaped cutout at the back). But are donut cushions a good choice for some Barbie/Ken Butts?

Response:

There does not seem to be a clear consensus on the type of cushion recommended for people of any size and weight.

After rectal surgery it is very important to reduce and relieve pressure from the surgical area, stimulate healthy blood flow, and that the hips and back are well supported.

The ring/donut pillows are one of the common tools people consider when trying to figure out how to live with hemorrhoid symptoms. Ring/donut pillows are sometimes referred to as, “hemorrhoid pillows”. Manufacturers advise that ring/donut pillows help avoid pressure on the affected area. In theory, a pillow with a hole in the middle would prevent you from putting your weight directly on your anal area when you sit down. The open centre though leaves nothing to support your anal area. Having said this, there is also debate on whether the ring/donut pillow is a good alternative for hemorrhoid management. Some people suggest the ring/donut pillow is equivalent to sitting on the toilet for an extended period. After proctectomy surgery care and hemorrhoid symptom management, are two very different medical issues.

In deciding with your physician which support pillow choice that will work best it is important to note where there is an agreement; anything that does not provide all-over/adequate support and promotes healing should be avoided.

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay
THE OSTOMY FACTOR Blog – joannltremblay.wordpress.com
FACEBOOK – Author Jo-Ann L. Tremblay
TWITTER @joanntremblay
Author of “The Self-Coaching Toolbox” , “Better With A Bag Than In A Bag” , “Another BAG Another DAY”, “BAGs Around the World”, Why Buttercup Wears a BAG!”, “The Sibs Gang Cave of the Golden Heart”
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Member OstomyCanada /Medical Lifestyle Advisory Committee Member- Ostomy Lifestyle Expert
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Website: jo-annltremblay.com

Our friends over at Nurses Specialized In Wound, Ostomy And Continence Canada (formerly called The Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET)) have renamed their handy look-up page on their website. It was formerly called “Find An ET Nurse” and is now called “Find a NSWOC“. Click on the image to the left or link here to go to their site.

Find a NSWOC
Find a NSWOC
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