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What You Can Expect After Your Child’s Ostomy Surgery

Laura Cox, LPC
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
03/14/19  10:49 AM PST
Child’s Ostomy Surgery

When your child comes out of ostomy surgery, they will need your support. Here is what you can expect after your child’s ostomy surgery, so you can be prepared to best support your child however he or she needs.

When your child returns to their hospital room they will be pretty sleepy as the anesthesia wears off. Generally, your child will be hooked up to a pain pump after coming out of the operating room, in order control the post-surgical pain. The pain pump button will only allow a certain dose in a specific amount of time, in order to keep your child safe. The first goal after surgery is pain control and monitoring your child’s vitals.

When your child is more awake and aware, he or she may want to see the newly created stoma and the new ostomy pouch. I wrote an article about how to best support your child when seeing his or her stoma for the first time.

After your child has been awake for a while, the nurses and doctors may encourage him or her to walk to help the intestines “wake up” after surgery. Anesthesia essentially puts the gastrointestinal track to sleep, as well as the rest of the body. If the intestines don’t start moving for a while after anesthesia, it is called ileus. Ileus from surgery isn’t permanent, but it may take a while to function properly again. Walking is an easy way to combat ileus.

When your child’s stoma begins to output, nurses and nursing assistants will empty your child’s pouch. They will do this the first few times, but should encourage you and your child to become independent. They will most likely ask your child to empty the pouch into a measuring container so the doctors can monitor your child’s stoma output.

During your child’s stay, the surgeons will come and discuss recovery progress. Also, a WOCN (Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse) or an ET (Enterostomal Therapy) Nurse will visit and he or she will teach you and your child how to change the ostomy pouch. This nurse should also encourage you to get set up with an ostomy supplier, like Shield HealthCare or other companies

Once the stoma is successfully outputting, your child will be put on a liquid or low residue diet and will be encouraged to gradually reintroduce foods into their diet. The surgeons and nurses will encourage your child to chew well and drink throughout and after meals in order to avoid blockages.

When your child’s pain is under control, he or she can successfully empty the pouch, and eat, and the doctor feels comfortable, they will send you and your child home. A post-surgical follow up appointment for a few weeks after the surgery date will also be set up for you and your child.

Serving Medicare Ostomates Nationwide
Dear Laura, I wear a two piece ostomy bag. I need help with concealing an ostomy bag. When I move around my shirt hikes up and the tip of the bag peeks out from under my shirt.
Hi Tom, I have a few suggestions that may help!
First, I'm wondering if a stealth belt would be a good option for you. This is a black belt that you can conveniently tuck your pouch...


1 Comment

  1. Sylvia
    Posted July 4, 2022 at 6:06 pm PDT

    Laura, when we found out our child was going to have the Ileostomy, my husband and I went in search for information. Your videos were such a great help and comfort. We knew he was going to be forever changed, but would ultimately be ok! To add to your article, keep a close eye on the surgical incision, because Wound Care doesn’t often do weekends, and no one really has a lot of experience. Take pictures to show the medical teams when you have questions. Stay strong, parents!

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