Factors to be considered when choosing an appliance

The person choosing the appliance, whether the stoma care nurse, community nurse or carer, should answer the following questions:

• What type of stoma does the patient have?

• What type of output comes from the stoma?

• Does the patient have full control of their faculties such as sight, hearing, mental ability?

• Does the patient have good manual dexterity?

• What is the patient's lifestyle?

• How and where has the stoma been sited?

• Was the stoma a planned or emergency procedure?

• Does the patient have any experience of stoma appliances or is the patient happy to leave it up to the nurse's experience?

Stoma appliances are divided into three types reflecting the output of the stoma. These are:

1. Colostomy: producing a formed to semi-formed stool.

2. Ileostomy: producing effluent that is fluid and never formed.

3. Urostomy: producing urine.

When surgery is undertaken for diverticulitis, be it emergency or planned surgery, the resulting stoma will be a colostomy. Here, appliances for a colostomy are discussed. However, if more information is needed about ileostomy and urostomy and stoma care, further reading can be found in Black (2000).

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