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Northland DHB District Nursing Service Whangarei

Public Service

Stomal Therapy

Stomal Therapy Service

What is a Stoma or Ostomy?

An ostomy refers to the surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes, or to provide nutrition as in a gastrostomy, or to aide breathing as in a tracheostomy.  A stoma is the actual end or opening that can be seen protruding through the abdominal wall such as a colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy or gastrostomy or from the trachea such as a tracheostomy.

An Ostomy or Stoma is formed as part of treatment to cure disease / illness or to relieve symptoms.

The Stomal Therapy service is community based but provides Stomal therapy services to all hospitals, rest homes and community clients throughout Northland.

Referrals are received from Surgeons, hospital staff from any hospital, General Practitioners, Health Professionals and self referrals are accepted when needed e.g. when on holiday and having stoma issues.

Types of Stoma /Ostomy

Colostomy: A stoma which opens from the Colon (Large Bowel) usually to left lower abdomen that passes bowel motions. Large bowel is stitched to the outer abdominal wall, this usually heals within 7-10 days, and an adhesive stoma bag is placed over the stoma to collect the bowel motion.

Ileostomy: A stoma which opens from the Ileum (Small Bowel) usually to the right lower abdomen that passes bowel motions. Small bowel is stitched to the outer abdominal wall and will heal usually within 7-10 days and an adhesive stoma bag is placed over the stoma to collect the bowel motion.

Urostomy (Ileal Conduit): A urinary stoma the ureters are joined to a piece of resected ileum (small bowel) and a conduit is formed with one end over sewn and the other brought out to the abdominal wall as a stoma in a similar position as an ileostomy. This works as an artificial bladder if your bladder has been removed. An adhesive Urostomy pouch is placed over the stoma to collect the urine.

Gastrostomy: An opening into the stomach where a tube is placed, which can be used to provide nutrition under the guidance of a dietitian.

Tracheostomy: An opening into the trachea to aide breathing, you are closely monitored by the ENT doctor and nurse specialist.

What does the service provide?

Free confidential stoma assistance and advice. Assessment and care pre-operatively, in hospital, on discharge from hospital and bi-annually or as required thereafter. Assessment and visits may be in hospital, clinic or in the home environment.

Stoma care products are provided free of charge as per the government guidelines.

As part of a wider multidisciplinary team we can refer as needed to other services if required.

Provision of supplies

Stoma supplies are supplied following comprehensive assessment by the Stomal Therapy Nurse.  Ongoing at least 2 yearly assessment is required as per government guidelines.

Who is eligible for stoma supplies?

A person of any age (babies, children and adults) who has been referred and assessed by the Stomal Therapy Nurse.

Clients must be a New Zealand citizen or resident to receive healthcare services in New Zealand.

Clients who are eligible to receive services through ACC can be assessed by the Stomal Therapy Nurse but supplies will be provided through ACC supplier.

This page was last updated at 11:22AM on October 10, 2019.