Diet and Nutrition
There are no special dietary needs if you have a urostomy. There is recent controversy that cranberry juice is a natural deodorizer. It is not harmful but may not have the powerful preventive qualities we once thought.
Adequate hydration is essential. Drinking 8 glasses of caffeine free beverages/water per day is needed to decrease risk of urinary infection.
Offensive odor in urine should not be present. A foul odor can be caused from not drinking enough fluids, certain medications, or from an infection. Eating asparagus, onions, or garlic have been known to cause odor. Modern appliance pouches have odor barriers and there should be no odor when the appliance is in place.
There are no restrictions for physical activity except heavy lifting. This is true for anyone with an ostomy. Most physicians support a 10 -15 pound weight restriction.
Sit-ups and leg lifts will strengthen the abdominal wall muscles, which will decrease the risk of hernia formation. Ask your surgeon when you can resume exercising. Usually it is 6 weeks after surgery.
Urine like liquid stool may splash when emptied into the toilet. Place 4-6 sheets of toilet paper in the water just before emptying the urine. It will help to prevent splashing. Another method is to flush while the urine is emptying.
It is not unusual for threads of mucous to appear in the pouch if you have an ileal or colon conduit. The intestine secretes mucous just the same as when it was a part of the gastrointestinal tract.
Urostomy pouches cannot hold all the urine produced while you are sleeping. Most persons hook up to a night drainage system that hangs on their bed or sits on the floor. If you prefer to remain “tubing free” you must get up through the night to empty the pouch at least once. Most prefer to attach to night drainage for convenience and restful sleep.
Empty pouch when 1/3 full. Be aware that the pouch will fill faster if you drink alcohol or caffeine beverages. If attending a sports event, concert, or other activity in a large crowd you may decrease bathroom visits by attaching a leg bag to your pouch. The leg bag is not visible under long pants.
The best time to change your wafer is in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Only drainable pouches are recommended. Closed end pouches can be used for intimate moments or activities like a quick swim but never expect to wear one for greater than one hour.
Skin sealant should be applied to your skin before wafer application. It provides a plastic film that protects the skin from moisture and helps adhesion of the wafer. Most all skin sealants have alcohol in them and can cause burning if your skin is irritated. 3M No-Sting barrier wipes have no alcohol and will not burn even when applied to irritated skin.
A sandpaper crust may form on the pouch lining or skin around the stoma. If the urine is very alkaline it will form crystals. This can be prevented by adequate fluid intake. To remove the crystals rinse the pouch in vinegar water.
If the skin is affected apply vinegar soaks to the irritated skin between wafer changes. Check the stoma opening on your wafer for proper fit. Usually crystal formation on the skin around the stoma results from a wafer cut too large. If the skin does not improve after two wafer changes; notify your ostomy nurse.