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What is a Stoma Cover?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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A stoma cover is a circular or rectangular device made from foam, rubber, fabric, or sometimes plastic. These covers are used to cover the artificial openings made through surgery in various areas of the body. These are called stomas, and they are used to treat various health conditions. Covers are often absorbent and they are generally used for several hours or several days at a time depending on the type.

There are various types of stomas, but each of them refers to a hole created in the body by a surgeon. They are commonly used in the treatment of throat cancer or emphysema to create a new opening for breathing. They are also used to treat some bowel conditions in which the colon must be removed or allowed time to heal. In this case the small intestines are disconnected from the colon and all digested materials exit through a stoma placed in the abdomen.

The stoma cover is used to cover the hole and to keep bodily fluids from escaping prematurely. Many times they have a hole cut in the center to allow tubing to be placed so that mucus or fecal matter can drained throughout the day. Covers are placed over the skin and stay in place with skin adhesive.

In most cases the stoma cover will be flesh-colored and there are various shades to match various skin tones. Each individual will be fitted with the correct cover to ensure proper fit and color match. Patients are generally given several covers, which are often covered by insurance. They must be changed regularly, although the length of time each stoma cover can be used will depend on the patient.

Sometimes leakage can come from the area between the stoma cover and skin. When this occurs, sealers designed for this purpose can be used. Any leakage should be reported to a health care provider because liquids coming from the stoma cover can cause irritation to the surrounding skin. Skin protectors can sometimes be used to prevent this from occurring. Most leakage is caused by an improperly applied cover or a cover that is not the right fit.

Patients should be taught by trained medical professionals how to apply their stoma covers. They should also be given specific instructions for caring for the stoma, the surrounding skin, and on draining and irrigating the stoma. Colostomy patients generally wear a bag which is connected by tubing to the stoma cover. This bag is drained several times per day in the beginning with drainage declining over time

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