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Urostomy: Staying Healthy

Man drinking water.

You’ve just had a urostomy to make a new way for urine to drain from your body. Follow the tips on this sheet. They will help you learn how to stay healthy. And how to help prevent problems. 

A few words on diet

You don’t have to follow a special diet after your urostomy. There’s also no need to stay away from any foods. But be aware that asparagus and some other foods may cause your urine to smell or look different.

Drinking plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water will help prevent urine odor. It will also prevent dehydration. This is when too much fluid is lost from the body. If you get dehydrated, less urine will flow from your stoma. You may feel thirsty and tired. And your skin and mucous membranes may get dry. You may also get stomach cramps. Here are some tips:

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, unless your healthcare provider has told you to drink less fluid.

  • If you do get dehydrated, try to drink plenty of fluids.

  • Call your healthcare provider if you can’t keep fluids down because of upset stomach or vomiting.

Taking a shower or bath

You can take a shower or bath with or without your pouch. Keep in mind:

  • If you bathe without your pouch, you may want to do this in the morning. This is when your urine output is less. Remember, urine will come out of your stoma while you're in the shower. There is no way to stop the output.

  • At other times of the day, showering is a better option than bathing. That way, any urine that flows from your stoma will run down the drain.

When you have a checkup

After a urostomy, you may need to see your healthcare provider every few months at first. After that, your stoma should be checked once a year. Keep in mind:

  • Any time your provider needs a urine sample, it should be taken from your stoma. This will be done with a special tube (catheter). Don' take a urine sample from your pouch yourself.

  • When you see your provider, bring extra supplies. This is helpful in case you need to change your pouch.

  • Always let your provider know right away about any problems with your urinary tract or stoma.

Call 911

Call 911or get medical care right away if you have any of the following:

  • A deep cut in the stoma

  • Excessive bleeding from the stoma opening (or a moderate amount of blood in the pouch at several emptyings)

  • Continuous bleeding where the stoma and skin meet

  • Severe skin irritation or deep sores

  • Abnormal change in stoma size and color

  • Fever and a strong odor from the stoma

When to call the healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms of a urinary tract infection:

  • Belly pain

  • Blood in your urine

  • Cloudy or bad-smelling urine for more than a week

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider

  • Chills

  • Kidney pain

Getting support

Adjusting to a urostomy takes time. But your family and friends can help you. Your surgeon, wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) nurse, and other healthcare providers can answer your questions, too. And they can help you find a support group. This is a group of people who share the same concerns or problems. You can also contact these organizations for more information and support:

Online Medical Reviewer: Marc Greenstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2019
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