Understanding Your Stoma

Just like you, each stoma is one-of-a-kind. Stomas vary in size and can be round, oval or irregular in shape. It may protrude or stay flat against your skin.

Stomas do have some similarities. All stomas should be shiny, wet and red in color, similar to the inside of your mouth. A stoma does not have nerve endings; therefore, it does not transmit pain or other sensations. However, it has many blood vessels and may bleed slightly if irritated or rubbed. This is normal, but if bleeding is prolonged or if you have bloody discharge from your stoma, be sure to contact your healthcare professional.1

Selecting the best pouching system depends on your ostomy type and the particular physical characteristics of your stoma.