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The Incidence of Stoma and Peristomal Complications During the First 3 Months After Ostomy Creation

Salvadalena, Ginger D.

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: July/August 2013 - Volume 40 - Issue 4 - p 400–406
doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e318295a12b

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine stoma and peristomal complications and related variables among adults with ostomies. The primary study aim was to determine the incidence of peristomal and stoma complications during the first 3 months after stoma creation.

DESIGN: Data were collected using a prospective, repeated-measures descriptive study design.

SUBJECTS AND SETTING: Data were collected at 2 university-based hospitals with outpatient ostomy clinics in the Midwestern United States. The sample included 43 adults with newly created colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy stomas.

METHODS: Participants were examined for the presence of complications up to 4 times during a 3-month period: within 7 days of surgery. Patients were also evaluated at 2, 6, and 12 weeks after stoma creation. Data were collected using a validated instrument with acceptable interrater reliability.

RESULTS: Peristomal skin complications developed in 27 participants, comprising 63% of the sample. The onset of peristomal skin complications occurred most frequently during the 21- to 40-day time period. The most common skin conditions at nearly all time intervals were irritation (peristomal moisture-associated skin damage) and infection. Of the 18 participants observed 70 days or longer, just 7 (38%) remained free of peristomal skin complications throughout the study. Six participants developed 1 or more stoma complications, all of which occurred 20 or more days after surgery. No demographic or clinical factors were found to be associated with the development of complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the participants were evaluated at regular intervals by a specialized nurse, the majority experienced peristomal skin complications. These results underscore the importance of further work in interventions to prevent and treat peristomal skin complications and to provide ongoing outpatient follow-up to individuals with stomas.

Ginger Salvadalena, PhD, RN, CWOCN, Senior Scientist, Hollister Incorporated, Libertyville, Illinois.

Correspondence: Ginger Salvadalena, PhD, RN, CWOCN, Hollister Incorporated, 2000 Hollister Dr, Libertyville, IL 60048 (

The author has received funding from her employer to travel to conferences to present abstracts and posters pertaining to this study.

© 2013 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.