It can be helpful to understand what to expect during treatment. Although everyone is different, the following steps are a common pathway for our patients.
1. Your first appointment
You will meet your specialist at your first appointment to discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan, addressing any questions or concerns you may have. Throughout your entire treatment, your specialist will continue to care for you.
2. Before starting treatment
Further to your first appointment, one of our experienced care team members will spend time with you to explain your treatment; pre-procedural preparation (e.g. dietary restriction, bowel preparation, stoma care counselling), what to expect and how to manage possible problems following the procedure (e.g. pain control and bowel function recovery after surgery). They will also chat about possible anxiety you might be feeling.
Should you require a stoma, you will meet with an enterostomal therapist prior to surgery. At the first meeting, the enterostomal therapist will help you with the placement of the stoma. Taking lifestyle and clothing into consideration, the nurse can assist you in determining the optimal placement for a stoma away from the waist, so that clothing does not interfere with stoma output.
Our multidisciplinary team collaborates with your specialist to ensure your care is truly personalised to your needs and those of your loved ones.
3. Beginning treatment
Your appointment, procedure time and hospital stay, if any, is dependent upon the procedure you will undergo. Throughout your procedure and beyond, your specialist and care team will monitor your progress of recovery, watch out for signs and symptoms of complications, explain your pathology and test results to you and your family, and listen to any concerns or fears you may have.
If you undergo an ostomy surgery you will need to learn how to change an ostomy appliance, which takes time and practice. Your enterostomal therapist can assist with the first few ostomy appliance changes, and will teach you how to do it yourself at home. The enterostomal therapist can also help troubleshoot a problem, such as leaking or skin irritation, and offer advice on how best to resolve the issue by suggesting a particular technique or a specialised appliance.
Our team are here to support you and ensure you are confident in your treatment and decisions.