Your stoma is a part of you and just like other parts of our body it can change shape and size.

After surgery you’ll find your stoma is quite swollen and therefore during the first 6-8 weeks post-surgery, your stoma will shrink, changing in shape and size as swelling subsides.

It is not unusual for more experienced ostomates to also see their stoma change shape and size. This can occur as you start moving about in daily activities, but also your stoma can change shape and size through various things, such as pregnancy, weight gain or loss, prolapse stoma, or having a parastomal hernia.

It is therefore important that your baseplate is cut to the correct size to prevent any problems occurring. If the hole on your baseplate is too big then the skin around the stoma will be exposed to your output and be at risk of skin damage. While if the hole is too small the bag won’t adhere to the skin securely, or it could be too tight around your stoma, leading to irritation and trauma on the stoma surface or stoma edge.

Using a measuring guide regularly to check and measure the size of your stoma, will help to ensure your bag is cut to the appropriate size. Measuring templates are available through Respond, and we also offer a bag cutting service too for all our customers if you would like help with cutting your stoma bags accurately.

You may however find it hard to achieve an accurate or consistent template if your stoma is changing size and shape often for one of the reasons above. You may wish to use a seal that is flexible and that moulds securely around your stoma, and then place the baseplate on top, to help create a secure fit of your stoma bag. Any inaccuracies in the cut of the baseplate will be covered by the seal securely placed underneath the bag, giving you extra confidence. Please ensure you discuss any concerns you have with your stoma care nurse and arrange a review if you are still experiencing problems.


There’s an eakin® seal for every ostomate. Click here to find out more and to sample one today.

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