No, different types of stomas can look and act differently. Although it’s important to note that everyone’s stoma will look different, there can be some similarities depending on the stoma type:

Colostomies: These are usually on the left side of the abdomen and the output resembles a traditional bowel movement. The stoma’s output is usually between one and three times a day.

Ileostomies: These are usually on the right side of the abdomen and the output is often looser than a traditional bowel movement and can be fairly constant. The stoma’s output will need to be drained between three and six times a day.

Urostomies: These are usually on the right side of the abdomen with a small spout to help the urine leave the body. The stoma’s output is frequent throughout the day.

Although all stomas look different, it’s important to ensure it is healthy. Speak to your stoma nurse or doctor if you are experiencing any problems such as:

  • Itching or soreness
  • Excessive bleeding of your stoma – it’s normal for your stoma to bleed slightly after being washed, but this should stop quickly
  • A bulge in the skin around your stoma
  • Skin colour changes from normal pink or red to pale, bluish-purple, or black
  • A rash, spots or blisters around the stoma
  • A wound or scratch on the skin around the stoma