Your body’s natural filtering system functions by disposing of urine through the urinary tract. People who have suffered from kidney disease, stomach cancer or surgery may require a surgical modification of this disposal system. This procedure is known as a urostomy and it may be done as a diversion of the conduit or a pouch drained via a catheter. A urostomy may expose the body to infections, especially in the urinary tract, largely due to the proximity of the bowel and its nearby abundance of bacteria.
Sources of urinary tract infections in ostomy patients:
• Sexual activity.
• Bacterial infections (E. Coli, Staphylococcus or Pseudomonas).
• Viral or fungal infections.
• Excess accumulation of urine in the ostomy bag (more than half -full).
• Utilizing the wrong ostomy bag.
• Age (past menopause).
• Past medical history indicating urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Your physician may administer tests which will ultimately confirm the presence of a UTI and recommend appropriate treatment (usually carried out with antibiotics). Recommended countermeasures to ensure post operation or normal urinary system health will include:
• Aseptic management of the parastomal area and handling of the urostomy bag or catheter after surgery.
• Optimal fluid intake.
• Use of a urostomy bag with a non-return valve to prevent urine reflux over the stoma.
• Connect a Night Drainage system to your ostomy bag every night.
• Good nutrition and supplementation, especially with vitamin C rich foods and cranberry juice which acts as a natural antibiotic. It is especially important to mention that vitamin C and cranberry juice (240 ml per day) have been proven enough in arresting the onset of UTIs as well as aiding in the recovery after infection development.
• A medically supervised pre-emptive or post-surgical antibiotic treatment. If you also have a colostomy or an ilesotomy, consideration should be placed at attaining the right absorption levels. An ostomy resulting from any of these two procedures may affect the ability to fully benefit from a drug program.
Check your urostomy bag and contact your ostomy nurse or physician if you observe any or a combination of the following:
• Unfamiliar or foul urine odor.
• Abnormally high temperatures or chills.
• Lower body pain.
• Urine mixed with pyuria or blood.