Small Gap Between Stoma and Skin: Should I Be Concerned?

Nov 28, 2023 11:15 pm

Hi. Newbie here! I had my ileostomy in November, so it's still very new to me. While I was still in the hospital, I noticed a small hole between my stoma and skin where one of the stitches had been. I spoke to the stoma nurse at the time, who said it was normal. Now the hole has grown a bit; I'd say it's about 0.5 cm long. Is this still considered normal, or should I be concerned and get it looked at?

It's not causing me any issues, by the way :)

Nov 29, 2023 12:27 am

Like they say, no problem, no problem 🤣🤣🤣🤣 jk never heard that. If your stoma nurse says all good, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

Good night


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Nov 29, 2023 2:45 am

Well... keep an eye on it. If it turns red or gets bigger, consult with a doctor.

Nov 29, 2023 3:45 am

Sounds like you have mucocutaneous separation, where the skin separates away from your stoma. Do you notice an odor with it? I would just have your surgeon take a look, not wound care; they have no idea what they are talking about. Sad to say, but it's always a good idea when things arise to call your surgeon.
Nov 29, 2023 5:58 am

Hey. Well, I'm not sure if it's the same thing, but I may have had something similar, about a week or so after I got my loop ileostomy. I was doing a bag change and scrutinizing the thing and noticed what I called a hole. I pointed it out to the home health nurse that was there, and she said it's fine. I didn't feel like it was, though - I was used to my little round colostomy that I had prior to the loop ileostomy that replaced it, and the shape is different - so it was hard for me to decipher. Anyway, it wasn't causing any problems either. If I recall correctly, the nurse said something about it because it was new or something. I don't think it's grown; in fact, it may not even be there now, come to think about it. (It's been since 10/23 that I got it.) And I think it took a bit for the stitches to dissolve too. But, and this is a big but, like these lovely peeps said already, keep an eye on it, and if anything, call the surgeon's office to explain and see what they say. ☺️

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Nov 29, 2023 6:38 am

I can only speak from my own experience. When I first had my stoma, all around it opened up. It looked like a moat around it. The doctor said it was still very secure as they are sewn in layers. It healed up by itself. I think it was about 6 weeks. The wound did feel really sore, much worse than the wound on my stomach. If you're worried, speak to your stoma nurse again to put your mind at rest.

Nov 29, 2023 10:40 am

Thanks everyone! I'm in the UK so here, one does not simply 'contact your surgeon' unfortunately 😂. I have a follow-up with my stoma nurse that should be due soon, so I'll ask her. It makes sense that they are sewn up in layers, so that's put my mind at rest somewhat!

Nov 29, 2023 7:53 pm

Wow Ben38,

I would have freaked out a bit. Having a new stoma is already upsetting after surgery. Glad yours healed up ok.

Nov 30, 2023 12:46 am
Reply to Kirstickle

I'm sorry, it's not like that there. Why can't you contact your surgeon there? It's kind of the point to have a doctor to begin with for complications, problems, and issues that arise.

Nov 30, 2023 10:56 am

That's the NHS for you, Beth. Awesome in all kinds of ways, but you don't have direct access to your surgeon, unfortunately! I can contact my stoma nurse, though, thankfully.


Nov 30, 2023 1:42 pm

Get a second opinion, it's not normal, so get it fixed.

Dec 01, 2023 3:03 am

Let your surgeon check it.

Dec 01, 2023 9:50 am
Reply to Cplumber


Dec 01, 2023 10:11 am
Reply to Kirstickle

I am really sorry, it's not like that. What happens if you had an emergency and had to have surgery?

Dec 02, 2023 4:25 pm

If there was an emergency, I would have to go to A&E (ER). Hopefully, I'd get waved through and not have to sit in the waiting room for hours and hours...

Dec 03, 2023 3:12 am
Reply to Cplumber

You need to get it checked by a doctor and not a nurse. Feces can get into the hole and cause infection.

Dec 03, 2023 1:52 pm
Reply to Kirstickle

I will bluntly and honestly say that that is horrible. You should be able to have access to your doctor and surgeon; that's what they are supposed to be there for. Ostomy nurses are not going to cut it, unfortunately. Issues and complications with the stoma are way out of their scope.

Dec 03, 2023 6:14 pm

I'm calling my stoma nurse tomorrow. I don't have an appointment with my consultant until January, so hopefully, she will be able to get me in quicker to see him if she thinks it's necessary. Your replies are making me think it is necessary! I appear to have acquired a couple of granulomas near the hole, so it definitely does need looking at by someone!

Dec 04, 2023 11:44 am
Reply to Kirstickle

Demand that you need a doctor, not a nurse.

Dec 05, 2023 4:05 am
Reply to Kirstickle

What I am saying is when you have issues that arise with a stoma, they are to be looked at by your doctor. A stoma nurse does not have full knowledge of all things stoma, and things are out of their scope that is meant for your surgeon/doctor to take care of and look at. And they should not be the ones handling your care freshly out of surgery and issues arising. So why can't you call your doctor and make an appointment or tell them what's going on? I am truly curious. Your health is important, and I believe that you should have the right and access to your doctor.

Dec 07, 2023 11:16 pm

Hi, I had some of my stitches come loose. The stoma nurse said it was fine, but I was still unsure. I went to A&E and asked to see a surgeon. I was rushed through A&E and taken to SEAU (Surgical Emergency Assessment Unit) where a surgeon was only too pleased to look at it and reassured me all was OK. I would ask to see a surgeon in SEAU; it will put your mind at rest. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Dec 17, 2023 9:39 pm
Reply to Kirstickle

Something similar happened to me, and I agree about mucocutaneous separation. My wound/ostomy nurse suggested “crusting” and adding a barrier ring. That helped tremendously. It took a few appliance changes to heal completely. I wish you the best!

Jan 13, 2024 2:35 am

I had a mucocutaneous separation with my first ostomy. It was bigger than yours. My surgeon had me use Hydrofera Blue. They make it for stomas too. I put it on, then covered it with my wafer. Somehow, even though I would get leaks from it, it closed up in a couple of weeks. I hope you follow up with your surgeon.

Now I have a "surprise" ileostomy. I developed a stomal fistula between the stoma and the skin. There is output from it, so I can't cover that up. Make sure it's not a fistula.