Each year a projected 10,000 Canadians have colorectal surgery to create an ostomy. Widely adopted complication rates in the literature suggest that 21-70% of these will result in complications.  Obesity, emergency surgery, diabetes and preoperative stoma site marking have been demonstrated to have the most significant impact on complication rates.  Stoma site marking has a preventative role.

The purpose of this position statement is to guide surgeons and NSWOCs in the effective placement of fecal stomas for patients undergoing ostomy surgery and to improve patient outcomes through reduced postoperative complications. The location of the stoma is a crucial factor in preventing problems. Stoma complications often result in an extended hospital stay and longer recovery for the patient, at an already stressful time.

The evidence is clear; preoperative marking of the patient by qualified personnel for ideal stoma site placement reduces the risk of early complications and leads to higher health-related quality of life. A more informed patient involved in comprehending the impact of the stoma and its care will lead to a better quality of life after discharge.

The body of literature is emphatic that preoperative site marking should be mandatory in elective cases. This position statement reinforces the necessity to have NSWOC and surgeons available at all times for emergency case interventions for stoma site marking.

This position statement marks a collaborative project between the Canadian Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (CSCRS) and the Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC).

Read the full position statement here.   

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Canadian Practice Enabler from the Position Statement on Preoperative Stoma Site Marking for Fecal Diversions – Ileostomy & Colostomy

En français

You are welcome to make copies of this enabler of practice. Users of this enabler of practice must ensure they have first familiarized themselves with the full position statement.