Sexual dysfunction: Most individuals with ostomies resume their usual sexual activity. In men, removal of the lower rectum for cancer may result in sexual dysfunction due to injury to nerves that pass close to the rectum. This is unrelated to the ostomy. Many individuals with ostomies worry about how their sexual partner will think of them because of their condition. Support groups are also available in many cities. If the surgical procedure will require removal of the rectum, the individual may wish to discuss sexual function with the colon and rectal surgeon or an ET nurse prior to surgery.
Skin changes: Skin changes can occur in those with ostomies. The patient is usually the first to know that the skin has changed and has become irritated. If the pouch is leaking, the peristomal skin may be itching, burning, or painful.
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