First stoma clinic of NE opens in Guwahati
GUWAHATI: The first stoma clinic of the Northeast became operational recently at the B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) in Guwahati.
Inaugurated on September 8, the clinic comes as a relief to stoma patients who will now have access to a dedicated facility to seek stoma-related treatment.
Stoma is an artificial opening created surgically for cancer patients and sometimes for other patients who have a condition where the natural passages like the rectum or the bladder are removed permanently.
This artificially created opening aids in the discharge of urine and stool in such cases. It remains permanent in many cases, but requires proper care. A person who has undergone a surgery to get stoma is called an ostomate.
Authorities at the BBCI informed G Plus that the clinic was started with the support of Ostomy Association of India which is a voluntary organisation of ostomates, nurses and doctors working in the field of stoma.
People with stoma require special care which was lacking in the city and in entire Assam prior to this.
“There are special tests required for washing and cleaning of stoma which are available at the clinic.
It will be manned by nurses who are trained in stoma care,” Said Dr Bibhuti Bhushan Borthakur, medical superintendent at BBCI.
Officials added that training will be imparted to nurses on recognizing stoma abnormalities, care of the stoma patient in the immediate post-operative period, support needed for the patient to become independent and practical demonstration on nutritional requirements among others.
Authorities at the BBCI informed G Plus that from January 2016 till date, the cancer institute has operated on and created permanent stoma for 35 patients. In addition to this, around 360 tracheostomies, or creating stoma in the wind pipe, are performed at BBCI to overcome breathing difficulties for patients with advanced head and neck cancers. In the year 2016, out of 11,864 cancer patients, 2,541 (21.4%) patients with head and neck cancer underwent the surgery.
Experts feel that the first-of-its-kind stoma care clinic will provide a holistic treatment for stoma by helping to provide better care as well as awareness for stoma patients in the northeast.
“Earlier patients did not have anybody to go to if they had a problem. Since it is not a natural process and stoma is an artificial fitting, it is prone to a number of problems,” mentioned Dr Borthakur.
Further, with a view to provide sensitisation among the patients about various aspects of stoma, the experts at the clinic will also guide the patients on taking care of the stoma and keeping the artificial opening clean.
The clinic was inaugurated with an intensive day-long workshop for nurses followed by an interactive session for patients having stoma in Guwahati on September 9.
The first stoma care clinic in the region will be managed by trained nurses under the supervision of surgical oncologists at BBCI. Here the patients will also be given appliances and products which are useful in caring for stoma.
BBCI officials said that through this clinic, they are planning to train the patients, nurses as well as doctors in stoma care.
They further informed that the Ostomy Association of India will also train two nurses from BBCI at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai for providing better services to the patients of the region.