Stomal Therapy Nurse and about Stomas

What is a Stomal Therapy Nurse?

The following information was kindly provided by Australian Association of Stomal Therapy Nurses Inc website. 

  • An experienced registered nurse who has done recognised further study specialising in Stomal Therapy Nursing 
  • The Stomal Therapy Nurse is responsible for the care and teaching of people who are anticipating or have had surgery resulting in the creation of a stoma 
  • The Stomal Therapy Nurse educates people in the pre and post operative periods to manage their stoma and will discuss any issues important to you and your family 
  • Stomal Therapy Nurses are located in most major hospitals and some community nursing services 
  • Stomal Therapy Nurses may also care for people requiring wound, drain, breast and continence care 

Over the coming months Mitrofanoff Support Australia will be building an Australian wide Professional Directory of registered Stomal Therapy Nurses around the country with experience in caring for Mitrofanoff patients. 

For more information about how you can find a registered Stomal Therapy Nurse in your area visit:

What is a stoma? 

  • A stoma is an artificial opening created by surgery 
  • The stoma acts as an opening into the body for the exit of body wastes such as urine or faeces 
  • The most common type of stoma is an opening into the large or small bowel 
  • A stoma may be permanent or temporary 
  • Creation of a stoma may be a life saving procedure 

Why do people need a stoma? 

  • Trauma to the bowel 
  • Cancer 
  • Congenital abnormalities 
  • Inflammatory bowel conditions 
  • Radiation damage 
  • Protection of an anastamosis (the joining of two pieces of bowel) 

Who has a stoma?

  • Anyone from a newborn baby to the very elderly 
  • People from all walks of life 
  • Australia has over 25,000 people with a stoma at any given time 
  • A person with a stoma is not a different person, but has a different way of going to the toilet 

A stoma should not keep people from enjoying a family life, social activities, sport and business life 

Stoma types 


  • An opening into the large bowel (or colon) 
  • May be temporary or permanent 
  • Faecal waste is usually soft to firm 


  • An opening into the small bowel (or ileum) 
  • May be temporary or permanent 
  • Faecal waste is always thick fluid to soft Urostomy (Ileal Conduit) 
  • A stoma made from a piece of small bowel (ileum) to divert urine 
  • Always permanent 
  • There is no interruption to faeces being passed normally