Ostomy Clinic

The Ostomy Clinic at Swedish Hospital provides experienced ostomy and wound care specialists to assist you with pre-surgical preparation, obtaining the necessary medical supplies (covered by most insurance plans) and addressing all of your post-surgical concerns. 

We understand the difficulties and discomfort that can accompany an ostomy. By accessing resources across the hospital—including our “Total Control” group and private incontinence classes at Galter LifeCenter, located right on campus—you can lower your risk of complications and get back on track to living a healthy and active life.

For more information, please call 773-989-6202.

What is an Ostomy?

An ostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening (called a “stoma”) from the inside of your body to the outside. This procedure is most often performed to allow stool or urine to exit the body while bypassing part of the digestive or urinary system. This may be necessary due to a diseased bowel, injured bladder or other problem. The stoma may be temporary or permanent.

Types of ostomy offered at Swedish Hospital:

  • Colostomy/Ileostomy: The colon or small bowel is attached to the stoma, bypassing the rectum and anus.
  • Urostomy: Tubes carrying urine to the bladder are attached to the stoma, bypassing the bladder.
  • Pre-operative education
  • Pre-operative stoma marking 
  • Equipment fitting
  • Post-operative education and follow-up
  • Problem stomas
  • Peristomal skin disorders

Following Your Ostomy 

Following a colostomy or urostomy, your stool or urine will drain into a pouch that is attached to your body near the stoma. You will not have voluntary control over bowel movements or urination. It is important to monitor the discharge in your ostomy pouch for any changes. Talk to your ostomy specialist about what to look for and report any abnormalities right away.

Stoma Complications

Since stomas do not have sensory nerve endings, they should not cause you pain. Normal stomas may:

  • Be pink or red in color
  • Be moist and shiny
  • Move or change shape, especially in the weeks immediately following surgery
  • Bleed slightly when touched because of high blood supply in the tissues

Several complications may arise following an ostomy. These may occur immediately post-surgery, or many weeks later. Continuous assessment by a health care provider is necessary to help avoid and treat complications.

Skin Complications 

The skin that surrounds your stoma may be at risk for complications due to the use of certain products or pouching system leaks. This area, called “peristomal skin,” should look and feel normal. It is important to check the skin every time you change your pouching system to look for any signs of redness, rashes, irritation or infection. Contact your care provider if you notice any skin damage. 

To help prevent skin problems, it is important to:

  • Change your pouching system regularly, as prescribed by your physician or nurse
  • Measure your stoma regularly during the first eight weeks
  • Alert your ostomy physician or nurse if you experience any changes or problems

If you notice signs of a skin infection (itching, redness, rash, excessive warmth, pain or pus), talk to your health care provider about products which may help improve your symptoms. Contact your provider if your stoma turns an abnormal color or changes size; there is excessive bleeding; you experience abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea or vomiting; you notice a lack of stool or urine discharge into your pouch or you develop skin problems that do not go away. 

Location and Contact

Swedish Hospital's Ostomy Clinic is located in the:

Anderson Pavilion
2751 W. Winona Ave., 3rd floor
Chicago, IL 60625
P: 773-989-6202
F: 773-989-6294

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Insurance is accepted.

Click here to find driving directions, a campus map and parking information.

For more information, please call 773-989-6202.


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