After your discussion with your surgeon, you’ll need to make an appointment with your ostomy nurse some time before surgery. The ostomy nurse will evaluate the contours of your abdomen and individual concerns related to your job or activities. Your abdomen will be assessed in the standing, sitting and lying positions. The goal is to choose a location that will not have creases, folds or scars that might make it difficult for a pouching system to adhere to your skin. A spot for your stoma will be chosen within the rectus muscle which runs vertically on either side of your belly button. The spot will be marked and covered with transparent film to protect it until your surgery date. (Please be aware that your physician ultimately decides whether or not this placement is possible based on what is found during the surgery itself.) Your ostomy nurse will also explain what you can expect during the first few weeks after surgery and introduce some basic skills. You will be given a surgical marker to reinforce the mark if it lightens between the date of your appointment and your surgery date. You will also go home with some booklets and possibly an instructional video. Watch it! The more you learn now, the easier your recovery will be. Knowledge is power!