Ostomy Nurses

Head and neck cancer and its treatment can affect your ability to swallow food and liquid. When a decision has been made that you need a feeding tube (gastrostomy tube), the ostomy nurse is a health professional who, along with the registered dietitian and the nurses in our Radiation Oncology department, helps you to be comfortable with your feeding tube.

Why do you need an ostomy nurse?

  • If you are having skin issues around your feeding tube
  • If you are having leakage around your feeding tube
  • If you would like to have your gastrostomy tube changed to a lower profile tube

What does an ostomy nurse do?

  • Helps you manage the care of your feeding tube
  • Helps you manage the skin around your feeding tube
  • Educates you as you adjust emotionally and physically to having a feeding tube

When might you expect to see an ostomy nurse?

  • If you have been taught about your feeding tube by your radiation oncology nurses, then you might only see the ostomy nurse if you have a problem with the skin around the gastrostomy tube or with the tube itself.