General information/good overviews

A Bigger Life: Colostomy / Post-Op (36 pages) – A well illustrated and reader-friendly booklet, designed for new ostomy patients but containing useful tips for experienced ostomates too. It’s published by, which is owned by TG Eakin Ltd., a manufacturer of ostomy products – but the booklet doesn’t specifically promote them. A nice touch!

A Guide to Understanding an Ostomy (70 pages)A good overview, published by Colorectal Cancer Canada. It’s clearly written and very well illustrated, covering everything from supplies, skin irritations, irrigation, to intimacy … and everything in between.

A Handbook for New Ostomy Patients (96 pages) – Produced by the Vancouver United Ostomy Association Chapter Inc. This is a very thorough and well written guide, covering all the bases. It was made with the financial support of two ostomy and medical supply companies, but is ad-free.

Caring for a person with a stoma: A practical guide for staff in nursing and residential homes and for home carers (20 pages) – Published by the Colostomy Association in the UK, this is filled with helpful information specifically written for caregivers, but would be equally appreciated by ostomates themselves.

Caring for Your Ileostomy or Colostomy (20 pages) – A publication of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. No images, but a good overview of how to manage ileostomies and colostomies.

Caring for Your Ostomy: What You Should Know (36 pages) – Another really good overview, this one’s published by Providence Health Care, which operates several medical facilities in British Columbia, Canada. It’s clearly written and well-illustrated, and I partcularly like their chart with side-by-side comparisons of ileostomies and colostomies.

Common abdominal stoma complications (1 page) – Unfortunately, this isn’t a pdf, it’s just a web page. But it’s so good I just had to list it! It’s an info sheet about stoma complications with great illustrations, frequency rates for each complication (for both ileostomies and colostomies), and red flags for when a medical referral is recommended. It was published by the BMJ (British Medical Journal).

Living with a Stoma (32 pages) – Published by the Colostomy Association in the UK, this guide is helpful if you have questions about daily living with a colostomy (showering, clothing, travelling, etc.).

New Ostomy Patient Guide (80 pages)Published by the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (UOAA). It contains ads, unfortunately, but the information in between them is very comprehensive, and helpful to all types of ostomates.

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