Adapting to life with an ostomy can be frustrating, daunting and uncomfortable – but it doesn’t need to be. Follow our helpful tips below to learn about ostomy supplies and how they can make life with an ostomy bag more comfortable.
What Is an Ostomy?
Completed to treat various digestive or urinary system diseases, an ostomy surgery results in an opening (stoma) from an area inside the body to the outside. When an organ is removed, the ostomy is permanent but when the organ needs time to heal, it may only be temporary.
There are many different types of ostomies, including ileostomy, when a part of the small intestine bypasses the colon, rectum and anus and attaches to the stoma and colostomy, when the colon bypasses the rectum and anus and is attached to the stoma.
How to Care for An Ostomy
When it’s new, caring for an ostomy can quickly get confusing. But with proper direction from a caring healthcare team and quality ostomy supplies, caring for your ostomy will soon become a part of your daily routine.
Depending on the type of ostomy you have, there are specially made pouching systems available to collect stool or urine from your stoma. Comprised of one or two pieces, the pouching systems can be closed-end or drainable. Because they’re odour-proof and are easily hidden underneath clothing, they go undetected. There’s no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed in social settings!
Your healthcare practitioner along with your pharmacy team can help you find the best pouching system that meets your needs. You’ll also receive detailed instructions on proper pouch maintenance. Drainable pouching systems are usually changed twice a week, whereas closed-end systems are changed every day.
Regardless of the type of pouching system that you have, never use tape to patch a leak as this could lead to skin irritation surrounding the stoma. Instead, be sure to change the pouching system before leaks develop.
Daily Living with Your Stoma
Follow the directions from your doctor or pharmacist to properly clean the stoma and the surrounding skin. To prevent skin irritation, avoid using soap, alcohol or baby wipes. Instead, use only warm water and a soft cloth.
Showering or bathing can be done with or without the pouching system. Since the pouching system will not release if wet, it does not need to be covered to protect it from water damage.
A dietician can provide direction for suggested diets to follow if you have a colostomy or ileostomy. Working, travelling, and physical and sexual activity can all still be experienced once you’ve recovered from ostomy surgery.
Brant Arts I.D.A. Dispensary: Here to Help You With Live With an Ostomy Bag
Have questions about ostomy medical equipment? Want additional details on ostomy supplies? For more information, talk to our valuable healthcare team today.