Catheter Connection

5 FAQs About Ostomy

by Micah August 29, 2014 15:20
New to the world of ostomy supplies? We understand the confusion that you may have, not only with the ostomy itself, but with finding the right supplies for your needs. This article may help to shed some light on the situation and answer some of your initial questions regarding your ostomy.

1.      What is an ostomy?

An ostomy is the creation of an artificial opening (stoma) via surgery in order to divert the flow of bodily wastes for medical reasons.

There are several different kinds of ostomies, depending on where and how the surgeon creates the opening. Generally, the three most common types are:
  • Colostomy: an artificial opening in the colon to divert the flow of formed stool
  • Ileostomy: an artificial opening in the ileum (small intestine) to divert the flow of loose stool
  • Urostomy: an artificial opening in the urinary system to divert the flow of urine

2.      What ostomy supplies are available?

Because the different kinds of ostomies (listed above) have varying types and consistencies of output, each type require their own types of products (for instance, a urostomy pouch with a valve and drain would not work for a colostomy output of formed stool). There are a lot of supply options available out there, which can feel overwhelming. But it's as simple as looking at the two main system types: one-piece and two-piece systems.
  • Two-piece systems have a separate skin barrier (or wafer) that adheres to the skin. The pouch, which collects the waste leaving your body, can be attached and detached without removing the actual skin barrier. The advantage to a two-piece system is that they are considered to be a little easier on the skin, since one can change the pouch several times without removing the adhesive barrier from your skin.      
  • One-piece systems are all one unit, just like the name sounds.  The pouch and skin barrier are attached, so that each time you need to change out your pouch, the entire system including the skin barrier is removed all together. Some people find these more convenient, since it involves fewer steps and parts than the two-piece system.    
ConvaTec offers top-quality, convenient options in both two-piece and one-piece systems, and we can work with you to figure out what works best for your needs.

You will also want to consider what type of ostomy you have. Colostomy pouches use a different type of adhesive due to the thicker effluent that passes through the stoma, while urostomy pouches usually have a valve and drain system to handle liquid output. Both one-piece and two-piece systems are available for all types of ostomies.    

examples of ostomy pouches 180 medical

3.      How do I know what ostomy products are right for me?

Even though there are a lot of different options for each type of ostomy, you can quickly find the right product and regimen that will best suit your particular situation, especially with the help of a healthcare professional such as your prescribing ostomy surgeon or WOCN (Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurse) to guide you.

Everyone's situation is a little different (due to varying levels of activity, different sports or occupations, etc.), so a system that works really well for one person may not work for another. Stoma size and protrusion, skin type, ostomy type, and personal preferences are all important factors to consider.

At 180 Medical, we're knowledgeable about new ostomy supplies that are available as well as the tried-and-true products that have stood the test of time. Our well-trained Ostomy Specialists can help evaluate the option that’s best for you and get you a few samples to try. This way, you can have confidence in what you will receive before you place the full order. 

 4.      What if I have problems with my ostomy supplies?

It’s normal for your product needs to change over time, as your body shape may change, or your stoma could settle. Occasionally, you may find yourself needing to change the size or shape of your products.  If you notice that your system isn’t working correctly (not fitting correctly, or suddenly leaking, or causing skin irritation), you may want to discuss this issue with an Ostomy Nurse. At 180 Medical, we have direct access to a team of trained ConvaTec WOC (Wound Ostomy and Continence) nurses that can help you with your questions as well. Give us a call, and we'll get you connected. Often the solution is simple, and an easy size change or a simple accessory may solve your problem entirely. 

5.      Where can I get ostomy supplies?

180 Medical specializes in ConvaTec ostomy supplies. We can send you regular orders every 30 or 90 days (1 month or 3 month orders) to ensure you always have the products you need on hand in a timely fashion. This way you can have confidence that you will never run out of supplies, plus you have an easy point of contact available Monday through Friday during our business hours with a trained, friendly Ostomy Specialist who will be glad to provide you with the assistance and supplies that you need to live with your new ostomy with confidence.

Give us a call today, and we’ll take care of your ostomy supply needs so you can get back to the living the life you love. 

180 Medical Ostomy Supplies

180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Danielle

by Jessica August 28, 2014 16:09
180 medical 2014 scholarship recipients header

On August 1st, 2014, we revealed all of our 2014 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients. And as our winners begin their classes this fall semester, we will continue highlight individual winners on our blog. Last week, we featured Nichole Sheridan. This week, we are happy to turn the spotlight to another well-deserving recipient, Danielle Watson.

danielle watson 180 medical 2014 scholarship winner

Danielle has always loved being active, and not even the accident that changed her life could change her drive to succeed. In the summer of 2011, she fell 300 feet in a rock-climbing accident, breaking her back at and leaving her paralyzed at T6.
180 medical scholarship winner danielle watson monoskiing
Despite the long rehabilitation process in the hospital and multiple surgeries that followed this grueling ordeal, when her surgeon told her that she had "survived the unsurvivable," she decided to honor every moment. The realization that she was still alive helped her to keep her outlook positive, even through the hard process of adapting to life in a wheelchair. Since that time, she has gone back to school, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and an Honors student standing. She currently volunteers at Volunteers in Medicine and Oregon Adaptive Sports, and she also travels for inspirational speaking engagements. She stays active with many hobbies, including mono-skiing with Oregon Adaptive Sports, mountain biking and ski camps at Adaptive Sports Center, art, and she has also completed 3 half-marathons, one marathon, and a triathlon.

Danielle is attending the University of Puget Sound this fall to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy and is really excited to have an opportunity to help others in her future job. She really demonstrates an unbreakable spirit and a drive to keep staying active, no matter the circumstance, and we're glad to play a part in helping her to achieve her dreams.

180 Medical is honored to have a scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, and/or a neurogenic bladder. Paying for college isn't easy these days, and we understand that there are often extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. To learn more about 180 Medical's College Scholarship program, visit

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

12 Things You Might Not Know About 180 Medical

by Kier August 27, 2014 10:17
How did you get your name? Where is 180 Medical’s headquarters located? Everyone is eager to know more about our great company, so in honor of our 12th anniversary today, we compiled a list of 12 things you may not have known about us!

1. Prior to founding 180 Medical, Todd Brown owned several sandwich shops in Oklahoma.

2. After Todd's spinal cord injury, he had a hard time finding knowledgeable companies that could help him get the supplies he needed. He wanted to help others get their medical supplies quickly and easily so he created 180 Medical.

3. 180 Medical's first location was in a small garage.

4. Last week most of our employees in Oklahoma City moved into this new building...and we love it!

5. In addition to this building, we have 18 offices across the country with more being added every year.

6. New employees spend months in training to become specialists.

7. 180 Medical’s unique name was created when Todd and his wife recalled how they both felt when they found a company that was able to help them out with a big need after his spinal cord injury. They felt that their life had done a 180. Today, 180 Medical still understands the importance of knowledgeable, friendly service from a trained specialist dedicated to finding the right product for your needs. Our goal is to help you turn your life around.

8. 180 Medical was just named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma for the 5th time!

9. We're hiring:

10. Our shipping department knows how important it is for you to receive your products in a timely manner. That's why they strive to improve every day and currently have a 99% accuracy rate.

11. We are currently in network with over 820 health plans and networks; including most commercial plans, Medicare and most state Medicaid programs.

12. Our goal is to treat every customer like we would a member of our own family. That's why when you call us you reach a real person during regular business hours instead of an automated system. Your business is important to us. We have over 300 employees dedicated to exceeding your expectations.

We hope you enjoyed learning something new about our company. We appreciate all of you and are excited to celebrate another anniversary!


180 Medical Sponsors NeuroResources Outreach's 2014 No Boundaries Expo

by Jessica August 26, 2014 10:34
This past Saturday, August 23rd, the 2014 No Boundaries Expo was held at the State Fair Grounds in Oklahoma City. 180 Medical was proud to attend and be a Gold Sponsor of this exciting event. C:\Users\180 medical gold sponsor no boundaries todd brown

The No Boundaries Expo was presented by NeuroResources, a chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association that focuses on advocacy for those dealing with paralysis and/or neurological disabilities and offers various specialized resources such as a free clinic every Monday afternoon from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., an Equipment Share Program, and more.

The No Boundaries Expo is one event each year that is just unbeatable in terms of the wealth of resources, showcases, workshops, and fun for anyone who may have a disability and would like to make connections with others and learn about new options that could add to your life. This year's Expo event had over 75 organizations showcasing adapted sporting events such as wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, and more. There were various adapted arts performances such as dance and karate. New equipment and products were showcased as well.

no boundaries expo 2014 180 medical
It was a day full of fun and learning for everyone who attended. We certainly had a blast there, as always, and it was great to see such a wonderful turn-out this year!

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

A Reflection on 20 Years After Todd Brown's Spinal Cord Injury

by Jessica August 20, 2014 11:43
Today marks a full twenty years that have passed since our founder and CEO Todd Brown’s accident, which ultimately led to his idea to create 180 Medical. While it’s not an anniversary we celebrate, we want to take a moment to reflect back on the past twenty years and accentuate the positive outcome after his tragic accident.
todd brown ceo and founder of 180 medical
Many of you may know by now what an inspiring life Todd has led thus far. From an early age, he was very active and participated in various sports like basketball and track. He grew up around motorcycles. His dad was involved in a sport called motocross, which is a physically-demanding, fast-paced form of motorcycle racing on mostly off-road, closed courses. “Me and my brother started racing from a very young age,” said Todd, recalling his passion for the sport. Then in 1994, after graduating college and marrying his wife Annette, a tragic accident during a motocross jump left Todd with a T-7,8 spinal cord injury. He was just 25 and was now paralyzed from the waist down.

While in the hospital, Todd called his closest friends and family to let them know what had occurred. His wife and family rushed to be by his side, and one thing people noticed was that his indomitable spirit had not been dampened. “He basically just made it like ‘God put this in front of me and gave me some challenges,’ and it didn’t make a difference to him,” Randy Brown, his brother, recalls.

Todd knew his life would never be quite the same as it was before his accident, but he was determined to persevere. “I had a business, I had a family, and I was just trying to get out of rehab,” Todd said, recalling those difficult first few months.

On top of that, he battled seven urinary tract infections for seven months in a row. Urinary tract infections are one aspect of difficulties that the newly paralyzed can deal with as their bodies adjust to having to use intermittent catheters in order to drain their bladder. Todd only knew to clean and reuse the catheters, as he’d been taught to do in rehab. But the infections were severely impacting the quality of his life, plus he had to deal with frequent trips to the doctor and constant doses of antibiotics. Feeling worn down and tired of being sick, Todd knew there had to be a better way.

Despite all of that, the drive to stay active was todd brown wheelchair race 180 medicalstill inside Todd, so he began doing wheelchair races, and he participated in his first wheelchair marathon just six months after his motocross accident. One day, while attending a wheelchair race, a fellow athlete friend talked to Todd about his issues with frequent UTIs and asked if he’d ever heard of sterile-use cathetization (which is using a catheter one time and then disposing of it, versus reusing after cleaning it) and gave him a closed system catheter to try out. Todd’s health began to improve, and he realized that, with continued use of the right equipment and the right techniques, his quality of life had done a 180 degree turn back in the right direction. 

It was not long after this that Todd decided he wanted to start a company that would be able to provide the right equipment, great service, and education to anyone who needed catheters and other supplies. It was a leap of faith, and he and his wife didn’t have much starting out, but Todd was ready to make his dreams a reality, so they started their medical supply company out of their own garage. Todd just knew he could make a difference in others’ lives.

Over those 20 years since Todd’s accident, he has not only started 180 Medical, which is one of the fastest-growing, nationally-accredited providers of sterile use catheters, urologic supplies and ostomy supplies, he has also accomplished much more. He and his wife are both strong advocates for adoption. He still takes times to visit spinal cord injury patients in rehab, and he will often mentor the newly injured. Even with his continually growing business, he finds time for his family and his passions, like fishing, hand-cycling, snow-skiing, and staying active in his church.

Todd’s story inspires everyone who hears it. He is a unique, driven individual who has turned what could have potentially been a negative situation into one that has not only earned him a successful business but helped countless others who may be facing challenges of their own.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Nichole

by Jessica August 15, 2014 11:32
180 medical scholarship winners 2014 header

On August 1st, 2014, we revealed all of our 2014 180 Medical College Scholarship winners. Thank you to everyone who applied. We had so many great applicants this year, and our scholarship committee had an extremely difficult time judging. We couldn't pick just five, so we awarded NINE individuals this year! A big thank you goes out to our founder and CEO, Todd Brown, who has such a passion to help young students achieve their dreams.

Throughout the next few months, we will be highlighting our individual winners on our blog, so stay tuned! This week, we are happy to feature one of our scholarship winners, Nichole Sheridan.

nichole sheridan 2014 180 medical scholarship winner

Nichole, a 20-year-old junior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Texas in Arlington, was always a healthy and lively child. Her family even nicknamed her "the Energizer Bunny" because of her active, non-stop drive. Then one day, when she was just 13, everything changed. Rather rapidly within the course of one week, her body began to lose strength. She couldn't even get up from bed on her own. After multiple hospital visits, tests, scans, and more, she found out what was wrong: she had Transverse Myelitis/Myelopathy.

It was a turning point in Nichole's life, but she kept her drive and perseverance, despite the difficulty she now faced. She was told she may never walk again, but she is determined to never give up, saying, "I know that one day I will stand up on my own two feet and take steps by myself. When someone limits my ability to do something, I will turn around, work my hardest, and show them that their negativity doesn't have a place in my life."

Ultimately, her goal is to help others who have Transverse Myelitis or other challenges get through the rough patches and let them know that a full life is still possible, even in a wheelchair. She wants to use her education and experience to inspire others as a leader of a nonprofit foundation or charity. In the meantime, she also spends her free time writing on her website and blog at

Transverse Myelitis is a neurological disease where the spinal cord becomes inflamed. Those affected will usually experience the symptoms suddenly or over a short period of time (usually within days) at the onset. Signs of Transverse Myelitis include weakness and/or numbness of limbs, back pain, paralysis, sensory loss, and motor deficits. See the Transverse Myelitis Association for news, research, information, and ways to get involved.

Nichole's life story is certainly an inspiration to us, and we are so pleased to be able to contribute a piece toward her future dreams and goals!

180 Medical is honored to have a scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, and/or a neurogenic bladder. Paying for college isn't easy these days, and we understand that there are often extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. To learn more about 180 Medical's College Scholarship program, visit

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

180 Medical Employee Spotlight: Referral Specialist

by Jessica August 8, 2014 14:42
180 Medical is a national leader in the intermittent catheter industry, and we also provide ostomy and other related supplies. We recruit employees who are positive, hard-working individuals who want to enjoy going to work. We offer a competitive benefits package, extensive training, and many fun extras and perks. 180 Medical was also named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma once again in 2013.

This month, we're happy to feature Dennis, a Referral Specialist, who has worked at 180 Medical for 4 years now.

employee spotlight 180 medical

What are some of your main job duties as a Referral Specialist?
The Warm Transfer department has a wide variety of projects that we are responsible for. Our primary goal is making sure that any customer that is referred to 180 Medical and cannot be serviced is transferred to a provider who can meet their needs. This happens in varying situations, such as when a customer has insurance that we are not contracted with or if they require medical supplies that we do not normally provide (since we specialize in intermittent catheters and ostomy supplies). Even when we can't provide for a customer, we take extra care and effort to make sure that they get transferred to a provider who can handle their needs. We also work various special projects that need to done throughout the year.

What do you love most about 180 Medical?
I love our on-site gym! Once I leave work for the day, I don’t have the time or the energy to go the gym. But 180 Medical provides us with a training facility and the availability to work out before, during (on lunch break), and/or after work. And that's really just one of many excellent perks & benefits of 180 Medical -- not to mention the amazing people I get to work with every day! I just don’t think you will be able to find a better work place in Oklahoma. We do things a little different at 180 Medical, but that’s what makes us special.  

What's one of your favorite stories of how you helped a fellow employee here?
I was moving from one apartment to another, and two other people on my team where moving also. We all banded together one Saturday and helped each other move. It was great team effort that created the foundation of our friendship.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. I love doing community service and giving back to my city. I am a huge sports fan, and I love the OU Sooners and OKC Thunder.  

What is your favorite inspiring quote?

The answer to the unasked question is always NO!

A big thanks to Dennis and our great team of Referral Specialists who play such an integral role in the company in taking care of various projects and helping customers transfer to a company in their insurance network who can meet their needs.

180 medical career fair okc oklahoma city jobs

Interested in a career at 180 Medical? Take a look at our available jobs and apply today, or swing by to attend our 180 Medical Career Fair on August 12th, 2014, from 3-7 p.m.

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Catheters 101: The Basic Components of Your Intermittent Catheter

by Jessica August 7, 2014 13:31
Are you new to the world of self-catheterization? Maybe you've been recently told you need to start using catheters to drain your bladder, whether due to urinary retention, incontinence, neurogenic bladder or another condition. We here at 180 Medical understand that it can feel somewhat unnerving for some people to begin self-cathing, and that's why we'd like to help explain the basic components of an intermittent catheter, so that you can feel confident and comfortable as you are learning your new self-catheterization routine.

Catheter Sizes

First of all, you may want to know a bit about catheter sizes. After all, a catheter is inserted into your body, and since everyone has a different anatomy, there is no one catheter size that fits all.

Catheters are sized by what is called French size (Fr). The French size refers to the diameter of the catheter. Typically, sizes range from 5 Fr - 20 Fr. You can tell the French size of the catheter by the color of its funnel end. See chart (below) for funnel colors and French sizes.

Your physician will determine which catheter French size is right for you, based on your needs and anatomy. When the proper size is selected for you, the urine should flow from your bladder at a timely pace while allowing the procedure to be performed free of discomfort and pain.

Catheter Funnels

Funnels are often attached to catheters for various reasons. As mentioned above, they are often color-coded for easy French size identification, depending on the brand and type of your catheter. Funnels are useful for gripping the catheter without touching the tube itself while directing the urine flow into a receptacle. Funnels are also designed to attach to drain bags, in case a urinal or toilet is unavailable.      

Catheters don’t always come with funnel ends, however. There is an option called a luer end, which comes just like a regular catheter (same features, same insertion tip) but without the funnel, leaving the end like an open tube.  

Overall, the choice between a catheter with a funnel or luer end is typically a matter of personal preference:
  • Some people prefer having a funnel for easy size identification or easier gripping without touching the tube itself.
  • The luer end catheters are sometimes preferred because the packaging is sometimes more compact and discreet due to the lack of the thicker funnel. Also, male length (16 inch) luer end catheters sometimes come in a curved package as well, making it more discreet and “pocket-size” for those on the go.  

Catheter Lengths

There are three different lengths available for catheters: male, female, and pediatric (children):
  • Male length catheters are usually 16 inches in length.
  • Female length catheters range from 6-8 inches in length.
  • Pediatric length catheters typically range from 6-12 inches in length.
  • Women and children generally use shorter lengths because of their shorter urethral length, although there are some instances where a male length catheter may be preferred.

Catheter Tips

Catheters can have a straight tip or a coude insertion tip.

The most common insertion tip is the straight tip, which is the basic tip that will work for most people across the board - men, women, and children.

The coude tip, also known as a curved or bent tip, is used most often when a blockage or stricture makes the use of a straight catheter more difficult or even impossible. This is most common in men, so the coude tip is almost always on a male length catheter.

coude tip versus vs straight tip catheter

If you have questions about certain urologic catheter products you've come to the right place. We specialize in intermittent catheters so you can feel confident you are speaking with a catheter expert to answer all of your questions. Call or fill out this form today.

Note: Always consult with your physician or other health care provider on what type of catheter is right for you.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

4 Helpful Smartphone Apps for Catheter and Wheelchair Users

by Jessica July 23, 2014 14:04
helpful smartphone apps for catheter-users and wheelchair-users

Just about everyone has a smartphone these days. Technology has risen to meet our many needs, even those we didn’t know we had. There are games, music programs, helpful tools, financial planners, and many apps specifically geared towards health, such as WebMD. But were you aware that there are some apps that could specifically help you out with your self-catheterization regimen? As the slogan goes, “there’s an app for that,” so check out our short list of applications in iTunes that may be a good addition to your smartphone today!    


$1.99 in iTunes
urobladder diary appDuring your appointments, your treating physician may have recommended that you keep a record of how much liquid you’re drinking per day and/or how much and how often you are voiding your bladder. It may not sound like much fun to keep writing this information down in a big notebook or journal, but with this app, you can just type in each entry. Does the doctor want to see the record? This app easily converts the text you’ve input into a PDF file which can be emailed over to your physician’s office and included in your electronic medical records. No paper waste necessary, and it keeps your voiding diary completely private.  

urobladder diary screenshot


wheelmate coloplast smartphone appFree in iTunes
Are you a wheelchair user on the go? This app is specifically designed to find clean wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and parking spaces for those in wheelchairs. Currently, this app has more than 30,000 locations spread over 45 countries, and more are added and verified by wheelchair users to make sure the information is correct. This is especially helpful for those on the go. Maybe you have a vacation you'd like to plan in advance, or you're traveling for your job and want to make sure you'll have parking and bathroom access. This may be the app for you.

wheelmate app screenshot


Free in iTunes
coloplast cathnow appLike most catheter users, you probably have a set schedule of when you are supposed to self-cath, according to your health care provider's prescribed regimen. But sometimes time can get away from us when our day is busy, and of course, we all have forgetful days! There's whose days are busy or even just for those of us who are a little forgetful, there’s an app by Coloplast created to remind you to it’s time to cath with alarms for your smart phone.

coloplast cathnow smartphone app screenshot

LoFric Micturition Chart App

Free on iTunes and Google Play
Like UroBladder Diary, this chart allows you to input the liquids lofric micturition chart smartphone appyou are drinking throughout the day and the amount of urine you are voiding from your bladder. However, this version is specifically to record this information over 2 or 3 days. Once completed, you can bring the chart to your next appointment or email it. Again, this app is helpful for less paper waste along with more privacy, because you don’t have to carry around a paper chart or notebook with you.

lofric micturition chart app screenshot

One or all of these smartphone apps may offer some practical support to you even on a daily basis as a catheter or wheelchair user. Whether you need help finding clean, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, staying on time with your prescribed self-cathing regimen, or measuring your urine output or more, it can all be at the mere touch of  a button on your personal smartphone.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Beat the Heat with our Summer Tips for Ostomies

by Jessica July 23, 2014 11:58
Summer is almost officially here! For many people, that means vacation plans, fun outdoor activities, swimming, biking, hiking, and more.

However, others, especially those new to living with their ostomies, may be dreading that summer heat and all the water activities that often go with it. But there's no need to count yourself out of fun in the sun! With a few precautions and tweaks to your ostomy routine, you should still be able to join in on summer activities with your friends and family.

If you have recently had surgery, please check with your doctor before engaging in strenuous activity. For medical advice, please consult with a medical professional, such as an Ostomy Nurse or your treating physician.

Splish Splash: Dipping Into the Water with Your Ostomy

If you want to participate in water sports like swimming or water-skiing, but you are scared your ostomy pouch may loosen or fall off, remember that many people with ostomies are able to enjoy the same activities now as they were before their surgeries.
  • The majority of ostomy appliances have water-resistant adhesives that should seal well. This is helpful not only for showering, bathing, and normal sweating of the skin, but it should also keep water from affecting the seal during swimming.
  • Concerned about concealing your pouch OstomySecrets swim wrapso you can go swimming with your friends and family? has unisex swim wraps in various colors to go beneath your swimsuit for comfortable support for your ostomy pouch, swim bottoms for women, and swim trunks and board shorts for men. They also offer swim bottoms for women, although you can also wear a one-piece or even a tankini to help support the pouch. For men, simply wearing that inner support garment (such as the above mentioned unisex swim wraps) will help to keep the pouch supported and concealed, although you may also feel comfortable wearing a t-shirt with your swim trunks, depending on how high up your stoma is placed.

Don't Sweat It!

Of course, with summer months comes that hotter summer weather, and most people will find, especially if they go outdoors, that they are perspiring more than usual. Pouches are designed to stay sealed to the skin and stay intact for 3-4 days, even with the typical daily moisture such as normal showers, baths, and sweating. Finally after a few days, the seal will star to loosen a little. On average, people tend to change their pouch every 4 days and reapply. However, in the summer time, it's almost expected that you will change your pouch a little more often if you're outdoors often, as barriers may melt or wear out a little faster in high heat. Take a look at some of these tips:
  • Some may worry that the pouch seal may loosen with sweat. As stated earlier, most ostomy appliances come equipped with a water-resistant adhesive that should seal well. Convatec skin barrier sur-fit natura two piece
  • If you are concerned about excessive sweating or if you are having difficulties keeping your pouch sealed to your skin, there are not only special adhesives available specifically created to create a stronger seal than usual, but Convatec also has a full line of extended wear products such skin barriers and various one-piece and two-piece ostomy pouches specifically created for those with an active lifestyle. Feel free to contact us to get in touch with an Ostomy Nurse about what option might be right for you.
  • If you've been changing your pouch more often and the skin surrounding your stoma has become more irritated (redness, chafing, bumps, etc.), you may want to look into a powder to absorb perspiration.
  • As always, please consult with your treating physician or an Ostomy Nurse for specific care if you find skin irritation, rash, or discoloration around your stoma.

Other Precautions

Remember, on hot sunny days, it doesn't take long for the temperature inside your car to soar, so be sure not to leave your ostomy products and other medical supplies in the vehicle, so that the adhesive doesn't melt, etc.

We hope these tips have helped you! Summer fun is definitely an option for you, even with a colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy.

Just contact 180 Medical by filling out our online inquiry form, connect to us via Live Chat, or give us a call at 1-877-688-2729 to speak to one of our highly trained, friendly specialists.

Stay tuned to our blog for future product news, informative articles, and company events!

*Swim Wrap picture credit:

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for almost 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing and Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.