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Four Things You Should Know About Diverticulitis

by Jessica March 15 2017 10:31
4 things to know about diverticulitis

If you are a UFC fan, you might remember a few years back how Brock Lesnar had to withdraw from the sport because of complications from a disease called diverticulitis. Although Lesnar did get better and is currently performing in the WWE, he was on the sidelines for a while. During that time, he lost a lot of weight and strength, and he had surgery to remove a foot of his colon. 

Diverticulitis often affects older individuals, but not always. There are various treatment options available, depending on the severity of the condition and health of the patient.

Here are several other things to know about diverticulitis:

What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a sometimes painful condition that features the presence of small pouches or sacs in the colon called diverticula. Diverticula form on weak spots along the wall of the colon, although they can form on other parts of the body as well. This is called diverticulosis, and most people who have this condition experience no symptoms. Diverticulosis can be relatively harmless, unless the diverticula become infected or break open. This then becomes diverticulitis. 

What Causes Diverticulitis?

It's not currently known why diverticula can become inflamed for sure, but we do know that diverticula often form due to a low-fiber, red-meat-heavy diet. A low-fiber diet causes constipation, which forces an individual to strain when emptying their bowels. In Lesnar's case, painkillers from his days as a wrestler and fighter may have also been a factor, as those can cause constipation as well.

What Are the Symptoms?

It depends on the severity of the condition. In its most mild form, diverticulitis may cause no symptoms. In the most extreme cases, it can be quite painful and require surgery.

Symptoms may include:
  • Pain, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Cramping

Are There Treatments Available for Diverticulitis? 

high fiber diet for diverticulitisDiverticulitis can be treated, but it depends on the severity of the condition and how long the symptoms have been present. Treatment usually includes eliminating certain foods and adding more fiber to one's diet. Medication may also be part of the treatment plan, such as anti-inflammation drugs, steroids, and/or antibiotics.

Someone living with diverticulitis may also be asked to go on a liquid diet for a few days. If it becomes severe enough, one may have to undergo surgery to remove the affected part of the colon.

There's no question that diverticulitis can be life-changing, but it is possible to live a normal life with a few modifications. 

If you have had an ostomy procedure as part of your diverticulitis treatment, our Ostomy Specialists are ready to help you find the products you need to make the transition easier. In addition to ostomy supplies, 180 Medical is proud to offer affordable catheter supplies and products too. Contact us today at 1-877-688-2729.


180 medical ostomy showcase

Questions You Might Have About an Ostomy Procedure

by Jessica February 28 2017 18:42
Have you been recently told by your doctor that you may need to have an ostomy surgery as a treatment for your health condition? It's completely natural and normal to have some concerns and questions before your procedure, whether you will have an ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy.

Here's a helpful infographic that will let you know a little bit more about what exactly an ostomy is, what life will be like after your surgery, and more: 

questions you might have about an ostomy procedure


Related Posts:
what's next after your ostomy surgery
What's Next After
Your Ostomy Surgery? 
living with a colostomy
Living With
a Colostomy 



About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

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Why Do I Need to Use Coudé Catheters?

by Jessica January 26 2017 19:17
why do i need to use a coudé catheter

Have you been recently told you need to use a catheter with a coudé tip? There may be a few key reasons why your doctor has recommended a coudé catheter instead of the standard straight tip intermittent male length catheters.

Read on to find out more of the basic information all about curved tip or coudé tip catheters, as well as how this catheter type may benefit you and your individual needs.


What is a Coudé Tip Catheter?

A coudé tip catheter is a variety of intermittent or foley catheter that is mainly available in male length (typically about 16 inches on average to accommodate for the length of the male urethra). 

It's very easy to tell the difference between the a coudé urinary catheter and the standard straight tip catheter, the insertion tip of the coudé catheter is bent or curved slightly, almost like an elbow. In fact, the French word for "elbow" is how the coudé catheter got its name.


coudé catheter vs straight catheter comparison


Coudé catheters are manufactured in all of the main catheter materials, including vinyl or PVC, silicone, and red rubber latex to name a few. You can get a coudé tip in most every common catheter type as well, from basic uncoated intermittent catheters, pediatric sizes, hydrophilic catheters, pre-lubricated catheters, and closed system catheters

180 Medical proudly carries one of the largest selections of catheter supplies available on the market today from all of the major manufacturers and catheter brands


180 medical catheter brands



When is a Coudé Tip Catheter Necessary?

Coudé catheters are generally only used when a standard straight tip catheter cannot be inserted easily or comfortably. This is due to a few reasons, usually related to a stricture or blockage in the urethra, which is the tube in the body which carries urine from the bladder outside of the body. The curved tip of a coudé catheter is often a better choice to bypassing those problem areas and drain the bladder with far less discomfort. 

A few of the most common factors that contribute to this need:
  • Enlarged prostate (or benign prostatic hyperplasia, almost known as BPH)
  • Prior prostate surgery
  • False passages in the urethra or a stoma
  • Radiation in the pelvic area to treat cancer
  • Those with urinary stricture disease or urethral trauma
The majority of coudé catheter users are men and boys, which is why most coudé catheters are male length or pediatric length. However, coudé catheters may be prescribed by a healthcare professional for any gender when a straight catheter does not easily pass, depending upon your individual physiology and needs.


180 medical coudé catheter supply needs



Will My Insurance Cover Coudé Tip Catheters?

Most major insurance companies, including Medicare and many state Medicaid programs as well as private insurance plans, will cover coudé catheters. The type and allowable amount you can receive per month will depend upon your specific policy's coverage. 

Medicare, for instance, will typically cover up to 200 catheters per month (enough to self-cath between 6 and 7 times a day in a 30 day period), as long as there is a doctor's prescription for that amount as well as some supporting documentation offering justification why a coudé tip is necessary rather than the standard straight tip.  

At 180 Medical, we can handle verifying your insurance coverage to determine how your policy will cover your catheters! We will let you know if you will have any out-of-pocket cost, and we can also work with your doctor's office to get any required documentation, so that's one less thing for you to worry about as you begin your journey of learning to self-cath with a coudé catheter.


How Do I Insert and Use a Coudé Catheter?

Your prescribing healthcare professional will likely give you some basic instructions. They will also let you know how many times per day you will need to self-cath to drain your bladder and if you need to record your output.

Here are some basic how-to instructions for uncoated coudé catheters. For more information, visit our helpful site www.howtocath.com.

  1. Gather all of your cathing supplies and keep them nearby.
  2. wash your hands before using cathetersWash your hands, as well as the insertion site with warm soapy water. If available, you may also want to disinfect the insertion site with antiseptic swabsticks or wipes such as BZK or povidone-iodine. Just wipe the area with a circular motion around the urethral opening. This may help reduce risk of infection. 
  3. If available, put on gloves to further reduce risk of contamination of the supplies by any possible germs left on your hands.
  4. Take your catheter out of the package and lubricate it with a sterile, water-soluble lubricant.
  5. While holding the penis gently in one hand, use your other hand to hold the catheter. Pull the penis up and hold it at a 45-degree angle away from your stomach.
  6. Insert the catheter slowly into your urethra. Some brands of coudé catheters have helpful guide dots or stripes available to help you keep the curve of the coudé tip in the angle and direction as  your doctor has suggested/shown you. If there is any resistance when the catheter reaches the sphincter muscle of your bladder, take a deep breath and gently apply steady pressure but do not force the catheter.
  7. When the urine begins to flow, insert the catheter a little further and lower the penis to allow your urine to flow into the toilet, urinal, or other receptacle.
  8. Once the flow of urine has stopped, you can slowly remove the catheter. 
  9. Throw your catheter and any other used supplies away.

We can also send you full-color instructional brochures and videos that will walk you through the catheterization process step-by-step. 

No matter what kind of intermittent catheter you need, 180 Medical can help find the right supplies for you and your individual needs and preferences.

Give us a call today at 1 (877) 688-2729 to speak with one of our highly-trained, friendly Product Specialists to discuss your catheter options. 


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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

Ostomy Product Highlight: Eakin Cohesive Seals

by Jessica January 19 2017 21:12
ostomy product highlight eakin cohesive seals
Are you interested in keeping up-to-date on the available catheter and ostomy supplies available on the market today? At 180 Medical, we believe that educating and informing customers is a great way to make sure you know all of your options, so we love to share the scoop on what makes some of the many products we carry so great. Today, find out a little more about a product just for ostomates: Eakin Cohesive® Seals.

What Are Eakin Cohesive® Seals?

If you ever find yourself having issues with leakage around your stoma with your normal skin barriers, this product might be a good option for you!

These moldable, moisture-absorbing rings can be manipulated into a various shapes to accommodate for just about any size of stoma. The Eakin seals may be a great addition to your ostomy pouching system, because they act as a sort of putty to fill in any possible gaps between your skin surrounding the stoma and your pouch, thereby reducing the possibility of embarrassing leaks from your ostomy system.  

What Are Some of the Features?

Eakin Seals with Cohesive® technology offer a variety of helpful benefits and have some unique features you may want to know about, including:
  • Moldable to the precise fit of your unique stoma
  • Prevents leaks and offers skin protection
  • Absorbs more moisture than other stoma seal*
  • Alcohol-free (so it won't sting your skin)
  • Resistant to fungal growth
  • Increased wear-time
  • Very skin-friendly, even for those with sensitive or already damaged skin
  • Resistant to drying out
  • Does not lose its stickiness -- in fact, the more you handle it, the better
  • Does not expire
  • May be broken or cut and rejoined to fit around more difficult sites
  • Forms a gel that protects the skin
  • Can be used with all skin barriers and pouching systems
  • Especially great for those with flush or retracted stomas
  • Suitable for all types of ostomies, including an ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy

What Are the Size Options?

The Eakin seals come in four main varieties, as shown below. You can also contact one of our Ostomy Specialists to help you determine the right size for your individual needs.

eakin cohesive seal sizing chart

How Do You Use Eakin Cohesive® Seals?



You can also find helpful step-by-step instructions here.

To try a sample or to find out more about this great product, give us a call to speak with one of our highly trained Ostomy Specialists, who will be happy to help you with finding the right ostomy supplies for your needs as well as verify your insurance to determine how the Eakin Cohesive® Seals are covered on your policy.

ostomy product showcase
*"Effect of a long life ostomy seal on faecal enzyme activity" by Dr Grace McGroggan, TG Eakin Ltd and Dr Lorraine Martin, Queens University, Belfast


About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

Steps to Receiving Your Ostomy Supplies

by Jessica January 6 2017 12:40
steps to receiving your ostomy supplies


When you've just had an ostomy surgery, whether for a urostomy, colostomy, or ileostomy, the last thing you may want to spend time on is searching for what ostomy supplies you need.

Especially for newer ostomates, the process of figuring out the type of ostomy products and accessories you might need for dressing and pouching your stoma can be a challenge when there are so many product options on the market today.

180 Medical and our team of caring and extensively trained Ostomy Specialists is here to help you navigate the maze to find the right ostomy supplies for your individual needs, whether you're new to having an ostomy or have been wearing your ostomy appliances for years. 


180 medical ostomy product experts specialists



Sizing It Right

The most important factor in finding the best fit is getting the size right for your stoma first. There is no one-size-fits-all option for stomas, since they vary so much from person to person, so finding out how big around your stoma is and far it protrudes (if at all) is the main key to identifying the right size for your ostomy supplies, particularly skin barriers and one-piece systems, since these will attach to your skin directly over the stoma. Getting the right fit is especially important, since this will help keep you more comfortable while lessening risk of leakage or skin irritation.

Once you know your stoma measurement, the best way to know how your ostomy appliance works for you is to try it out and wear it for a few days. 

One thing to keep in mind is that, after your surgery, your stoma size could shift in the first 8-12 weeks, especially, as it begins to heal post-surgery, so your first measurement may change over time. 

If you don't have an exact measurement ready, take a coin and use that as a comparison for your stoma size as a close estimate. For instance, a stoma about the size of a dime will be a lot different and require a different wafer size than a stoma the size of a quarter.  


Finding the Right Products for You

Aside from your stoma size, you may be asked some additional questions such as the skin condition around the stoma, the shape of the abdomen, and a few other factors which will help your ostomy specialist figure out the best fit for you, together with you and any recommendations or requirements made by your prescribing healthcare provider. 

Additional considerations in finding the right products for you may include your lifestyle and any personal preferences, skin sensitivities, etc. There are many different choices of products, but we're here to help you navigate through the options, including whether a one-piece or two-piece system will be best for you, as well as any additional products such as prep wipes or adhesive remover wipes, lubricating or deodorizing drops for your pouch, and more.


examples of ostomy pouch types



Verifying Your Insurance

The rest of the information we need to get your order started is simple demographic information, your surgery type (colostomy, ileostomy, and/or urostomy), as well as your doctor's name and insurance information so we can verify your coverage for your needed supplies.

Once we go over the basics such as your out-of-pocket cost (if any), review your order details, and any other questions or concerns you might have, you can sit back and relax while 180 Medical does the heavy lifting for you!

couple in hammock We handle getting any documentation and prescription information that your insurance might require.


Getting Your First Shipment

Once everything else has been done, our shipping specialists pack your supplies with care in our warehouse and ship them right to your front door for free in discreet packaging.

You can rest easy knowing you don't have to go to a pharmacy to pick up the supplies yourself, and we bill your insurance for your order with NO upfront costs. 


Additional Benefits of Choosing 180 Medical for Your Ostomy Needs

There are many other advantages of working with ostomy product experts like 180 Medical. When you contact us, you will be put in touch with an ostomy product specialist who can help determine the right options based on your preferences, size, and any other requirements. We offer top quality supplies from one of the world's premier ostomy appliance manufacturers, ConvaTec. We can even send some samples for you to try out before placing an order so you can know how a product works for you before you place your order. In addition, we work closely with a team of ostomy nurses who can assist with any medical questions, so you can rest easy knowing that help is only a phone call away.

At 180 Medical, we have closed and disposable pouches, along with a wide array of wafers and barriers, adhesive removers, belts, and plenty of other high-quality ostomy products and accessories to choose from.

If you have any questions or if you would like to receive a ConvaTec free sample, contact us today


ostomy catalog footer

lindsey g
Lindsey has worked for 180 Medical for 2 and a half years. She is a Level III Ostomy Specialist. Her favorite thing about 180 Medical is how all of her co-workers are so compassionate and truly want to help others every day.

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Marina

by Jessica December 22 2016 12:38
Earlier in the year, we were finally able to announce the names of this year's 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients after much deliberation. It was difficult to narrow it down to only seven recipients, because there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are truly honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

We will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured MacyJared, TiffanySpencerMaria, and Nicole. Today, meet the last of our 2016 recipients, Marina!

marina 180 medical college scholarship recipient 2016

Marina is no stranger to a challenge. She was born with a host of medical issues, including a neurogenic bladder and a chronic illness, and when she wasn't at the hospital or at home dealing with the setbacks of her condition, she also had to deal with some discrimination in school. But through it all, she has maintained a level of positive thinking and inner strength that is truly inspiring. She states, "I decided at a very early age that I would not let this setback define who I was, but rather who I will become."

In addition to working hard to keep a high GPA and maintaining her status on the Honor Roll, she also participates in extreme snowboarding, kickboxing, running, and volunteering however she can in her community. She is also always open to helping out a peer or another adolescent with advice and support before and after their surgeries. 

marina 180 medical 2016 college scholarship recipient snowboarding

Thanks to her experience, both of living with her conditions and in helping others, she feels she has discovered her core characteristics and her true ambitions -- to become a nurse. "In addition to a solid education, experience goes a long way towards creating our best and most compassionate nurses," Marina says, and we're sure that her experiences will lead her to be a truly great nurse! 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

180 medical college scholarship application footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Nicole

by Jessica December 9 2016 19:53
Earlier in the year, we were finally able to announce the names of this year's 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients after much deliberation. It was difficult to narrow it down to only seven recipients, because there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are truly honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

We will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured MacyJared, TiffanySpencer, and Maria. This week, meet Nicole!

nicole m 2016 180 medical scholarship recipient quote

Nicole is an inspiring young woman who has been through many surgeries and hospital stays due to complication with a rare disease known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Despite all of this, focusing on her education was her top priority. Although she felt that her condition and the outcome of various surgeries were out of her control, her grades and her drive to succeed were both something she could absolutely control.

Thanks to ileostomy surgery, she is living a happy, healthy life again. Not only is she dedicated to helping others, she offers support and enjoys educating others about living with an ostomy on her own YouTube channel. She also loves to spend time volunteering as a counselor and nurse aid at Youth Rally, which is a great camp for kids and adolescents who have conditions of the bowel and/or bladder that offers motivational and education sessions and opportunities. She has also mentored young girls as a counselor at GIRLS Academy. Now, her focus continues with her schooling as she works toward earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing. 
nicole m 2016 scholarship recipient
Because of her first-hand experiences with illness, surgeries, and recovery, as well as her involvement in offering advice and support to others living with an ostomy, we're sure that Nicole will be an excellent nurse, and we wish her the best of luck as she continues on with her schooling. 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

180 medical college scholarship application footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

What Type of Ostomy Wafer is Right for You?

by Jessica August 8 2016 09:15
ostomy wafer blog header
Whether you're new to using ostomy supplies or if you have been a seasoned ostomate for some time now, you are probably aware of the wide variety of ostomy supplies and accessories available on the market today. It's great that there are so many options available to help suit one's individual needs, but you might still be looking for the right products to fit your needs. 

Here at 180 Medical, we like to make sure you have correct and up-to-date information on your product options, so in today's blog post, we shed some light on what wafers, or skin barriers, are all about and how the right one for you can make a big difference in your ostomy experience. 

What Is a Wafer?

Ostomy pouching systems are offered in two main options: a one-piece system or a two-piece system. In a one-piece system, the wafer and pouch are all in one, which can be best for those who don't have to change out their pouches as often. For instance, many ostomates using urostomy supplies may find they don't have to change out their pouch as often, because many prefer to use drainable bags for their needs.

In a two-piece system, the wafer and pouch are separate from one another, which allows for quicker changing of your ostomy pouch. It's an easier system for those who utilize closed pouches versus drainable or for those who change their ostomy pouches more frequently, as it as it reduces the wear on skin from removing and reapplying the adhesive wafer too often.

What Types of Wafers Are Available?

flat and convex skin barrier comparison Because stoma sizes and shapes vary from person to person, there are three main types of wafers currently available on the market:
  1. Pre-cut wafers: These are manufactured for the most common sizes for circular stomas. No cutting or alterations needed on these, but not everyone's stoma is a common size or shape.
  2. Cut-to-fit wafers: These wafers come with varying sizes printed directly on them, which serve as a guide to allow you to cut your own opening to fit your individual stoma size and shape. This is a great option for those who are in between sizes or have an irregular stoma shape.
  3. Moldable Wafers: This is the newest technology on the market today. Moldable wafers provide the same benefits as the cut-to-fit wafers with some additional conveniences. They are made out of a flexible, stoma-safe material which allows you to roll the material back snugly with your thumbs or fingers to the right size and shape for your needs -- no scissors required! After the wafer, or skin barrier, is molded, it is placed on the skin around the stoma, just as with all wafers, except the moldable technology allows the material to fit more snugly around the stoma (this process is called "turtle-necking"). This provides maximum comfort and helps to prevent those leakage issues that everyone wants to avoid with their ostomy system. 

Flat Vs. Convex Wafers

Just as every individual has their own unique stoma size and shape, everyone will have some difference in protrusion lengths. While some may have a significant protrusion from the skin, others might have a stoma that lays flat with the skin, or even retreats a little bit into their body. 

Flat Wafers
For those whose stomas protrude from the body more than a quarter of an inch, the best wafer will typically be a flat variation of the wafer. This type of wafer is very flexible in order to accommodate for the contours of one's body. For those whose stomas are flat to the skin or more shallow, there may be more leakage issues, since the stoma isn't protruding enough to empty efficiently into the pouch, which can cause effluent to leak underneath the wafer and even irritate skin.

Convex Wafers
For shorter stoma protrusions, or for the stomas that lay flat or retreat inwards from the skin, the better option may be a convex wafer, which positions the hole in the center of the wafer in a bowl shape. This creates a protrusion around the stoma so it will drain cleanly and efficiently into the pouch without leakage. Convex wafers, however, are not as flexible as flat wafers, but they can save a lot of time and trouble for those with shorter stomas or more rounded abdomens.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact one of our highly-trained Ostomy Specialists during business hours at 1-877-688-2729. We'll be happy to help you find the right ostomy products and accessories for your individual needs and preferences. 

ostomy catalog footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is 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, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends, & family.
 

Drainable or Closed?: Choosing the Right Ostomy Pouch for Your Needs

by Jessica April 27 2016 09:58
drainable or closed ostomy pouch

When you first begin to use ostomy supplies, you may find that there are a lot of different types of products and accessories out there on the market today that can service your needs and even make your daily routine a little easier. Depending on the type of ostomy you have (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy), you may find yourself wondering which type of pouch is best for your individual preferences and needs. This post is intended to help shed some light on the differences between these two types of pouches, as well as their potential uses and benefits.

Drainable Pouchdrainable colostomy pouch

  • Drainable pouches are open-ended with some type of secure closure, such as a clamp, press and seal, velcro, etc., so that you can empty your pouch and reuse. For instance, Convatec Pouches, like the popular SUR-FIT® Natura drainable pouches, feature a wide tail-like opening for easy, safe emptying along with an Invisiclose® Lock-It-Pocket™ that rolls up to hide the tail-end opening. This closure type provides the security and comfort of a closed pouch, so you can feel confident about your drainable pouch staying secure and comfortable throughout the day. 
  • This type of pouch is most suitable for collecting liquid, such as urine, or bowel movements that are more liquid in consistency (i.e. not fully formed or thick). 
  • Does not require changing out as often as a closed pouch, so fewer pouches are used.
  • May be difficult to empty if your output is formed or of a thicker consistency.
  • Easy to empty and clean, prior to eventual disposal. 
  • Ideally should be emptied when the pouch is about half-full.
  • The outlet/closure should be cleaned of any output that may remain on the pouch after each time it is emptied.
Who Does This Type of Pouch Work Best For?
The drainable pouch is typically best for those with an ileostomy or for those with more frequent discharge/output from their stoma throughout the day. Specialized pouches with closeable drainage taps/valves are available for those with urostomies as well. Drainable pouches may be a more comfortable, reliable option than continually changing out pouches and disposing of them. 

Closed Pouch

  • Closed-end pouches are designed for one-time use only, so they must be removed and disposed of once they are full. closed end ostomy pouch
  • Cannot be emptied or reused, so you may use more product than if you were to use a drainable pouch. Typically, these are changed out once to three times a day, but the frequency is based entirely upon your individual needs and your healthcare professional's recommendations. 
  • Closed pouches are often preferred for activities such as swimming or intimate moments, just for the extra security of knowing there is no opening for any discharge to leave the pouch.
  • Most suitable for collecting fully formed bowel movements or output of a thicker consistency.
  • This style of pouch will need to be changed and disposed of even when away from home, so that is something to keep in mind when it comes time to dispose of your pouch. 
Who Does This Type of Pouch Work Best For?
If your discharge is less frequent, or if your discharge is small enough that you would only have to change out your pouch once or twice a day.

Both are effective and good quality pouching systems that are sure to meet your needs, but the choice made is typically one of personal preference as well as the type/consistency of your output. Your prescribing healthcare professional is there to discuss these more in depth with you and let you know which one may work best for your individual needs.

At 180 Medical, we have closed and disposable pouches, along with a wide array of wafers and barriers, adhesive removers, belts, and plenty of other high-quality products and accessories to choose from. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our friendly, trained Ostomy Specialists, who will be glad to work with you to find the right supplies for you. 


About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 7 years. Her current job title is 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, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends & family.
 

Living With a Colostomy

by Jessica December 10 2015 14:56
Although adjusting to life after a surgical procedure can be difficult, it's not impossible. Living with a colostomy can be a major life change, but with some practice, you will learn how to adjust. In time, taking care of your colostomy will become second nature. Read on for useful tips to help you lead an active life with your ostomy:

Give Yourself Time to Heal

If you recently had surgery, it's crucial that you give yourself time to heal during the recovery phase. It will take patience and practice to learn how to care for your colostomy. Follow the instructions given by your doctor and/or nurses, and don't hesitate to ask questions and notify them of any concerns you may have. couple hugging ostomy

Adapt to Changes
Part of the healing phase includes adapting to new bowel habits. It is common for colostomy stool to be softer than stool passed through the rectum, and you may experience more frequent bowel movements than before your surgery. As you adapt to the new circumstances, you will be able to predict these tendencies. 

Consume a Well-Balanced Diet

After surgery, you may have to adjust your diet a bit to allow your body time to heal. Follow your doctor's directions for eliminating potentially troublesome foods from your diet. You may be advised to start small and stick to small portions of low-fiber meals, or you doctor may ask you to cut back on foods that could result in excessive gas, constipation, or diarrhea since these can interfere with your colostomy. Over time, you will be able to adjust the types and amounts of foods you eat according to your personal needs. 

Monitor Your Medications
In addition to eating a balanced meal, be cautious of the medications you take, as some can cause constipation or diarrhea. You should consult with your healthcare professional about medications to adjust or avoid. 

Find a Colostomy System That Works for You
When you arrive home from the hospital, you will have been sent home with a few products and accessories to help you prepare your skin and collect your stool in a pouching system. Soon, you'll be ready to get your supplies on a regular basis. As your colostomy heals, you may find that your product needs may change. At 180 Medical, we supply customers with the best colostomy products on the market to meet their healthcare needs. Our colostomy products and accessories are shipped directly to you so you can save yourself the hassle of driving to the pharmacy. 

Live Your Life
Having a colostomy doesn't mean that you have to give up your favorite hobbies and activities. You may find it a little hard at first to get back into the swing of things, but with some help from your healthcare professional, friends, and family, you'll be back to doing the things you love in no time. You can learn how to become comfortable with your colostomy which will take patience, practice, the right colostomy products, and a positive outlook.

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