Did you know that over one million people in the United States live with an ostomy? Despite that, there are still some pervasive myths about living with a colostomy and using colostomy bags. Let’s bust those myths with some facts and learn more about colostomies.
What Are Colostomy Bags?
Colostomy bags, also known as colostomy pouches or pouching systems, are the medical supplies that collect waste that leaves the stoma after ostomy surgery.
During colostomy surgery, surgeons will create an opening in the abdomen, which is called a stoma. This is the passage through which waste will travel out of the body. However, because the stoma doesn’t have nerve endings or muscles to control the flow, a colostomy bag is needed. A colostomy bag fits over the stoma and collects waste when it leaves through the opening.
Not all colostomy pouches are alike. There are plenty of options from which to choose at 180 Medical, including one-piece and two-piece pouching systems, different types of skin barriers (trim-to-fit, precut, and Moldable Technology™ options), and even accessories such as ostomy belts or pouch deodorizers.
What Are the Common Reasons for Needing a Colostomy?
Sometimes, the colon (large intestine) can become so severely impacted by an illness or injury that a portion needs to be removed or bypassed. Colostomies may be temporary and reversible in certain cases, although most of the time, an ostomy is permanent.
A colostomy may be required due to various reasons, such as:
- Rectal cancer or colon cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Serious infections like diverticulitis
Busting the Top 3 Myths About Colostomy Bags
When people are about to undergo colostomy surgery or are newly recovering, they usually have many questions. Here are a few things you should know about living with and using colostomy pouches to put you at ease as you adjust to living with an ostomy.
Myth 1: Everyone will know that I have a colostomy.
This is a common myth. However, the truth is that most people won’t know or notice that you have to use colostomy bags unless you tell them or show them.
Technology is constantly advancing, and ostomy pouching systems these days are more discreet and user-friendly than the pouches of past decades.
With the right colostomy bag and accessories, you will avoid common issues like ostomy odor.
Also, some colostomy pouches feature filters, which not only help with discreet odor control but also pouch ballooning and gas. For example, the Natura + Two-Piece Drainable Ostomy Pouch, which was designed based on feedback from ostomy nurses and real ostomates, features a state-of-the-art pouch filter with an anti-clogging film layer.
Worried about discretion with your ostomy bag?
You can maintain your privacy as well and keep your pouch even more discreet with specialized swimwear, underwear, or ostomy wraps for people living with ostomies at OstomySecrets.
180 Medical customers can receive a 35% off discount code for OstomySecrets. Just reach out to our Ostomy Specialists to get started.
Myth 2: My life is over now that I have an ostomy.
Life is not for you just because of your ostomy. Yes, having an ostomy is a huge change. It will take time to adjust. However, eventually, you’ll be able to live your life just like normal, but with a new colostomy pouching system as your sidekick. You might even find better health and quality of life, thanks to your ostomy, once you’ve healed.
You will most likely be able to eat many of the same things as before your procedure. Once your doctor gives you the okay, you can return to exercising with an ostomy. You can even date and have a sex life with an ostomy.
Here is a great article that sheds light on living with a colostomy.
180 Medical loves hearing from our ostomy supply customers. They share all the amazing things they’re able to accomplish and still achieve while living with an ostomy – from marathons to sky diving.
When in doubt, just talk to your doctor to get their medical advice about what you should be able to do while living with an ostomy.
Myth 3: I’m stuck with the brand or type of ostomy supplies I started with.
The truth is you have options with a number of colostomy bags and pouching system options. Skin barriers can be cut-to-fit, pre-sized, or even made with Moldable Technology™, which you can manipulate to the perfect size and shape. Pouches can come in different shapes and colors, with or without filters. Plus, you can choose which works best for you: a one-piece or two-piece pouching system.
Of course, some people with colostomies may prefer to keep the same pouching system they received when they left the hospital after surgery. Others may choose to go with a different brand or type over time. This is usually due to personal preference.
We encourage you to speak with your ostomy nurse or doctor about what might work best for you. 180 Medical has a team of highly-trained Ostomy Product Specialists who can help you navigate the wide range of colostomy bags. Together, we’ll customize a supply order that works just right for you.
Where to Buy Colostomy Supplies Online
180 Medical specializes in providing home-delivered ostomy supplies, including colostomy bags and pouches, accessories, ostomy belts, and more. Our friendly Ostomy Specialists are ready to help you explore your insurance-covered colostomy product options.
Reach out to us to get started!