Did you know there are a lot of common myths about living with an ostomy? However, hundreds of thousands of people live with an ostomy, and they are healthy, happy, and doing great.
However, given the severity of this surgical procedure, some people have misconceptions about ostomy surgery and how having an ostomy can affect daily life. Let’s address a few of the more common myths about living with an ostomy to help you see what life is really like after an ostomy.
Top 5 Most Common Ostomy Myths
Ostomy Myth 1: People will know that I have an ostomy.
Today’s ostomy systems are discreet under clothing. In other words, most people will not have a clue unless you tell them. It’s your choice who you tell about your ostomy. However, if you are in a relationship or dating, you will likely have to tell them at some point when it comes to getting physically intimate.
Plus, you have options for keeping your ostomy discreet when swimming or staying active, such as wraps from Ostomysecrets.
Ostomy Myth 2: I will not be able to exercise.
Although the Cleveland Clinic recommends that you forgo the heavy lifting for the first couple of months, regular exercise is possible.
You might even find exercise to be easier than before you had the procedure, especially if you were dealing with poor health prior to your surgery.
Have you heard of the fitness model, Blake Beckford, who has an ileostomy? He is walking proof that you can still exercise and achieve big dreams!
Ostomy Myth 3: Physical intimacy will be an issue.
It’s perfectly normal to have some concern about this change in your life, but with some communication and a caring partner who understands the unique issues that come with having an ostomy, you can still enjoy sex.
You may want to take some precautions prior to intimacy, such as emptying your pouch or wearing a smaller specialty pouch designed to be less bulky.
There are also accessories available that can help hold your pouch or bags in place during intimate times.
Ostomy Myth 4: All ostomy procedures are permanent.
Some ostomies are actually temporary, but this will depend on why you need the surgery in the first place.
Ostomy Myth 5: I will completely need to overhaul my diet.
This will depend on what you eat and what type of ostomy you have (ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy). However, you likely won’t have to make huge changes to your diet after ostomy surgery.
Talk to your doctor to know for sure because sometimes you may have to cut certain types of foods. For instance, if you have a colostomy, you may want to avoid foods that produce excess gas such as beans or cabbage or tough, high-fiber foods. The best course of action is to consult with your treating physician for full information on how you should balance your diet.