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Adjusting to Life After Colostomy Surgery

Although adjusting to life after colostomy surgery comes with its challenges, it’s not impossible. Living with a colostomy can be a major life change. However, with time and practice, you will learn to adjust. In fact, some day, taking care of your new colostomy will be like second nature to you.

Check out some of our helpful tips for leading a happy, healthy, and active life with your new colostomy.

Tips for Adjusting to Life After Colostomy Surgery

1. Give Yourself Time to Heal After Your Colostomy Surgery

If you recently had surgery, it’s crucial that you give yourself time to heal during the recovery phase. This doesn’t just include the physical aspects of healing. Going to a major surgery like an ostomy surgery also involves mental and emotional healing.

Plus, it will take patience and practice to learn how to care for your new colostomy. Follow the instructions given by your doctor and ostomy nurses. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions and notify them of any concerns you may have.

While you can definitely go on to have an active and healthy life aftear colostomy surgery, you’ll want to let you body have adequate time to recuperate. Wait until your doctor says it’s ok to resume exercise and other physical activity.

2. Prepare and Adapt to Changes to Your Daily Routine

After ostomy surgery, you’ll be adapting to your new bowel management routine. Your stoma will not have the same muscles that your rectum did, so you can’t control when your stool passes from your stoma into your colostomy bag. You may experience more frequent bowel movements than you did before your surgery. As you get used to your new pouch and stoma, you’ll be better able to predict how your body reacts to certain foods and drinks. Plus, you’ll learn how frequently you’ll need to empty or change your colostomy pouch.

3. Consume a Well-Balanced Diet and Monitor Medications

After surgery, you may have to adjust your diet a bit. For example, your doctor may suggest the elimination of potentially troublesome foods from your diet. You may want to start small with your meals again after surgery. Stick to smaller portion of low-fiber meals. Your doctor may also suggest cutting back on foods that often result in excessive gas, blockages, or diarrea.

Over time, you’ll learn which types and amounts of foods work best for your unique body and ostomy.

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.

4. Find a Colostomy Pouching System That Works for You

After your ostomy surgery, your doctor or ostomy nurse will send home some ostomy products and accessories with you. These will help you prepare your peristomal skin and collect your stool in a colostomy pouching system.

Next, you’ll need to find a reliable ostomy supply provider who can deliver insurance-covered ostomy supplies to you on a regular, timely basis.

As your stoma heals, its size and shape may change over time. Or you may find that your colostomy product needs may change as you adjust to living with your colostomy.

At 180 Medical, we specialize in supplying our customers with the best colostomy supplies available to meet their unique needs. We ship supplies directly to your door for free so you can save yourself the hassle of driving to the pharmacy. Plus, we bill your insurance directly with no hassle on your part. We’ll also handle getting any prescriptions or additional documentation from your doctor that your insurance plan may require in order to cover your colostomy products.

5. Lastly, Live Your Life.

Having a colostomy doesn’t mean the end of your life. You can still enjoy many of your hobbies and activities, lathough you may find it hard at first. However, with help from your doctor, 180 Medical, friends, and the ostomate community, you’ll be back to doing things you love soon!

Just maintain patience and a positive outlook. You’ve got this!

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About the Author
Adjusting to Life After Colostomy Surgery
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, and she has been with the company for over 14 years now. She loves getting to be creative in her role and hearing from customers about the positive impact we've made on their lives.

Outside of work, you can find her hanging out with her husband and their dogs or browsing garden centers (where she will almost certainly buy another houseplant she doesn't really need).