Having a digestive disease can certainly be frightening but fortunately, there are options available to help treat such conditions. One such option is a colostomy, which is a common surgical procedure for different disorders of the large intestine. While this surgery can seem intimidating, it can dramatically improve the quality of life for individuals.
To help you better understand a colostomy, how to care for yourself post-procedure, and the products available to help manage your condition, here are five frequently asked questions (and answers) on the subject.
1. What is a colostomy?
A colostomy is a surgery performed to remove all or a part of the colon. An opening is made from the large intestine to the outside of the abdomen and a portion of the organ is brought to the surface of the skin. The new opening, called a stoma, allows waste to leave the body. As a colostomy has no controlling muscles, the body releases the stool as needed.
2. What are the reasons for needing a colostomy?
A colostomy is performed to cure or treat an area of the colon. Some of the most common reasons for a colostomy include bowel cancer, Crohn’s disease, injuries or trauma, and birth defects.
3. What risks are associated with the surgery?
In some instances, a skin irritation or infection may occur due to a stool leak from under the bag, or a hernia can sometimes develop around a stoma. This can be easily avoided by taking good care of your stoma, eating a healthy diet, and using the right products for your needs.
4. How will this affect my life?
As with any medical condition, it’s crucial that you know how to properly manage it. Living with a colostomy will require that you make some small changes to your life and current routine. You should monitor your medication since certain medicines can cause constipation or diarrhea. Also, ensure that you eat a well-balanced diet and check to see which foods give an upset stomach or gas, as you may choose to avoid these in public. You may want to speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian to decide on a nutrition plan. In addition, since your body will not be able to fully regulate the flow of your body waste as it leaves the stoma, you will need a proper ostomy system to collect it. 180 Medical has a number of high-quality product options that will offer discretion, easy application, and emptying.
5. What colostomy supplies should I use?
At 180 Medical, we understand the challenges that can come with living with an ostomy, and that’s why we’re devoted to providing you with the best colostomy supplies. There are a variety of skin barriers, pouches, and accessories available to provide you with the care you need. Check out our selection online or contact us today.