There’s no question that getting an ostomy is a major procedure that can affect certain aspects of your daily life. Once the surgery is complete, and you’ve gone over everything with your doctor, it’ll be time to go home. Some people who have had this procedure may be unsure of what the next step is after that.
It’s natural to want to know how easy it will be to adapt to your new situation and become comfortable with everyday life. There are several factors to consider from the United Ostomy Associations of America, including these frequently asked questions about life after ostomy surgery.
How Much Will My Diet Change?
This depends entirely upon what type of surgery you have – ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy. Consult your doctor for information on what you should avoid or begin to include in your diet, if anything.
Will I Still Be Able to Take a Shower?
Yes. It depends on your personal preference on whether you keep your ostomy pouch on or take it off, but many people with ostomies have found that it’s nice to give their skin a break and expose the stoma to air. Be cautious about getting too much soap or water on or around the stoma to avoid irritation.
Just be aware that, depending on which type of ostomy you have, your body may continue to eliminate waste while you are showering. Doctors do recommend that colostomy and ileostomy patients
choose a time when they know that their bowel is less active to avoid extra mess or complications.
Will People Be Able to Tell That I Have an Ostomy?
According to the United Ostomy Associations of America, approximately 750,000 people have had an ostomy. You most likely have come across someone who has had the procedure before, and you never even knew it. The pouch system is flattened against your stomach and is created with odor-resistant materials. Unless you tell someone you have it, he or she will most likely have no clue.
Are There Support Groups for Ostomates?
It’s normal to feel like you are all alone in this, especially at first. But, as said before, there are hundreds of thousands of others who are going through very similar situations. There are support groups across the country and online where those with ostomies can help one another adapt to this new way of life. Click here to find the one in your area.
One such online support community you can visit is Ostomy Support Groups by Inspire at www.ostomy.inspire.com. There are many different forums where you can discuss health and lifestyle issues, gain emotional support, inspire and motivate others and see additional ostomy information and resources.
180 Medical is dedicated to providing our customers with the best ostomy products, intermittent catheters, and related medical supplies alongside our top-notch service. Our dedicated specialists have worked with many ostomy patients to help them get the best supplies for their needs and offer them a listening ear.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.