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What Can I Eat After Colostomy Surgery?

by Jessica May 23 2018 05:46
what can i eat after colostomy surgery

One of the most common questions people living with colostomies have is how their eating habits may change after having their ostomy procedure. After all, food is not just a necessity for living; it is also a focal point of many social gatherings, like family dinners and dates. 

If you have recently had your colostomy procedure, your main focus is probably on healing from your procedure, as well as learning how to put on and take off your colostomy pouching system.

However, knowing what you can and cannot eat will go a long way in helping you go back to your normal routine as you heal.

Let's take a moment to go over some of the basics of eating after a colostomy. 

Colostomy Nutrition Tips

First, let’s dispel one myth right away. Having an colostomy does not mean that you have to let go of your favorite foods forever. Many people who have an ostomy procedure are able to return to their normal diet within six weeks or so. 

woman eating pizzaKeep in mind that everyone's anatomy is different, so certain types of foods may cause a reaction in one person while it doesn't at all in another person, whether or not they have a colostomy.

For example, you may know someone who loves spicy food and can eat hot salsa and peppers easily, while foods like that can be a gastronomical nightmare for someone else. 

Remember that you are an individual with unique needs. Consider eliminating any foods that may trigger allergies or any condition you may have, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). You'll probably also want to eliminate any foods that you may not have tolerated well in the past before your colostomy.

For the most part, however, most people can return to their old diet after healing from their colostomy surgery with an okay from their treating physician.

Of course, there are certain foods that may cause more gas or odor, as well as other foods that can loosen or thicken your stool output. Just talk to your doctor about your diet to know for certain which foods you should avoid and which foods you can include back into your diet after your ostomy procedure. 

To get a better understanding of food for ostomates, check out this ostomy nutrition guide from the University of Pittsburgh. 

talk to your doctor about diet after ostomy

Colostomy Nutrition Tips

After your surgery and during follow-up appointments to see how your stoma is healing, your doctor will likely go over some nutrition basics with you, including what foods you may want to avoid or include in your diet, based on your individual needs.

steamed meat and veggie bowlHow quickly you can return to a normal diet will depend entirely on your situation, including your medical condition and any food allergies you may have. Your doctor will take all this into account, including how well you are healing from your ostomy surgery.

Here are a few things that your doctor may advise to make digestion and caring for your colostomy easier:

  • Eat slowly
  • Chew your food very well
  • Eat regularly and in smaller portions to avoid excess gas 
  • Take it slow with re-introducing certain foods after your doctor has approved it
  • Drink enough fluids to stay properly hydrated

The most important thing to remember about your new colostomy is not to worry too much. Simply focus on healing well and getting used to life as a new ostomate. 

If you experience any issues, be sure to talk to your doctor or Wound, Ostomy, & Continence Nurse (WOCN).

And remember, if you need quality colostomy products from a reliable, top-rated ostomy supplier, 180 Medical is the place to go! Contact us today.

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What Type of Ostomy Wafer is Right for You?

by Jessica August 8 2016 09:15
ostomy wafer blog header
Whether you're new to using ostomy supplies or if you have been a seasoned ostomate for some time now, you are probably aware of the wide variety of ostomy supplies and accessories available on the market today. It's great that there are so many options available to help suit one's individual needs, but you might still be looking for the right products to fit your needs. 

Here at 180 Medical, we like to make sure you have correct and up-to-date information on your product options, so in today's blog post, we shed some light on what wafers, or skin barriers, are all about and how the right one for you can make a big difference in your ostomy experience. 

What Is a Wafer?

Ostomy pouching systems are offered in two main options: a one-piece system or a two-piece system. In a one-piece system, the wafer and pouch are all in one, which can be best for those who don't have to change out their pouches as often. For instance, many ostomates using urostomy supplies may find they don't have to change out their pouch as often, because many prefer to use drainable bags for their needs.

In a two-piece system, the wafer and pouch are separate from one another, which allows for quicker changing of your ostomy pouch. It's an easier system for those who utilize closed pouches versus drainable or for those who change their ostomy pouches more frequently, as it as it reduces the wear on skin from removing and reapplying the adhesive wafer too often.

What Types of Wafers Are Available?

flat and convex skin barrier comparison Because stoma sizes and shapes vary from person to person, there are three main types of wafers currently available on the market:
  1. Pre-cut wafers: These are manufactured for the most common sizes for circular stomas. No cutting or alterations needed on these, but not everyone's stoma is a common size or shape.
  2. Cut-to-fit wafers: These wafers come with varying sizes printed directly on them, which serve as a guide to allow you to cut your own opening to fit your individual stoma size and shape. This is a great option for those who are in between sizes or have an irregular stoma shape.
  3. Moldable Wafers: This is the newest technology on the market today. Moldable wafers provide the same benefits as the cut-to-fit wafers with some additional conveniences. They are made out of a flexible, stoma-safe material which allows you to roll the material back snugly with your thumbs or fingers to the right size and shape for your needs -- no scissors required! After the wafer, or skin barrier, is molded, it is placed on the skin around the stoma, just as with all wafers, except the moldable technology allows the material to fit more snugly around the stoma (this process is called "turtle-necking"). This provides maximum comfort and helps to prevent those leakage issues that everyone wants to avoid with their ostomy system. 

Flat Vs. Convex Wafers

Just as every individual has their own unique stoma size and shape, everyone will have some difference in protrusion lengths. While some may have a significant protrusion from the skin, others might have a stoma that lays flat with the skin, or even retreats a little bit into their body. 

Flat Wafers
For those whose stomas protrude from the body more than a quarter of an inch, the best wafer will typically be a flat variation of the wafer. This type of wafer is very flexible in order to accommodate for the contours of one's body. For those whose stomas are flat to the skin or more shallow, there may be more leakage issues, since the stoma isn't protruding enough to empty efficiently into the pouch, which can cause effluent to leak underneath the wafer and even irritate skin.

Convex Wafers
For shorter stoma protrusions, or for the stomas that lay flat or retreat inwards from the skin, the better option may be a convex wafer, which positions the hole in the center of the wafer in a bowl shape. This creates a protrusion around the stoma so it will drain cleanly and efficiently into the pouch without leakage. Convex wafers, however, are not as flexible as flat wafers, but they can save a lot of time and trouble for those with shorter stomas or more rounded abdomens.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact one of our highly-trained Ostomy Specialists during business hours at 1-877-688-2729. We'll be happy to help you find the right ostomy products and accessories for your individual needs and preferences. 

ostomy catalog footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. She loves writing, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends, & family.

Using Medicare to Pay for Your Ostomy Supplies

by Jessica April 22 2015 12:39
using medicare to pay for ostomy supplies

Whether you've had a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, it’s a necessity to have access to quality ostomy supplies that you can trust. On top of that, we understand that you want products and high-quality brands that will feel comfortable, reliable, and easy to use, and you probably want products that will be covered by your insurance.. 

Did you know that Medicare covers a portion of the cost of most ostomy supplies? 

convatec natura closed end pouchMedicare is relied upon by millions of people for their essential medical supplies, including ostomy supplies. Medicare covers a portion of the cost of your supplies (typically 80%), so there is usually an out-of-pocket cost after they pay their portion, unless you also have a supplemental insurance plan. This is far less costly than paying cash for the supplies outright though. You may have to consider the supply limits within a 30 or 90-day range that must be followed in order to have Medicare pay their portion.

So what are the key factors you should look for in an ostomy supply provider?

Get the top three tips here. 

company specializing in ostomy

Choose a company that specializes in ostomy supplies.

There are a lot of advantages to having a supplier that really knows its industry inside and out. Unlike companies that provide a wide range of supplies of all kinds, medical supply providers like 180 Medical have specialists that are rigorously trained to understand ostomy procedures, products, and the latest technology. They will also have the ability to keep inventory well-stocked in a central location for shipping. They will also have a wider selection of quality products, compared to limited inventory of local pharmacies. 

company achc accredited medicare accredited

Seek out a provider that is accredited with Medicare and follows rigorous standards to be accredited by the ACHC (Accreditation Commission for Health Care) as well.

When you get your supplies from a company that has adheres to the strict qualifications required in order to be accredited with Medicare, you can be assured that the company is committed to offering the best quality care in the industry. 180 Medical is proud to be accredited and contracted with Medicare, as well as ACHC-accredited.

We are also contracted with most state Medicaid plans and a wide variety of private insurance plans that continues to grow.

company handles insurance billing for your ostomy supplies

Find a supplier that will handle billing your insurance for you.

You don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of turning in claims on your products for repayment. Quality ostomy suppliers like 180 Medical will take the time to interface with your physician and your insurer to make sure you are getting the products you need covered.

180 medical ostomy specialists

With these tips, you may be on the way to getting quality ostomy supplies that could be covered by your Medicare plan. To find out if your supplies could be covered by Medicare or for other questions, call us at 180 Medical today at 1-877-688-2729.

Our team of friendly Ostomy Specialists is ready to help you!

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180 medical jessAbout the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years and is the Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for a company that truly cares for its employees and customers.


Ostomy Resources & Support

by admin September 23 2014 14:52
ostomy resources and support for ostomates

Ostomy surgery, whether planned or unexpected, may bring a lot of changes to your life. During your transition to living with a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, you may go through a wide range of emotions, and it may feel scary, frustrating, and even discouraging for you at times.

Right now, it's necessary that you get the right ostomy supplies for your needs from a company who understands and cares. It's also just as important to find resources, support, and connections to people who understand firsthand what you're going through as a new ostomate.

Here are some great resources that may help you get back to being you, while finding an additional sense of support and community.

Recommended Ostomy Resources

ConvaTec’s Customer Interaction Center (CIC)

convatec cvt customer interaction center cic logoIt can be hard to get back to your normal life if you can't find products that work for you and give you a sense of security and independence.

The Customer Interaction Center is made up of ConvaTec's team of certified WOCN (Wound, Ostomy, & Continence Nurses) who are available for your questions and concerns. The Customer Interaction Center is dedicated to helping you find the ostomy products that will fit your needs and preferences the best.

Phone: (800) 422-8811, Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 7:00PM Eastern Time

me + community

me plus ostomy communityWith the me+ Community, you can find a home alongside hundreds of other people living with ostomies. Fellow ostomates in the online community share their experiences, including some inspiring, frustrating, and even funny stories. Many of them offer personalized advice of what has worked for them as someone living with an ostomy.

Enroll today to get support and personalized insights.



Ostomysecrets is a company created by ostomates for ostomates. They carry specialized underwear and swim wraps for men, women, and children with ostomies. Their products are specifically designed to provide discreet support and conceal your ostomy system, giving you more confidence and peace of mind.

Since the employees of their companies also have ostomies, they are able to offer personalized insight and share their experiences.

Ostomysecrets founder, Lisa Becker, says: "When was the last time you forgot you had an ostomy? For me, it's every time I wear my Ostomysecrets. These undergarments changed my life, and I hope they change yours too. Join me and feel as good as I feel now!"

Phone: (877) 613-6246  

ostomy secrets ostomysecrets banner 180 medical resources

Ostomy Inspire

Ostomy Support Groups by Inspire is an online support community for people living with an ostomy.

There are many different forums where you can talk to other ostomates, discuss health and lifestyle issues, get emotional support, inspire and motivate others, and find additional ostomy information and resources.

180 Medical is Here for Your Ostomy Supply Needs

On top of all these helpful resources, it's important to find a trustworthy ostomy supplier who you can depend on for compassionate service and reliable shipments.

180 Medical has a staff of highly trained and friendly Ostomy Specialists who are ready to talk with you about any ostomy product questions you may have. We'll be glad to work with you to find the right ostomy products and accessories that are correctly sized for your stoma and right for your individual preferences and needs.

Contact us toll-free at 1-877-688-2729, or get in touch with us through our Live Chat option online today! 

180 medical ostomy specialists team

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Steps to Receiving
Your Ostomy Supplies 
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 What's Next After 
Your Ostomy Surgery?

About the Author:

Heather has worked for 180 Medical for almost 2 years and currently holds the title of Ostomy Specialist. She loves being active, trying new things, spending time with family and friends, and playing the piano and the guitar.

Understanding Colostomy: 5 Frequently Asked Questions

by Jessica September 12 2014 15:22
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 removed all or a part of the colon. 180 medical colostomy diagramAn 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 upset stomach or gas, as you may choose to avoid these in public. You may want to speak with your doctor or a registered dietician 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 any ostomy, and that's why we're devoted to provided 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.

180 medical ostomy supplies

180 Medical Now Supplies Ostomy Products

by Jessica April 29 2014 16:02
Having a hard time finding a provider of medical supplies for your ostomy needs? If you're looking for a dependable, compassionate company that understands where you're coming from and what supplies you need, look no further than 180 Medical!

If you've heard of 180 Medical, you may already know that we are one of the top suppliers of intermittent catheters in the nation, and there's a reason for that. We consistently provide reliable service, and we aim to treat you and your needs as we would for a member of our own families.

We are now a proud supplier of ConvaTec's high-quality line of ostomy products, and we have a highly-trained group of Ostomy Specialists that help you find the right ostomy supplies for your needs, whether you have a colostomy, ileostomy, or a urostomy.

Our educated and compassionate staff will gladly:

  • discuss and help stabilize your current process for using ostomy products
  • explain your insurance coverage so you fully understand how your insurance will cover the products, and what, if any, out-of-pocket costs you may have
  • set you up on a regular shipping schedule so you don't have to worry about remembering to reorder
  • offer you a listening ear

180 medical ostomy testimonial

If you're ready to experience the 180 Medical difference, contact us today by filling out our online inquiry or give us a call at 1-877-688-2729 to speak to one of our highly trained, friendly specialists.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 4 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.