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The Connection Between Crohn's Disease & Kidney Stones

by Jessica March 21 2018 06:38
crohn's disease and kidney stones connection


If you have Crohn's Disease, you probably already know this particular form of inflammatory bowel disease can produce many different side effects ranging from mild to severe as well as other accompanying medical conditions. 

What many people may not realize is that one of the little known but more common side effects of Crohn's Disease is the development of kidney stones.


What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?

If you develop kidney stones, you will know it fairly quickly. 

kidney stones graphicSome of the most common symptoms of kidney stones include the following:

  • Intense pain in the sides, lower back, or abdomen beneath the ribs
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Cloudy and/or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • General malaise
Kidney stones are a serious health complication, so it's very important to consult with your doctor if you begin experiencing any or all of these symptoms. 

Your doctor may recommend increasing your fluid intake and/or taking a pain reliever if the kidney stone is relatively small and can be passed. 

However, if the stone is larger or more spiny, then medical intervention like surgery may be necessary.


Why Do People With Crohn's Disease Get Kidney Stones More Often?

There are a number of reasons why people with Crohn's Disease are more likely to get kidney stones.

Kidney stones are formed when there is a decrease in urine volume and an increase in stone-forming substances in the body.

One of the most common causes of kidney stones is malabsorption, which is a condition where the small intestine isn't able to absorb nutrients properly. For example, fat in the small intestine could bind to calcium, causing oxalates (a stone-producing substance) to be released and absorbed into the kidneys.

stay hydratedIn addition, dehydration is a significant risk factor for kidney stones.

Those who suffer from Crohn's Disease are more likely to have symptoms of malabsorption and dehydration. Also, they may have more concentrated urine, which is another risk factor for kidney stones. 

Kidney stones are a serious health concern, due to the pain and discomfort they can cause as well as the potential for blocking the normal flow of urine. This is why we urge you to speak with your treating physician as soon as you notice the warning signs of a kidney stone developing.


Other Complications Associated With Crohn's Disease

Unfortunately, when you have Crohn's Disease, whether mild or severe, this condition can impact your health in a variety of different ways aside from kidney stones.

This may include ulcers, inflammation throughout the digestive tract, malnutrition from lack of vitamin absorption, colon or colorectal cancer, bowel obstruction, and more. It's important to speak with your treating physician about any new or different symptoms that may pop up.

Occasionally, these issues may become so severe that surgery is required to remove or temporarily bypass diseased or obstructed parts of the bowel. This typically leads to a need for colostomy or ileostomy supplies.

At 180 Medical, we carry a wide variety of ostomy products and accessories to assist those who have been impacted by Crohn's Disease to the point of needing ostomy surgery. We'd love the opportunity to help you find the right supplies for your individual needs. Contact us today!


ostomy customer testimonial 180 medical

5 Things to Consider After Your Ostomy Surgery

by Jessica January 19 2018 12:19
5 things to consider about life after ostomy surgery

It's totally normal to wonder what life will be like for you after ostomy surgery. The first few weeks will be a period of adjustment, but armed with the right information, you can be ready for whatever comes next.

Here are five things to consider as you transition into life as a new ostomate.


Get to Know Your Stoma

During the surgery, your surgeon will create a stoma to redirect the flow of your body's waste (urine due to a urostomy or stool due to a colostomy or ileostomy). The stoma is typically positioned on your abdomen region. Your doctor will let you know where you can expect it to be, depending on the type of surgery you have.

After the surgery, the stoma should be slightly moist and appear pink or red. This is completely normal.

Any soreness, swelling, or slight bleeding should go away with time. However, if you're dealing with excessive pain or bleeding or if your stoma changes colors, this should be addressed with your doctor as soon as possible.


Practice Proper Skincare

Ideally, the skin surrounding your stoma should look like it did before your surgery, although it may be slightly irritated at first as your body adjusts to wearing your ostomy appliances.

Your doctor or a WOCN (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse) will be the best resource for instructing you how to change your pouching system and giving you personalized tips for skincare, bathing, safe removal of any hair on the skin surrounding your stoma, and they will also be able to assess your needs based on any allergies you may have as well as your current skin condition.

talk to your doctor about your ostomy

Typically, you will want to just make sure that the area of skin around your stoma is clean and dry. You can clean your skin with warm water and a soft, clean washcloth each time you change your appliance. When using soap, stick with a brand that is mild and does not contain any oil, deodorant, or perfume, as this can cause skin irritation or keep your ostomy system from properly adhering to your skin.


Get the Right Fit

After your surgery, your stoma will probably be swollen, but the swelling should go down over time. You will most likely have to change sizes of ostomy wafers (also known as skin barriers or flanges) or other ostomy appliances eventually.

You may notice this if you start to see leakage or find that your current sizes are no longer fitting snugly. Leakage can cause skin irritation and feel embarrassing, but you don't have to live with it. 

We recommend that you speak with your doctor or a WOCN (Wound, Ostomy, & Continence Nurse) who can help you address any medical concerns. Next, talk to your ostomy supply company.

Our Ostomy Specialists will be glad to offer you options to measure your stoma, and with the help of your prescribing healthcare provider, we can get you the right size of wafers, the type of ostomy pouches that work best for your needs, and additional accessories. 


Evaluate Your Diet

After you're healed up, you probably won't need to worry about following a new diet, although this will depend on your medical condition and any food allergies you may have. For the most part, you should be able to return to eating the food you love.

eating after ostomy surgeryIf you have an ileostomy or a colostomy, your doctor might recommend a reduction of fiber intake as you recover in the weeks following your surgery. There may be some foods you might want to avoid based on your condition.

If you have a urostomy, your doctor may advise you to avoid too many caffeinated drinks, which can dehydrate your body, or they may discuss the proper amounts of fluid/water to have daily. 

Your doctor may also prescribe medication or recommend daily multi-vitamins to help your body heal and get the proper balance of nutrients to supplement your diet.


Start Living Your Best Life

It's completely okay to go through feelings of concern, self-consciousness, and worry. You may worry that you're the only person with an ostomy or that people might be able to tell that you're wearing a pouch.

We want you to know you are not the only person with an ostomy. There are millions of other happy, healthy ostomates across the globe.

Although there is nothing shameful about having an ostomy, it's absolutely normal to want to keep it a secret. There are options to keep your ostomy appliance discreet, including low-profile pouches. There are even specialized swimsuits, underwear, and wraps for everyday wear available at www.ostomysecrets.com. These may help you feel more confident both in public and at home.

Once your doctor has given you the okay, you should be able to live just as you did before, including exercising, socializing, and even being intimate with your partner. Your health and overall well-being will likely improve as you heal from your surgery, and you may even feel like trying out new hobbies. There are even marathon runners with ostomies!




 'Practice makes perfect,' as the saying goes, so after some time, you may become a seasoned pro at changing your ostomy appliances and caring for your skin and stoma.

At 180 Medical, we understand that navigating all of the many ostomy product choices as well as all the ins and outs of your new ostomy routine might feel overwhelming in the beginning. Our Ostomy Specialists are here to help. If you have any questions about ostomy supplies, feel free to reach out to us today!


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Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week

by Jessica December 6 2017 05:41
crohn's and ulcerative colitis awareness week

December 1st through the 7th is Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week this year, and we want to stand up in solidarity with all those who are living with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). At 180 Medical, we feel it is important to not only support those living with Crohn's disease and/or ulcerative colitis as well as those who have recovered thanks to ostomy surgery and now live with a colostomy or ileostomy.

We agree with what the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation says about IBD and those who are impacted by it: "the effects of these diseases are largely invisible [to others], which is why we need to make #IBDvisible."

Read on to find out more about these two forms of IBD, common symptoms, and ways you can help raise awareness.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease that can affect any part of the body's gastrointestinal tract.

crohn's and colitis symptomsSymptoms can include:
  • Frequent or chronic diarrhea
  • Blood or mucus in stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Weight loss that can't be easily explained
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced appetite
These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can come and go without warning. 

The precise cause of Crohn's is currently unknown, although you can be assured it is not contagious. It could be possibly related to genetics or a virus that triggers an immune response to product inflammation that continues on without a cure.

Treatment options can include medications such as steroids or immunomodulators, and this is typically the first option doctors will suggest.

When the condition doesn't respond to medication or lifestyle/diet changes, or if it worsens to a point that symptoms become unbearable, surgery may be the best option, such as a colectomy. This will best be determined by a discussion with your doctor or other prescribing healthcare professional, such as a gastroenterologist.

Ulcerative Colitis

While Crohn's can affect any part of the GI tract, colitis's symptoms are restricted to the colon and the rectum, and the symptoms are typically continuous versus the off and on again symptoms of Crohn's. 

Symptoms can include:
  • Frequent or chronic diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Tenesmus (sudden or constant feeling that you need to void your bowels)
  • Low vitamin D and other vitamin/mineral deficiencies
The suspected causes are much the same as Crohn's, although ulcerative colitis is considered an immune system overreaction. 

crohn's colitis medication treatmentTreatment options include medications or surgery, which typically requires full removal of the colon and rectum.

It will depend entirely from person to person on what the best option for treatment will be, and you'll want to talk with your doctor to be sure you have a good idea of all of the possible options for treatment. 

Life with IBD

Living with Crohn's and/or colitis can be hard on those it affects, especially when symptoms are severe. It can keep you fatigued and feeling rundown, and due to the nature of these diseases, it may feel uncomfortable or embarrassing to live with or discuss what you're going through.

The good news is that there are options for treatment out there, and the sooner you get in touch with your doctor to schedule an appointment, the sooner you can get back to feeling better and resume your normal activities. 

Find out more about Crohn's and Colitis, as well as Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week and ways to be an advocate or share your story at www.crohnscolitiscoundation.org

If you have had an ostomy surgery due to severe symptoms of either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, 180 Medical is here to help. We offer top-quality ostomy supplies from ConvaTec, and our Ostomy Specialists can work with you to find the best supplies to suit your individual needs and preferences. Contact us today. 



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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 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. 

Top 4 Tips for Improving Sleep Quality After Having Ostomy Surgery

by Jessica September 22 2017 05:37
top 4 tips for improving sleep quality with an ostomy

If you're having trouble sleeping after your ostomy surgery due to worries about leakage or rolling over on your pouch, that's completely normal. But there are options that will help you relax and get back to a restful sleep schedule. 

Top 4 Tips For Improving Sleep Post-Ostomy

So is it possible to get a good night's sleep after having an ostomy procedure? The answer is yes. In some cases, just the fact that you have had the procedure to address the underlying condition that required you to get an ostomy may help you sleep better. However, you may need to make some adjustments based on the type of procedure you have had. 

ConvaTec, a leading manufacturer of quality ostomy supplies, offers a short guide on how to manage sleep after having an ostomy.

Here are a few key points that it makes, which you may want to include in your sleep regimen:

tip 1 improving sleep with ostomyPut Pillows Around You.
This will prevent you from rolling on your pouch.


tip 1 improving sleep with ostomyWear a Shirt That Is a Little Snug.
Although this may take some time to get used to wearing, it will help keep your pouch snug against your body as you sleep.


tip 1 improving sleep with ostomySleep on Your Back.
This will limit the likelihood that you will roll over on your pouch while you're asleep.


tip 1 improving sleep with ostomyCheck the Condition of Your Pouch.
You may have to empty your pouch before you go to sleep to prevent leakage in the middle of the night.


Options for Different Ostomy Surgery Types

Please keep in mind that, depending on your surgery type, ostomy supplies will range in options, as well as ostomy accessories, and they may require varying management levels.

For example, those who have had a urostomy procedure have the options to use a night drainage system that connects with your ostomy pouch. This eliminates concerns about the amount of water or other liquids you may intake before bed. Also, no more worrying about needing to change your urostomy pouch in the middle of the night. 

sleep quality after ostomyIf you have had an ileostomy or colostomy procedure, you may need to empty your pouch in the middle of the night to avoid leakage or overflow. You may also want to avoid eating after a certain time to avoid having a large amount of output while you're asleep. Your prescribing healthcare professional can also offer additional tips to improve your sleep, as well as any diet and liquid intake recommendations based on your individual needs. 

Adjusting to living with an ostomy and using ostomy supplies can take some time to get used to, but before long, you'll be a seasoned professional at your ostomy regimen, and you can get back to enjoying a health sleep schedule too!

For more information regarding quality ConvaTec ostomy supplies, contact one of our trained Ostomy Specialists, and we'll be glad to help with your ostomy supply needs.  

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Three Things to Know About Life After an Ostomy

by Jessica May 24 2017 06:12
three things to know about life after ostomy surgery

At 180 Medical, we understand that you might have some apprehension about what your life will be like after you have an ostomy procedure. You may find you have to make some adjustments, based on your doctor's recommendations, and getting used to have an ostomy may take some time. But will your day-to-day life be completely different? Let's take a moment to break down the three main things you'll want to know if you're concerned about an upcoming ostomy surgery.

What Is an Ostomy?

An ostomy is a surgically-created opening in the abdomen that allows waste to leave your body. There are several types of ostomies depending on the affected area. We specialize in these three main types:

  • Colostomy: An artificial opening from the colon to divert the flow of formed stool
  • Ileostomy: An artificial opening from the small intestine to divert the flow of loose stool
  • Urostomy: An artificial opening from the urinary system to divert the flow of urine
You may be getting an ostomy procedure due to any number of issues, such as cancer of the colon or bladder, IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), severe diverticulitis, a physical trauma or accident, and many other issues. Your situation with having an ostomy can be temporary or permanent, depending on the condition, but that will be for your healthcare practitioner to determine.

Having an ostomy is not at all uncommon, and although it may seem like you're going through this alone, you are among thousands who live as ostomates all over the world. In fact, in the United States alone, it's estimated that as many as 750,000 people have an ostomy.

number of ostomates living in the usa


Will Others Be Able to Tell That I Have an Ostomy?

Although having an ostomy is nothing to be ashamed of, we understand that it may feel embarrassing or uncomfortable at first as you adjust to your new life as an ostomate. But with the proper supplies that fit you well, no one will be able to see that you have an ostomy. It's completely up to you how, when, and if you tell others about your surgery, but there are plenty of supplies and accessories, including clothing options, that can help you feel clean and secure, no matter whether you're in public, at home, being active or even swimming.

Many of the pouches we carry feature charcoal filters to release any gas without build-up or odor. These also often have comfortable cloth-like panels which are specifically designed to stay quiet and discreet beneath your clothes. Depending on what type of ostomy you have, your doctor may have recommendations for the best type of system for your needs, and our Ostomy Specialists can also work with you to discover what may best suit your needs and preferences.


Will I Be Able to Lead a Normal Life After an Ostomy?

swimming with an ostomyYou can absolutely lead a normal life after having an ostomy procedure. There will, of course, be an adjustment period as your body heals post-surgery. Learning how to apply and remove your pouching system can also take a little time to figure out exactly works best for you, based on the recommendations and schedule as given by your doctor, but before you know it, you'll be a pro. 

As far as other adjustments to your lifestyle, such as your diet, that will be an individual recommendation from your doctor, since each body is unique. You may find that certain foods affect your digestive system differently, or your doctor may have some tips on the type and amounts of fluids to drink as well. For the most part, you can probably resume your normal diet once you're given the okay from your doctor.

Many people who live a more active lifestyle wonder if they'll be able to stay active after their ostomy procedure. This, again, will be on a case-by-case basis, and your doctor will be able to discuss this with you in more detail, but typically, you can get back to your exercise routine or favorite activities when and if your doctor approves. It's possible you may be advised to stay away from full-contact or rough sports, but you should be able to run, swim, and even lift weights once you're healed after an ostomy. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor. 

Also, once your doctor gives you the okay, you can go back to work or school after healing from your ostomy procedure. If you work a manual labor job, you may have to make some adjustments or speak with your employer about changing your tasks. For many people, getting back to their normal daily routine or work schedule is a great step to feeling more confident and assured that life will not be so different with an ostomy, after all. 


Do you need ostomy supplies? We're here to help!
At 180 Medical, we have a variety of ostomy products, including barriers, pouches, and other accessories to ensure you have everything you need. Contact us to speak with a trained Ostomy Specialist who is ready to lend you a compassionate ear and help you find the right ostomy supplies for you.

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Four Things You Should Know About Diverticulitis

by Jessica March 15 2017 10:31
4 things to know about diverticulitis

If you are a UFC fan, you might remember a few years back how Brock Lesnar had to withdraw from the sport because of complications from a disease called diverticulitis. Although Lesnar did get better and is currently performing in the WWE, he was on the sidelines for a while. During that time, he lost a lot of weight and strength, and he had surgery to remove a foot of his colon. 

Diverticulitis often affects older individuals, but not always. There are various treatment options available, depending on the severity of the condition and health of the patient.

Here are several other things to know about diverticulitis:

What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a sometimes painful condition that features the presence of small pouches or sacs in the colon called diverticula. Diverticula form on weak spots along the wall of the colon, although they can form on other parts of the body as well. This is called diverticulosis, and most people who have this condition experience no symptoms. Diverticulosis can be relatively harmless, unless the diverticula become infected or break open. This then becomes diverticulitis. 

What Causes Diverticulitis?

It's not currently known why diverticula can become inflamed for sure, but we do know that diverticula often form due to a low-fiber, red-meat-heavy diet. A low-fiber diet causes constipation, which forces an individual to strain when emptying their bowels. In Lesnar's case, painkillers from his days as a wrestler and fighter may have also been a factor, as those can cause constipation as well.

What Are the Symptoms?

It depends on the severity of the condition. In its most mild form, diverticulitis may cause no symptoms. In the most extreme cases, it can be quite painful and require surgery.

Symptoms may include:
  • Pain, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Cramping

Are There Treatments Available for Diverticulitis? 

high fiber diet for diverticulitisDiverticulitis can be treated, but it depends on the severity of the condition and how long the symptoms have been present. Treatment usually includes eliminating certain foods and adding more fiber to one's diet. Medication may also be part of the treatment plan, such as anti-inflammation drugs, steroids, and/or antibiotics.

Someone living with diverticulitis may also be asked to go on a liquid diet for a few days. If it becomes severe enough, one may have to undergo surgery to remove the affected part of the colon.

There's no question that diverticulitis can be life-changing, but it is possible to live a normal life with a few modifications. 

If you have had an ostomy procedure as part of your diverticulitis treatment, our Ostomy Specialists are ready to help you find the products you need to make the transition easier. In addition to ostomy supplies, 180 Medical is proud to offer affordable catheter supplies and products too. Contact us today at 1-877-688-2729.


180 medical ostomy showcase

Ostomy Product Highlight: Eakin Cohesive Seals

by Jessica January 19 2017 21:12
ostomy product highlight eakin cohesive seals
Are you interested in keeping up-to-date on the available catheter and ostomy supplies available on the market today? At 180 Medical, we believe that educating and informing customers is a great way to make sure you know all of your options, so we love to share the scoop on what makes some of the many products we carry so great. Today, find out a little more about a product just for ostomates: Eakin Cohesive® Seals.

What Are Eakin Cohesive® Seals?

If you ever find yourself having issues with leakage around your stoma with your normal skin barriers, this product might be a good option for you!

These moldable, moisture-absorbing rings can be manipulated into a various shapes to accommodate for just about any size of stoma. The Eakin seals may be a great addition to your ostomy pouching system, because they act as a sort of putty to fill in any possible gaps between your skin surrounding the stoma and your pouch, thereby reducing the possibility of embarrassing leaks from your ostomy system.  

What Are Some of the Features?

Eakin Seals with Cohesive® technology offer a variety of helpful benefits and have some unique features you may want to know about, including:
  • Moldable to the precise fit of your unique stoma
  • Prevents leaks and offers skin protection
  • Absorbs more moisture than other stoma seal*
  • Alcohol-free (so it won't sting your skin)
  • Resistant to fungal growth
  • Increased wear-time
  • Very skin-friendly, even for those with sensitive or already damaged skin
  • Resistant to drying out
  • Does not lose its stickiness -- in fact, the more you handle it, the better
  • Does not expire
  • May be broken or cut and rejoined to fit around more difficult sites
  • Forms a gel that protects the skin
  • Can be used with all skin barriers and pouching systems
  • Especially great for those with flush or retracted stomas
  • Suitable for all types of ostomies, including an ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy

What Are the Size Options?

The Eakin seals come in four main varieties, as shown below. You can also contact one of our Ostomy Specialists to help you determine the right size for your individual needs.

eakin cohesive seal sizing chart

How Do You Use Eakin Cohesive® Seals?



You can also find helpful step-by-step instructions here.

To try a sample or to find out more about this great product, give us a call to speak with one of our highly trained Ostomy Specialists, who will be happy to help you with finding the right ostomy supplies for your needs as well as verify your insurance to determine how the Eakin Cohesive® Seals are covered on your policy.

ostomy product showcase
*"Effect of a long life ostomy seal on faecal enzyme activity" by Dr Grace McGroggan, TG Eakin Ltd and Dr Lorraine Martin, Queens University, Belfast


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. 

 

Steps to Receiving Your Ostomy Supplies

by Jessica January 6 2017 12:40
steps to receiving your ostomy supplies


When you've just had an ostomy surgery, whether for a urostomy, colostomy, or ileostomy, the last thing you may want to spend time on is searching for what ostomy supplies you need.

Especially for newer ostomates, the process of figuring out the type of ostomy products and accessories you might need for dressing and pouching your stoma can be a challenge when there are so many product options on the market today.

180 Medical and our team of caring and extensively trained Ostomy Specialists is here to help you navigate the maze to find the right ostomy supplies for your individual needs, whether you're new to having an ostomy or have been wearing your ostomy appliances for years. 


180 medical ostomy product experts specialists



Sizing It Right

The most important factor in finding the best fit is getting the size right for your stoma first. There is no one-size-fits-all option for stomas, since they vary so much from person to person, so finding out how big around your stoma is and far it protrudes (if at all) is the main key to identifying the right size for your ostomy supplies, particularly skin barriers and one-piece systems, since these will attach to your skin directly over the stoma. Getting the right fit is especially important, since this will help keep you more comfortable while lessening risk of leakage or skin irritation.

Once you know your stoma measurement, the best way to know how your ostomy appliance works for you is to try it out and wear it for a few days. 

One thing to keep in mind is that, after your surgery, your stoma size could shift in the first 8-12 weeks, especially, as it begins to heal post-surgery, so your first measurement may change over time. 

If you don't have an exact measurement ready, take a coin and use that as a comparison for your stoma size as a close estimate. For instance, a stoma about the size of a dime will be a lot different and require a different wafer size than a stoma the size of a quarter.  


Finding the Right Products for You

Aside from your stoma size, you may be asked some additional questions such as the skin condition around the stoma, the shape of the abdomen, and a few other factors which will help your ostomy specialist figure out the best fit for you, together with you and any recommendations or requirements made by your prescribing healthcare provider. 

Additional considerations in finding the right products for you may include your lifestyle and any personal preferences, skin sensitivities, etc. There are many different choices of products, but we're here to help you navigate through the options, including whether a one-piece or two-piece system will be best for you, as well as any additional products such as prep wipes or adhesive remover wipes, lubricating or deodorizing drops for your pouch, and more.


examples of ostomy pouch types



Verifying Your Insurance

The rest of the information we need to get your order started is simple demographic information, your surgery type (colostomy, ileostomy, and/or urostomy), as well as your doctor's name and insurance information so we can verify your coverage for your needed supplies.

Once we go over the basics such as your out-of-pocket cost (if any), review your order details, and any other questions or concerns you might have, you can sit back and relax while 180 Medical does the heavy lifting for you!

couple in hammock We handle getting any documentation and prescription information that your insurance might require.


Getting Your First Shipment

Once everything else has been done, our shipping specialists pack your supplies with care in our warehouse and ship them right to your front door for free in discreet packaging.

You can rest easy knowing you don't have to go to a pharmacy to pick up the supplies yourself, and we bill your insurance for your order with NO upfront costs. 


Additional Benefits of Choosing 180 Medical for Your Ostomy Needs

There are many other advantages of working with ostomy product experts like 180 Medical. When you contact us, you will be put in touch with an ostomy product specialist who can help determine the right options based on your preferences, size, and any other requirements. We offer top quality supplies from one of the world's premier ostomy appliance manufacturers, ConvaTec. We can even send some samples for you to try out before placing an order so you can know how a product works for you before you place your order. In addition, we work closely with a team of ostomy nurses who can assist with any medical questions, so you can rest easy knowing that help is only a phone call away.

At 180 Medical, we have closed and disposable pouches, along with a wide array of wafers and barriers, adhesive removers, belts, and plenty of other high-quality ostomy products and accessories to choose from.

If you have any questions or if you would like to receive a ConvaTec free sample, contact us today


ostomy catalog footer

lindsey g
Lindsey has worked for 180 Medical for 2 and a half years. She is a Level III Ostomy Specialist. Her favorite thing about 180 Medical is how all of her co-workers are so compassionate and truly want to help others every day.

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Marina

by Jessica December 22 2016 12:38
Earlier in the year, we were finally able to announce the names of this year's 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients after much deliberation. It was difficult to narrow it down to only seven recipients, because there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are truly honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

We will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured MacyJared, TiffanySpencerMaria, and Nicole. Today, meet the last of our 2016 recipients, Marina!

marina 180 medical college scholarship recipient 2016

Marina is no stranger to a challenge. She was born with a host of medical issues, including a neurogenic bladder and a chronic illness, and when she wasn't at the hospital or at home dealing with the setbacks of her condition, she also had to deal with some discrimination in school. But through it all, she has maintained a level of positive thinking and inner strength that is truly inspiring. She states, "I decided at a very early age that I would not let this setback define who I was, but rather who I will become."

In addition to working hard to keep a high GPA and maintaining her status on the Honor Roll, she also participates in extreme snowboarding, kickboxing, running, and volunteering however she can in her community. She is also always open to helping out a peer or another adolescent with advice and support before and after their surgeries. 

marina 180 medical 2016 college scholarship recipient snowboarding

Thanks to her experience, both of living with her conditions and in helping others, she feels she has discovered her core characteristics and her true ambitions -- to become a nurse. "In addition to a solid education, experience goes a long way towards creating our best and most compassionate nurses," Marina says, and we're sure that her experiences will lead her to be a truly great nurse! 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

180 medical college scholarship application 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. 

 

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Nicole

by Jessica December 9 2016 19:53
Earlier in the year, we were finally able to announce the names of this year's 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients after much deliberation. It was difficult to narrow it down to only seven recipients, because there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are truly honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

We will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured MacyJared, TiffanySpencer, and Maria. This week, meet Nicole!

nicole m 2016 180 medical scholarship recipient quote

Nicole is an inspiring young woman who has been through many surgeries and hospital stays due to complication with a rare disease known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Despite all of this, focusing on her education was her top priority. Although she felt that her condition and the outcome of various surgeries were out of her control, her grades and her drive to succeed were both something she could absolutely control.

Thanks to ileostomy surgery, she is living a happy, healthy life again. Not only is she dedicated to helping others, she offers support and enjoys educating others about living with an ostomy on her own YouTube channel. She also loves to spend time volunteering as a counselor and nurse aid at Youth Rally, which is a great camp for kids and adolescents who have conditions of the bowel and/or bladder that offers motivational and education sessions and opportunities. She has also mentored young girls as a counselor at GIRLS Academy. Now, her focus continues with her schooling as she works toward earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing. 
nicole m 2016 scholarship recipient
Because of her first-hand experiences with illness, surgeries, and recovery, as well as her involvement in offering advice and support to others living with an ostomy, we're sure that Nicole will be an excellent nurse, and we wish her the best of luck as she continues on with her schooling. 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

180 medical college scholarship application 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. 

 

What Are the Differences Between IBS and IBD?

by Jessica September 16 2015 19:05
One of the biggest questions that those with digestive issues may have is what is the difference between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?  Although the two acronyms may look very similar, there are some major differences between the two. Both produce different symptoms and have different treatments. Therefore, it's important to speak with your doctor to find out which one you have to ensure you get the correct care to treat your particular condition. For the purposes of this blog post, we will discuss both conditions, so you can have a better idea of how they affect the body. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Of the two conditions, IBS is by far the more common. IBS is a condition that affects the large intestine. Unlike IBD, IBS does not change the bowel tissue in the body. It is a chronic condition though, and it can produce some uncomfortable symptoms such as:
  • Cramping
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • and more.
Usually, IBS is treated through changes in diet, an increased intake of fiber, and elimination of foods that cause the symptoms. There are several medications available that may be prescribed in certain situations, particularly when the symptoms are affecting an individual's lifestyle. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD is usually either or both or two specific conditions: Crohn's disease and/or ulcerative colitis. Both are conditions that can affect the small and large intestines, as well as the stomach, mouth, and anus. Basically, there is inflammation in part of or across the entire GI tract. The symptoms for IBD are generally more severe than IBS. These symptoms can include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weight loss
IBD is generally treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and immuno-suppressants, but these are sometimes not enough. If the condition does not respond to medication, an ostomy surgery may be required.


If you have an ostomy, whether that's a colostomy or an ileostomy, 180 Medical can provide the ostomy supplies you need with convenience, care, and quickness. Customer service is our number one concern, and we will do everything possible to help you find the products you need without any headaches or delays. We also work to get any documentation necessary, and we offer free shipping direct to your home. 

Contact 180 Medical today to learn more about how you can receive superior products in the most efficient manner possible. 

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5 Things to Look For in an Ostomy Supplies Provider

by Jessica June 25 2015 09:51
If you’ve had a colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy or any other form of ostomy procedure, then you need the right kind of supplies for your specific condition in order to maintain your health and well-being. But finding the provider for your supply needs can sometimes feel like you’re searching through a maze. Not all medical supply companies are equal.

ostomy supplies

Here are a few suggestions of what you should look for in an ostomy supply company:   


  1. Direct billing to your insurance. There is no reason you should have to deal with the insurance company after every purchase. Find a company with knowledgeable billing staff that specialize in third-party billing and will bill your insurance directly, meaning less paperwork, less time of the phone, and less headache for you.
  2. Respectful discretion. While having an ostomy is nothing to be ashamed about, it’s not necessarily something you want to explain more than you have to. That’s why you should be able to count on protection of your privacy by your ostomy supplies company, from discreet packaging to careful policies in who they talk to and what they disclose, especially when calling their customers.
  3. Free home delivery and well-stocked inventory. Local pharmacies may not always have the items you need readily available, plus you'll have to pick up the items yourself most of the time. When it comes to necessary medical supplies, you need a company that you can really rely upon to have the supplies you need and deliver them direct to your door.
  4. Friendly, live customer assistance. How much do you loathe automated customer service lines with long hold times and automated menus, and then when you finally speak to a representative, you’re treated like just another number? An ostomy supplies company that truly cares about their customers will not force people to talk to a robot or wade through countless menus. Instead, they’ll offer the ability to speak with a live human being during business hours right away, who can give you personalized, knowledgeable customer service.
  5. A supplier that will work with your physician. You may have been using ostomy supplies for years and know exactly what you need. Or you may be new to this and unsure which supply type is the best choice for you, due to the wide variety of ostomy supplies. Look for a company that will work with you and your physician directly to obtain any necessary prescriptions for your supplies and figure out what works best for your needs.  

 180 Medical has provided superior service and quality catheter and ostomy supplies to customers for years. Give us a call or contact us on live chat to see why so many choose and stay with us for their much-needed supplies.

What's Next After Your Ostomy Surgery?

by Jessica January 27 2015 10:47
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?

support groupAccording 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.   

online ostomy product showcase

Common Myths About Living With an Ostomy

by Jessica December 16 2014 09:54
There are hundreds of thousands of individuals around us who have experienced an ostomy surgery (which is a surgical procedure that involves re-routing the flow of body waste from the bladder, small intestine or colon/large intestine through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma). This is done when injury or disease renders the digestive or urinary system incapable of safely processing waste in the usual manner from the body. Common causes include injury, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease, chronic inflammation of the bladder, and more.

However, given the procedure, many might have some misconceptions of what an ostomy surgery is and how having an ostomy can affect an individual's daily life. For this reason, we thought it could be beneficial to address a few of the more common myths about living with an ostomy to help the public better understand that there is life after the procedure.


Ostomy Myth 1: People will know that I have an ostomy.

Today’s ostomy systems are designed to be as discreet as possible under clothing, so most people will not have a clue unless you tell them. 


Ostomy Myth 2: I will not be able to exercise.

yoga exercise with an ostomyAlthough the Cleveland Clinic recommends that you forgo the heavy lifting for the first couple of months, regular exercise is possible and encouraged. 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.  


intimacy with an ostomy

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 the nature of your surgery, but there may be no need for huge overhauls. For instance, if you have a colostomy, you may want to avoid foods that produce excess gas such as beans or cabbage, or if you have an ileostomy, you might be advised to avoid 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.



180 Medical offers a variety of high-quality colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy supplies to help you adjust to life with your new procedure. Contact us today to learn more about our ostomy products, billing information and more. 

ostomy supplies 180 medical banner

5 FAQs About Ostomy

by Micah August 29 2014 15:20
New to the world of ostomy supplies? We understand the difficulties you may have with finding the right products for your individual needs, so with this post, we aim to clear up any confusion and answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get regarding ostomies.

What is an ostomy?

ostomy example
An ostomy is the surgical creation of an artificial opening, known as a stoma, which diverts the flow of bodily waste for medical reasons. 

There are three different kinds of ostomies, depending on where and how the surgeon creates the opening:

  • Colostomy (from the colon to divert the flow of formed stool)
  • Ileostomy (from the ileum, or small intestine, to divert the flow of loose stool)
  • Urostomy (from the urinary system to divert the flow of urine)

What ostomy supplies are available?

Each type of ostomy requires its own types of products due to the varying consistencies and types of output. For instance, a urostomy pouch with a valve and drain would not work for a colostomy output of formed stool). There are also a lot of options out there, which can feel overwhelming, especially at first while you're trying to figure out what works best for you.

Let's simplify it by looking at the two main pouching system types:

  • Two-piece systems have a separate skin barrier (wafer) that adheres to the skin. The pouch, which collects the waste, can be attached and detached without removing the barrier. One of the benefits of using a two-piece system is that it may be a little easier on your skin, since you can change the pouch several times without removing the adhesive barrier from your skin.
  • One-piece systems are all-in-one units. Each time you need to change your pouch, the entire system, including the skin barrier, is removed. Some people find these more convenient, since it involves fewer steps and parts than the two-piece option.
ConvaTec offers top-quality options in both types of systems for each type of ostomy, and we can work with you to determine what will work best for your needs and preferences.

ostomy showcase

How do I know which ostomy products are right for me?

With the guidance of your prescribing healthcare professional, you can find the right regimen and basic product types that will work best for your particular situation.

No one product or system works for everyone, since each situation and body type is different and unique. For instance, stoma size and protrusion, skin condition, ostomy type, and personal preferences will all need to be taken into consideration when determining the right products for you.

coupleAt 180 Medical, we're knowledgeable about the newest ostomy supplies available as well as the tried-and-true products that have stood the test of time. Our Ostomy Specialists can help evaluate your options and even give you a few samples to try so you can be confident about what items you will receive before you place the full order. 

What if I have problems with my ostomy supplies?

It's completely normal for your product needs to change over time, especially while you're still healing after a recent ostomy surgery. Body size and shape could change, your stoma could settle, and more. So occasionally, you may find yourself needing to update the size or shape of your products. 
If you notice that your system isn't working the way it should for you (not fitting correctly, leaking, causing skin irritation), you may want to discuss this issue with a professional. At 180 Medical, we have direct access to a team of trained WOC (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence) nurses who can help with any questions you may have. Give us a call, and we'll get you connected. Often, the solution is simple, and an easy size change or accessory addition to your regimen may solve your problem.

How do I start getting ostomy supplies?

Just give us a call or contact us online via Live Chat today. We can send you regular orders every 30 or 90 days (1 month or 3 month orders) to ensure that you always have the products you need on hand. You can have confidence that you won't run out of supplies, plus you will have an easy contact available during our business hours with a trained Ostomy Specialist. 

Give us a call at 1-877-688-2729 to get started, and we'll take care of your ostomy supply needs so you can get back to living the life you love.


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eakin cohesive seals product highlight
 Ostomy Product Highlight:
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Beat the Heat with our Summer Tips for Ostomies

by Jessica July 23 2014 11:58
Summer is almost officially here! For many people, that means vacation plans, fun outdoor activities, swimming, biking, hiking, and more.

However, for those new to living with an ostomy, it may feel like a time to dread summer heat and all the water activities that often go with the season. But there's no need to count yourself out of fun in the sun! With a few precautions and tweaks to your ostomy routine, you should still be able to join in on summer activities with your friends and family.

If you have recently had surgery, please check with your doctor before engaging in strenuous activity. For medical advice, please consult with a medical professional, such as an Ostomy Nurse or your treating physician.

ostomy tips summer



Splish Splash: Dipping Into the Water with Your Ostomy

If you want to participate in water sports like swimming or water-skiing, but you're worried that your ostomy pouch could loosen or fall off, remember that many people with ostomies are able to enjoy the same activities now as they were before their surgeries.

The majority of ostomy appliances have water-resistant adhesives that should seal well. This is helpful not only for showering, bathing, and normal sweating of the skin, but it should also keep water from affecting the seal during swimming.

Concerned about concealing your pouch OstomySecrets swim wrapso you can go swimming with your friends and family? Ostomysecrets.com has unisex swim wraps in various colors to go beneath your swimsuit for comfortable support for your ostomy pouch, swim bottoms for women, and swim trunks and board shorts for men. They also offer swim bottoms for women, although you can also wear a one-piece or even a tankini to help support the pouch. For men, simply wearing that inner support garment (such as the above mentioned unisex swim wraps) will help to keep the pouch supported and concealed, although you may also feel comfortable wearing a t-shirt with your swim trunks, depending on how high up on your abdomen your stoma is placed.


Don't Sweat It!

With increasing temperatures, you may find you perspire more than usual, but ostomy pouches are designed to stay sealed to the skin and stay intact for up to a few days at a time, even with the typical daily moisture such as normal showers, baths, and sweating. Finally after a few days, the seal will start to loosen.

On average, people tend to change their skin barriers every few days and reapply, but this will depend on your individual needs, rate of usage, and the type of ostomy appliances you use.

180 medical convatec ostomy pouch Most ostomy appliances come equipped with a water-resistant adhesive that should seal quite well. However, if you're having difficulties keeping your pouch sealed to your skin, there are special adhesives available that create a stronger seal than usual.

Convatec also has a full line of extended wear products such skin barriers and various one-piece and two-piece ostomy pouches specifically created for those with an active lifestyle.

If you've been changing your pouch more often and the skin surrounding your stoma has become more irritated (redness, chafing, bumps, etc.), you may want to look into a powder to absorb perspiration.

As always, please consult with your treating physician or an Ostomy Nurse for specific care if you find skin irritation, rash, or discoloration around your stoma.

Remember, on hot sunny days, it doesn't take long for the temperature inside your car to soar, so be sure not to leave your ostomy products and other medical supplies in the vehicle.

stay hydrated 180 medical

With the right products and information, summer fun could still be an option for you, even with a colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy.

Stay tuned to our blog for future product news, informative articles, and fun rundowns of recent company events at 180 Medical!

*Swim Wrap picture credit: www.ostomysecrets.com


180 medical jessAbout the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing and Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

What Sets 180 Medical's Ostomy Services Apart From the Rest

by admin June 17 2014 10:04
Maybe you've been searching for the right provider for your ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy supplies, and you want to know a little more about 180 Medical and what we do. Before you take a look at the rest of our website and blog, check out this great article written by one of our Ostomy Specialists, Heather.

heather ostomy specialist

180 Medical was founded over 10 years ago with the ultimate goal of helping turn people’s lives around by supplying the products that could make a difference in the quality of their lives. It has also been our mission to provide education, unparalleled service, and a wide variety of the top brands and products that allow our customers to get exactly what they want and need.

When we began to provide ostomy supplies, we made it our goal to give this same great level of service to those in need of ostomy equipment.

Here is what we’ve done to make sure you receive the superior care you deserve!

We are Ostomy Specialists.

Each Ostomy Specialist goes through rigorous initial training on the various ostomy types and the current products available, so when you call 180 Medical, you can be confident you aren't talking to just an order-taker. We continue to receive additional training to make sure we are up-to-date on the newest products and technology. This enables us to make sure you get the best product available for your needs and to help you work through any issues you may have to achieve the best results.

We Focus on Compassion.

We understand thatthese supplies are vital to maintain your desired quality of life, and we do everything within our power to make the whole process easier for you. When you call us on the phone during business hours, there is no hassle of confusing automated menu options or long wait times. You'll speak to a live receptionist who will then direct you to one of our available specialists.

Here at 180 Medical, we make it a point to hire compassionate people who love what they do and care about others, so you know that each time you call to speak with us, you're talking to someone who not only cares about how you are doing but is also ready to listen and help you.

ostomy testimonial 180 medical

We Work with Your Insurance.

We understand that sometimes insurance coverage can be confusing, and you may not know how your plan covers your supplies when you call us the first time. You can rest easy, knowing that we will verify your benefits and then give you a detailed explanation on how your insurance covers your needed supplies. In addition, we handle getting any necessary documentation and prescription from your doctor's office, and we bill your insurance, so you don't have to worry!

We Have a Direct Connection with Ostomy Nurses.

Because we believe in supplying the very best products to you, we specialize in ConvaTec ostomy supplies. ConvaTec is a global medical products and technologies company that is dedicated to producing top-quality products. Since we are a preferred provider, we work closely with them to make sure you get the best care and products possible. Due to this relationship with ConvaTec, we experience a smaller number of back-orders and have access to their full line of ostomy products, including the latest and greatest!

If you are having any problems (such as skin irritation, etc.) or having trouble getting your ostomy supplies to stay on, we have the ability to get you in direct contact to a certified Ostomy Nurse that can partner with you to explore all of your options to achieve the best results possible. We work with these nurses on a daily basis and they share our same passion for taking care of you!


These are just a few of the reasons why 180 Medical is one of the fastest-growing medical supplies companies in the nation. Contact us today to find out why so many are choosing and sticking with 180 Medical for all of their ostomy needs!

180 Medical Ostomy supplies