OstomyLife Community

Educate Yourself About Ostomies

OstomyLife Co-Moderator
03/12/19  3:34 PM PST
About Ostomies

Whether you have an ostomy, are considering surgery in the future, or know someone with one, it is important to educate yourself about ostomies. Many people do not want to undergo ostomy surgery, but often the reason people are put off by surgery is the stigma – and the myths – associated with them. One such myth is that people cannot do everything they could before surgery, like swim. These myths, though, are just that: myths. Educating yourself can help you understand what life with an ostomy is really like. If you are an ostomate or are considering ostomy surgery, education is more than information; it’s an important form of self-care.

You may be wondering exactly what an ostomy is or why a person may need one. Usually when people say “ostomy” they really mean “stoma” — an opening that diverts urine and/or feces through an opening to the outside of a person’s abdomen. A person may need one for many reasons and there are several different types of ostomies: colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy. Familiarizing yourself with basic gastrointestinal anatomy is also helpful for understanding ostomies.

Once faced with ostomy surgery, or living with a stoma, several concerns people may have include leaks, noise, how to dress, travel, dating, and more. All of these issues are addressed by Laura Cox, Shield HealthCare’s Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist, along with others in our OstomyLife Community, in several articles and videos available on this website. Many people fear life after ostomy surgery and they have every right to. Laura covers this topic in an article (and video) where she discusses things she wish she’d known before ostomy surgery.

Making the decision to undergo ostomy surgery is incredibly difficult. In an interview from the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Conference in Philadelphia, ostomy panelists discuss this decision and how they came to the conclusion to undergo ostomy surgery.

The following links should help you understand what an ostomy is, what life with an ostomy is like, and whether or not this is the right decision for you. For more information, feel free to browse the other articles available on Shield HealthCare’s OstomyLife site.

Serving Medicare Ostomates Nationwide
Dear Laura, I wear a two piece ostomy bag. I need help with concealing an ostomy bag. When I move around my shirt hikes up and the tip of the bag peeks out from under my shirt.
Hi Tom, I have a few suggestions that may help!
First, I'm wondering if a stealth belt would be a good option for you. This is a black belt that you can conveniently tuck your pouch...


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