Ostomy surgery results in a permanent or temporary opening in the abdomen. This opening is known as a stoma. A stoma is an excretory point that helps individuals get rid of bodily wastes after their lower intestinal tracts fail to perform their functions or are surgically removed. An ostomy created on the urinary tract bypasses the bladder.
Two intestinal ostomies are colostomy and ileostomy, while the urinary ostomy is a urostomy.
Most bowel cancer patients get a temporary ileostomy or colostomy. They get that ostomy reversed after the completion of cancer treatment. Some people, however, need a permanent ostomy. A urostomy is almost always permanent.
Living with an ostomy
Whether temporary or permanent, your ostomy will have some life-changing impact on your life. The good thing is that modern-day ostomy products are more comfortable than ever.
You can choose from a wide range of ostomy care products, depending on your needs and preferences. Sometimes, making this selection can be a tough ask. In such a scenario, you can contact an ostomy care nurse and discuss your options.
Clothes: An ostomy doesn’t stop you from wearing the type of clothes a person without an ostomy can wear. Modern-day ostomy pouches are discreet and blend in with various kinds of clothes. You can also purchase specialized clothes for your ostomy.
Activities: You can engage in your favorite physical activities after ostomy surgery. You can play sports unless they are harmful to your stoma. You will be concerned about the seal of the ostomy pouch getting affected by sweating. The good news is that ostomy pouches available today are more leak-proof than ever.
Bathing: You can take a shower or go to the swimming pool with your ostomy pouch on or off. If you want to engage in any water activity without removing your ostomy pouch, you may need to wear a specialized product. You can speak to your ostomy care nurse to get the correct suggestion. If you take a shower with your ostomy pouch off, make sure to clean and dry the skin around your stoma before wearing an ostomy bag.
Diet: Whether you have a colostomy or ileostomy, you will not be able to control when gas or stool moves into your ostomy pouch. The amount of gas and stool will depend significantly on what you eat and drink. That is why it is necessary to avoid any foods that cause excess gas, diarrhea, constipation, and other painful abdominal problems. Moreover, be sure to stay hydrated to ensure a smoother movement of bodily wastes across your digestive and urinary tract.
Medications: Medicines that take some time to absorb in your body may not do well with your ostomy. You will have a problem benefiting from your medication, particularly when you have an ileostomy. That is why your doctor will recommend liquid medications instead of pills.
You will have to be mindful of medicines that may affect the frequency of your bowel movement. More specifically, you will have to be careful while using antibiotics and antacids.
If you face any problem with your ostomy care regimen, you can contact an ostomy care nurse. You can also join an ostomy support group to learn more about how to live with an ostomy.