The Emotional Journey of Living with an Ostomy

Living with an ostomy can be a life-altering experience. For those who have undergone ostomy surgery, the physical changes can be challenging to navigate, but the emotional journey is equally significant. At Fortis Medical Products, we understand that it's not just about supplying quality ostomy products and accessories; it's about providing support for the emotional aspect of living with an ostomy.

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

The emotional journey of living with an ostomy can vary widely from person to person. For some, it may involve a period of shock, grief, or even anxiety before acceptance sets in. For others, the emotional struggle may persist for an extended period. It's essential to remember that every individual's experience is unique.

The Initial Adjustment

After ostomy surgery, the immediate concern for many patients is how the ostomy will affect their appearance and self-image. Feelings of self-consciousness and fear of judgment from others are common. It's crucial to remember that these emotions are natural and may lessen over time as you become more comfortable with your ostomy.

Acceptance and Empowerment

As time passes, many ostomates find themselves adjusting to their new way of life. They start to appreciate the benefits of their ostomy, such as improved health and a greater sense of freedom. With the right support and resources, ostomates can reclaim their self-esteem and confidence.

The Role of Support

The emotional journey of living with an ostomy can be made more manageable with the support of friends, family, and healthcare professionals. Support groups and online communities can also provide a safe space for ostomates to share their experiences, ask questions, and offer encouragement to one another.

Caring for Your Emotional Well-being

Caring for your emotional well-being is just as important as tending to the physical aspects of your ostomy. Seek out a mental health professional if you're struggling with persistent anxiety, depression, or other emotional challenges. Remember that you are not alone, and many people have successfully navigated the emotional journey of living with an ostomy.

At Fortis Medical Products, we're here to support you on every step of your journey as you adjust to life with an ostomy. While the emotional journey can be challenging, it can also be a path to empowerment, self-acceptance, and a renewed sense of well-being. Remember, you're not alone, and we're here to provide you with the ostomy products, information, and support you need to live life to the fullest.

Avoid Ostomy Skin Irritations with Hypoallergenic Supplies

Skin irritation is a top concern for ostomy patients, given the extra sensitive area around the stoma. It’s a location that can become vulnerable to bumps, rashes, or even bleeding if you aren’t careful. We’d like to go over some of these common skin irritations and offer suggestions to prevent or minimize further trouble.

Various Skin Irritations You May Encounter

Red & Pimply Skin - You may notice a rash with small pimples and pustules developing around the stoma location. This is often a sign of hair follicle infection. It may occur after tearing off the pouch adhesive plate too quickly, or also from improper shaving. You would want to make sure you’re applying and removing pouches slowly, and if razor shaving is the culprit, then consider switching to scissors.

Wet & Bumpy Skin - Here’s another type of rash, which might also involve an infection. Diabetic patients may be more prone to this problem. These happen more often in darker locations and can become a breeding ground for fungal infections. It’s essential to keep the skin around the stoma clean and dry to avoid this problem.

Skin Bleeding - Although the stoma tissue bleeds somewhat easily, and isn’t always a cause for alarm, it shouldn’t be excessive. If it is, you may have a contact reaction, which could require medical intervention. 

Allergic Reactions - This is a rare problem because you should use hypoallergenic materials for everything you do around your stoma. If you are having trouble, then it’s essential to evaluate what might be causing the reaction, and find substitute supplies. Don’t forget to investigate all the wipes, body soaps, and anything else you use for sanitary purposes anywhere near the stoma.

Other Common Skin Issues

Sometimes skin irritation is a function of having the wrong fit for your ostomy pouches. If you struggle with leaks and irritation, this could be the cause. That’s why our Entrust brand of drainable pouches, and all our other supplies, comes in several sizes to facilitate a proper fit. 

Finally, skin irritation can happen if the adhesive material (holding your pouch system to your skin) degrades, and leaves you with much more friction. That’s an important thing to check as soon as you notice pain or discomfort.

If you’ve had any other skin irritations that you don’t recognize here, then don’t hesitate to contact your physician for further guidance.

We hope you found this helpful and will consider the hypoallergenic ostomy supplies we make at Fortis Medical Products. Our pouches, wafers, and other materials offer you the best chance to avoid skin trouble and resume a comfortable and normal life after an ostomy procedure.

Contact us anytime to learn more about ostomy supplies, including appropriate sizes and application instructions, by calling 855-550-2600.

Celebrate the Holidays with Comfort: Navigating Ostomy Life with Fortis

The upcoming holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and spending quality moments with loved ones. However, for individuals living with an ostomy, it can also bring a unique set of challenges. The good news is that with the right products and accessories from Fortis Medical Products, you can enjoy the upcoming holidays with comfort and confidence.

Choose the Right Ostomy Supplies

Fortis offers a wide range of ostomy products, including pouches, barriers, and accessories designed to suit your specific needs. Whether you have a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, Fortis has you covered. The key to comfort during the holidays starts with selecting the right supplies.

Stay Active with Discretion

During the holiday season, you may want to participate in various activities. Fortis pouches come with discreet designs, ensuring that your ostomy bag remains inconspicuous. This means you can dance, play, and engage in holiday traditions without self-consciousness.

Stay Prepared on the Go

Holiday events often mean travel and being away from home. Fortis offers compact and easy-to-carry disposal solutions, ensuring that you can change your pouch discreetly when needed. Stay prepared for any situation without disrupting the holiday fun.

Indulge in Holiday Feasts

One of the highlights of the holidays is the delicious food. You shouldn't miss out because of your ostomy. Fortis pouches are designed to be odor-resistant, allowing you to enjoy festive meals with peace of mind. Plus, our ostomy deodorant products help keep things fresh and discreet.

Relax and Enjoy

The holidays can be stressful, which can impact your digestive system. Fortis offers skin care products to protect the peristomal skin, so you can relax and enjoy the festivities without worrying about irritation or discomfort.

This holiday season, Fortis Medical Products is here to support you in living life to the fullest with comfort and confidence. Whether it's through our high-quality ostomy pouches, discreet accessories, or skincare solutions, we're committed to helping you have a memorable and enjoyable holiday season.

With Fortis by your side, you can focus on what truly matters during the holidays – creating cherished memories with family and friends. Embrace the festivities with comfort, confidence, and a smile. Happy holidays from Fortis Medical Products!

Embracing Life's Changes with an Ostomy Bag

Many patients face the possibility of undergoing either a temporary or permanent ostomy procedure to address several life-threatening conditions, including colon-rectal cancer. Once they hear about it, the first question that always arises goes something like this: “How does one live with an ostomy bag?”

So, since that’s an important concern, let’s go over the most typical lifestyle adjustments. Hopefully, this brief explanation will relieve some of the anxiety over ostomy care.

Most Important Issues While Living with an Ostomy

Dietary Choices - Nutrition is extra important for ostomates. Hydration is especially crucial for avoiding gastrointestinal trouble, and there are certain foods that will be off-limits. Those usually include beans, cabbage, seeds, nuts, anything spicy, and anything else that would contribute gas or runny output.

Clothing Fit - Wardrobe changes aren’t as necessary, but some patients prefer looser clothing to accommodate their pouches without accidentally leaving them exposed. Some ladies prefer dresses and other items over tight-fitting shirts that you would have to tuck into pants constantly. Also, the clothing variable has a lot to do with your lifestyle and exercise frequency. It will require some trial and error (the same with dieting). 

Bathing - This is a little harder with a stoma because you have to make sure everything stays dry. It’s also a bad idea to use lots of oily products around the surrounding skin because it’ll make it much more difficult to keep pouches secure.

Exercising - Even with an ostomy, it’s still very possible to continue physical labor, exercise, sexual activity, stretching, lifting, and other activities. This, of course, assumes a patient doesn’t have other disabilities or restrictions. It’s important, however, to re-engage these activities gradually after the surgery, follow the physician’s advice, and watch for anything that interferes with keeping pouches tight.

Preventing Accidents - It takes a little while to get used to the output flow when you first undergo an ostomy. The typical duration between changing pouches could be anywhere between one to four days, which requires new patients to remain alert and ready with replacement supplies (or drainable ones). Pay special attention to getting a tight seal around the pouch components to avoid leaks, which are the most common cause of accidents and odors.

Those are the basic elements of living with an ostomy. In short, it shouldn’t revolutionize your entire life, but there are some significant adjustments.

If you’d like to prepare better for ostomy-care issues, with superior supplies that are easy to use, then consider the pouches and accessories we offer at Fortis Medical Products. We manufacture the safest, hypoallergenic, and customizable selections, designed to make life easier for ostomates. Call us soon to learn more at 855-550-2600.

Stoma Creation: A Guide for Ovarian Cancer Surgery Survivors

Ovarian cancer is another serious condition, which can spread to certain components of the digestive system. Sometimes, if this happens, it could require partial or total removal of various bowels, making it necessary to divert waste in a different direction.

As you may already know, ostomy is a common way to do this by surgically reconnecting the intestines, and allowing them to exit from an abdominal stoma. We’d like to delve further into this topic, and show how this works for women who undergo treatments for ovarian cancer.

Two Types of Stoma: Colostomy & Ileostomy

The two most relevant ostomy procedures are colostomy and ileostomy, which affect the gastrointestinal tract. There’s also a third ostomy, urostomy, involving the urinary tract, but this is less typical with ovarian cancer.

Surgeons may elect to perform a Colostomy to redirect the colon (large bowel or large intestine), allowing waste to exit through an artificial stoma. Patients who undergo this method are more likely to encounter thicker discharge.

Ileostomy works similarly, but involves the ileum (small bowels or small intestine). This allows a more porridge-like discharge to exit into an ostomy pouch from the stoma. 

Will You Need a Stoma?

It’s important to remember that the surgeon must receive your consent to perform any invasive surgery, including creating a stoma. You should expect to discuss this with your medical providers well before anything happens.

If your physician recommends colostomy or ileostomy to address the spread of ovarian cancer, then you should also expect to speak with nursing staff for preparation. You would go over the positioning of the stoma (usually left side for colostomy; right side for ileostomy), and how to cope with post-surgical recovery. They should also offer training and guidance for handling ostomy care supplies.

Obviously, there is much to cover, regarding a topic like this, but we’d like to focus on the most common FAQs.

Ovarian Cancer & Stomas: FAQS

  1. Would the stoma be permanent?
    • While ostomy is permanent for some conditions, most ovarian cancer patients may only require a temporary procedure. You might have the opportunity to undergo an additional surgery to reverse the ostomy later after the cancer remits.
  2. How do you cope with the stoma?
    • Although it’s not a minor procedure, ostomy isn’t that uncommon anymore, and there are many coping strategies. This will include learning how to manage your stoma following the surgery. We’ve written a lot of material dedicated to handling pouches and making reasonable lifestyle adjustments.
  3. Will this affect what I’m allowed to eat?
    • Yes, the ostomy treatments involve some changes to how your body digests food, and that entails certain dietary precautions. Most patients would need to avoid eating anything hard to digest, including seeds, nuts, and other items that create heavy gas.

We hope this helps, but as usual, it’s impossible to cover every pertinent ostomy detail in a brief blog post. Patients should always ask their doctors questions like these before the surgery to ensure the best preparation possible.

You can also learn more about ostomy, including how to manage these conditions, by following Fortis Medical Products for future articles. Our mission is to improve the lives of ostomy patients with user-friendly, safe, and hypoallergenic ostomy supplies. If you’d like to learn more about anything we offer, or how to use them, then contact us anytime at 855-550-2600.

Strategies for Driving with an Ostomy

What are the practical implications for driving with an ostomy? This is one of several things new ostomy patients might encounter following their surgery. Since many individuals continue an active lifestyle after the procedure, it helps to know how to handle various scenarios and potential obstacles. This article will deal with the driving aspects.

The gist of driving with an ostomy, like many other matters, boils down to caution and simple preparedness. Fortunately, unless you have specific conditions that prevent doing so, it’s perfectly safe for someone with an ostomy to drive again.

Here are a few tips to remember when you get back to driving for the first time, post-ostomy surgery.

Other Lifestyle Issues Affected by Ostomy

Don’t forget that once you’ve undergone a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, there are plenty of other adjustments you’ll have to make. So, if you’re still preparing to have your surgery, then consider some of these other lifestyle issues, and think about how you’ll approach them.

Fortis Medical Products - On Your Side for Ostomy Support

None of those lifestyle factors require you to “go it alone” without help. After an ostomy procedure, you’ll have access to your doctor, nurses, dietitians, friends, and family for assistance. Plus, we’re always here to help as well.

If you’d like to know more about ostomy supplies and other important strategies, then continue to follow Fortis Medical Products for updates. We’re a Sarasota-based medical product supplier with a mission to support hospitals and patients alike with anything related to ostomy care. Contact us any time to learn more by calling 855-550-2600.

Guidance for Life After Surgery – The Top 4 Pointers for Post-Ostomy Surgery

Coping with ostomy surgery, whether for yourself or a loved one, can often feel overwhelming and stir up emotions of distress, frustration, and helplessness. Not to mention it's been proven that patients often grapple with anxiety, confusion, and uncertainty as they adjust to their new reality. 

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom, as this transition can be made easier with the right knowledge surrounding ostomy care and professional medical supplies such as those offered by Fortis Medical Products. If you’re eager to learn invaluable ostomy advice from our experts, read ahead to uncover everything we recommend.

The aftermath of an ostomy procedure can introduce unique hurdles, demanding individuals embrace a new way of life. To offer some direction, here are four valuable pointers to keep in mind as you navigate the post-surgery ostomy phase.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Ostomy Supplies

Knowledge about the diverse array of ostomy supplies, accessories, and pouches, can significantly help with your comfort and adjusting to life after receiving an ostomy procedure. Thus, educating yourself about the available options and consulting healthcare professionals to identify the most fitting supplies for your specific requirements is crucial. 

Besides learning all you can from healthcare professionals, it is beneficial to consult online resources, like instructional videos from ostomy suppliers. These videos can offer step-by-step guidance for using different ostomy products. 

Discover Your Ideal Supplies

When you’ve begun an ostomy journey, you need to realize that each individual's experience is unique – including yours. When you’ve learned all you can about the different supplies and things needed post-surgery, you need to identify supplies that you’re comfortable using. 

These medical supplies must provide adequate protection and ensure comfort and secure fitment. So experimenting with various types and brands of ostomy products is advisable until you pinpoint the one that suits you best. 

Acquaint Yourself with Your Pouching System

According to experts, developing a comprehensive understanding of your chosen pouching system is crucial to avoid complications post-surgery like infections. Typically hospitals equip ostomy patients with a particular pouching system; however, you can explore alternative products later from companies like Fortis Medical Products. 

Regardless of your product source, be it the hospital or a medical products supplier, grasping proper care techniques and recognizing potential issues or leaks is essential to ensure a smooth ostomy experience.

Embrace a Gradual Healing Approach

The immediate aftermath of ostomy surgery can trigger a whirlwind of emotions and physical adjustments. Acknowledging these feelings and allowing yourself time to adapt is crucial because achieving a successful transition to life with an ostomy bag requires patience. 

After all, the initial deluge of accessories and information related to ostomy care might appear overwhelming. Hence, simplicity becomes your ally when managing an ostomy, so establish a routine, and the rest will fall into place. 

Ultimately, as long as you prioritize the healing process post-surgery and progressively acquaint yourself with ostomy care fundamentals, you’ll likely quickly adjust to life post-surgery. 

Turn to Fortis Medical Products for Trustworthy Post-Surgery Ostomy Guidance

Fortis Medical Products is a dependable ostomy resource, offering reliable advice and essential supplies for the post-surgery ostomy journey. We can provide invaluable guidance and the required products throughout the post-surgery process. Contact us today by calling 855-550-2600 and learn how we can help. 

Advice for Ostomy Pouch Changing in a Public Restroom

Part of adjusting to life with an ostomy involves troubleshooting the unexpected difficulties you may encounter away from home. While most ostomy patients would prefer to change or drain pouches before going places, sometimes one’s digestive system has other ideas. Plus, it’s nice to be adaptable to various circumstances.

We’d like to go over some tips for what to do whenever you must change your ostomy pouch in a public restroom.

Organize All Your Supplies at Home First

The initial step to emergency preparedness involves creating an organized inventory of all your supplies. Here’s where you ensure you have all the essentials: the pouch or pouch system, wafers/barriers, deodorizers, stoma paste, sanitary wipes, and anything else you use. Obviously, if you don’t have enough at home, then you can expect to have greater trouble in public.

Pack Extra Items for Traveling - The next tip is to select a decent-size duffle bag, purse, or something with pockets. This is where you’ll store some extra pouches and accessories . . . just in case of an emergency. Don’t leave home without two or three backups for everything.

Changing a Drainable Ostomy Pouch - Some patients prefer either to sit down or lean over a toilet as they drain their pouches. The key is to take your time and keep your balance carefully. Once you’re finished draining it, always use toilet paper or sanitary wipes to clean around the pouch opening. Then, double check to see if you have it on tightly before leaving. 

Closed-End Ostomy Pouches - This approach could be much easier for patients since closed-end pouches don’t require balancing while draining. We recommend simply removing and swapping a new pouch once it’s about three-quarters full. Here, you would keep the same wafer, attach a new pouch, and sanitize/deodorize as necessary. Of course, unlike drainable pouches, this method requires you to have some type of disposable bag ready to handle the used pouch. 

Changing the Entire Pouch System - Perhaps this is the most complicated approach, but if you’re used to changing the entire pouch system at home, then it’s not much different in public. However, we would recommend having pre-cut pouches ready beforehand. The logistics of trying to cut, manipulate, and change them in a cramped bathroom stall may not be enjoyable. Plus, if you're still new to ostomy management, try the other methods until you get the hang of life with an ostomy.

Follow those basic tips and you should be much better prepared for pouch-related emergencies. Finally, remember that you may not have much of a choice of restroom location, so keep that in mind when you assemble your gear. It also wouldn’t hurt to practice changing in a public restroom before you have to do it.

You can also learn much more about these pouch systems and accessories by exploring our website. Fortis Medical Products makes safe, effective, and easy-to-change ostomy supplies for colostomy, urostomy, and ileostomy patients. If you’d like to ask specific questions about selecting or changing pouches, call our Sarasota location anytime at 855-550-2600.

Summer Travel Tips for Ostomy Patients

Are you ready to drive, fly, walk, and run all over the country this summer?

This is still attainable for many ostomy patients, provided you prepare for certain traveling bottlenecks. Fortunately, we’ve met many ostomates who’ve returned to living the same active lifestyle as prior to their surgery after learning how to make some simple adjustments.

What are the most effective ways to prepare?

Check out these tips for traveling with an ostomy in the summer to learn more.

Construct a Supply Checklist (and Gather Backups)

So, the number one problem you may encounter on any multiple-day trip is the chance of running out of ostomy supplies. That’s why it helps to make a checklist and create an inventory of everything you need. This involves carrying plenty of backup pouches, wafers, stoma paste, and anything else you need. You can determine the supply volume based on the length of your trip, and how many pouch changes you normally do. Of course, it’s prudent to bring more than what you’d need under ordinary circumstances.

New to Traveling with an Ostomy? Start with Smaller Trips

So much of ostomy care boils down to incrementalism. Whether it's trying to reintroduce foods back into your diet or seeing how well you travel with your condition, it helps to start small. Consider, for example, doing a three or four-day trip, monitor your condition, before embarking on that two/three-week summer excursion.

Boarding a Flight? Pack Carefully

Make sure you know what’s lawful versus forbidden on commercial flights. Certain scissors and supply tools may not be permitted. This may require you to pre-cut some of your ostomy pouch systems before going through the airlines.

Factor in Weather/Climate Conditions

Temperature and humidity can affect your ostomy supplies as well. If you live in Florida, you’re probably already used to storing things amid all the heat and humidity. Just remember to pack reliable storage bags and containers to keep everything clean and usable during your summer travels.

Change Your Pouches Before Leaving

This is a helpful precaution, especially for those who want to take a long-distance trip and spend most of the summer driving every day. The normal duration between changing pouches is about three to four days. Therefore, if you drain your pouches more often, you’ll have plenty of wiggle room even while you’re driving or flying extensively.

Do these tips help you understand what traveling could be like?

Fortis Medical Products is dedicated to creating ostomy supplies and helping patients manage their colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy conditions better. In 2023, more folks can live fulfilling lives with either a permanent or temporary ostomy. If you’d like to learn more about ostomy care, including traveling precautions, then call us for further help at 855-550-2600.

How Often Should I Change My Ostomy Bag?

New ostomy patients go through many adjustments while learning how to manage their condition. Most of it involves how to change pouches, eating carefully, and keeping the stoma clean.

Regarding that first item - How often should you change pouches?

You can expect to change your ostomy bag about every three to five days, but it varies by patient, dietary volume, and other considerations. Let’s check out a few tips on when to change your pouches.

Helpful Hints for When to Change Your Ostomy Bag

Label New Pouches with Dates - An easy way to stay organized would be to record the date of your most recent pouch change onto your next pouch system. That way you won’t forget when you made the last change. Most of what you do with ostomy pouches hinges upon when you last made adjustments. Also, remember the pace for human digestion, especially for ostomates, varies a lot. This means you won’t have an exact duration for bag changes, and, therefore, should change them a little early.

Put Your Smartphone to Work - You can utilize the calendar/alarm features on your smartphone to alert you when it’s time to change. Set your timer to go off a little early to accommodate for those times where pouches fill faster than usual. It’s wise to be overly cautious rather than get caught pushing the test.

Acknowledge Obvious Warning Signs - You’ve almost certainly heard it before: always listen to your body. If you notice the signs of trouble (pain, discomfort, itching, soreness, burning, etc.), then be sure to check your pouch.

Other Changing Advice

So, once you get a feel for the timing of your bag changes, you’ll also want to develop good practices to prevent leaks, skin irritation, and so forth.

For more information on ostomy care and supply information, continue to follow Fortis Medical Products for updates and advice. We’re the leading supplier of easy-to-use hypoallergenic pouches and ostomy accessories. You’re more than welcome to contact us to ask questions and learn more by calling 855-550-2600 anytime.