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.
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.