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Living a Better Life with an Ostomy

Posted by Fortis Medical Products  on August 31, 2022

The prospects for living a better life with an ostomy are greater these days, owing to significant advancements in ostomy supplies. Many ostomy patients can live normal lives and participate in all the same physical activities they could prior to the procedure. A combination of excellent ostomy products and a few modest self-care techniques could allow you to enjoy life to the fullest.

Ways to Live Better with an Ostomy

Let’s touch on a few topics that will help you thrive with either a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy.

How to Reduce Skin Irritation Around the Stoma

It’s normal for there to be a slight pink or redness around the stoma after you remove your pouch and adhesive material. This should, however, fade away quickly. If you notice that it doesn’t, then you’ll want to do some troubleshooting.

First, check for particles of discharge anywhere around the back of the pouch. This can cause irritation. It’s also possible that you have the wrong size pouch. If anything is too tight, then try a different fit. Finally, it’s important to change the adhesive often.

How to Handle Pouch Problems

You may experience a few issues with pouches ballooning or pancaking because of gas and other problems. We’ll show you how to manage these frustrations.

Ballooning – Pouches sometimes inflate like balloons from gas build-up, which is often uncomfortable and embarrassing. The best way to address this is through dietary solutions. It’s important to reduce the potential for gas by chewing more thoroughly. Everybody is a little different, so it also helps to take an inventory of which foods cause gas. The most common culprits are beans, nuts, and carbonated beverages, but there are several others. If you still have ballooning without gas problems, you may want to switch to a different pouch.

Pancaking – This occurs when the pouch material and the vacuum in the ostomy stick together. This is the opposite problem of ballooning since there isn’t enough air in the pouch. It’s usually a quick fix as long as you can remember to blow some air into the pouch before fastening it. 

How to Keep Your Skin Healthy

Here are a few other general tips for keeping the stoma area healthy.

  • Always dry your skin entirely after showering, and before applying any adhesive.
  • Change pouches whenever you feel discomfort.
  • Only use pouches and supplies that fit properly.
  • Keep an eye on the stoma itself. Consult your doctor if it changes size.

These are the basic issues you should master when you recover from an ostomy. There are many other lifestyle matters to address such as traveling with an ostomy, bathing, and so forth. The important thing to remember is that you can address these matters with simple adjustments. An ostomy does not have to alter your life dramatically.


If you’d like to learn more about these topics or order samples of our products, then contact Fortis Medical Products at 855-550-2600.

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