Debunking Stoma Myths

It’s always crucial for us to separate fact from fiction when discussing serious medical conditions: ostomy being no exception. While it is indeed a serious matter, and alters your lifestyle in certain ways, ostomy doesn’t have to feel like a prison sentence. We’d like to show you why by refuting some of these common stoma myths.

Debunking Stoma Myths

The Stoma Will Be Too Noticeable

Thanks to modern hypoallergenic pouches and ostomy supplies, you don’t have to fret over their appearance underneath your clothing. While this may have been a greater concern in the old days, newer pouch systems are much more inconspicuous. Therefore, folks will only know about your condition if you tell them.

Every Ostomy Lasts Forever

Ostomy procedures are not always permanent. There are some conditions, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), that only require a temporary ostomy for healing purposes. Permanent ostomies usually entail the complete removal of certain digestive components.

Pouches Always Smell Foul

Odors can be an issue for ostomy patients, but they are manageable; not a fait accompli. The problem often comes from temporary gas, stemming from inhaled air, eating quickly, indigestion of certain foods, or insufficient chewing. It’s easy to mask the trouble with various odor control products, though.

You Won’t Want to Travel

We mentioned in our last post, summer traveling with an ostomy, that you simply have to plan for obstacles before flying or driving a long distance. Your biggest concern should be on having enough backup supplies and contingencies for handling leaky pouches and other issues.

Ostomy Dieting is Miserable

Ostomy dieting must be more deliberate and careful, but “miserable” is an exaggeration. There isn’t a “special diet” required of all ostomy patients. It’s more of a trial-and-error process of determining which foods you should eat following ostomy surgery.

Ostomy Procedures Spell the End of Sexual Intimacy

Assuming you had no previous-existing barriers to sexual intimacy, your stoma shouldn’t interfere that much. It’s reasonable to expect an adjustment phase following the surgery. However, there are plenty of ostomy patients all over the country who resume intimacy, exercise, and other physical activities following their procedure.

You Can Barely Keep Your Stoma Clean

Again, there is a learning curve to switching pouches and applying the adhesive parts correctly, which affects cleanliness. It’s not too hard to get the gist of it after a few weeks of practice and patience, though.

Swimming with a Stoma is Impossible

Many patients also resume swimming eventually following their ostomy. This may require a few adjustments such as a more protective swimwear, and the use of a special support belt. Otherwise, it’s not an insurmountable hurdle for avid swimmers.

So, we hope you won’t be deterred by these stoma myths and misconceptions. Don’t forget that Cymed MicroSkin is here to support you with plenty of helpful products and resources, all designed to make living with a stoma much easier. Contact us anytime to learn more by calling 1-800-582-0707.