Understanding What a Colostomy Is

There may be a lot of misperceptions when it comes to the topic of colostomy. We’d like to dispel some of those and bring about a better understanding of the condition.

Digestion is a complex thing we take for granted, but it helps us demystify complications like a colostomy. That helps bring lots of peace of mind to the matter.

What is a Colostomy?

There are many ways problems that lead our intestines to no longer process waste the way they should.

In some circumstances, patients will elect to address this surgically with a colostomy. This involves your surgeon making a small incision into your abdomen for the purposes of maneuvering the intestine toward the opening. These can be done either temporarily (a “loop colostomy”) or permanently (an “end colostomy”).

The opening is called a “stoma,” which is where the waste will now exit after digestion. This requires the use of special pouches to catch the waste. Just like any other surgical procedure, colostomy requires a certain recovery period as well as a few lifestyle adjustments.

Understanding What a Colostomy Is

Why Do People Get Colostomy?

Doctors prescribe colostomy for numerous reasons. They include:

  • Colon/Rectal Injuries
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Imperforate Anus
  • Bowel Blockages
  • Diverticulitis
  • Fistulas
  • Other Various Infections and Complications

Self-Care Tips

How do you properly care for a stoma? You’ll have to learn a few lifestyle adjustments that address everything from skin health to handling pouches in difficult settings.

Skin Health
The pouch attaches to your skin, which means you’ll need to be careful about a few things. We recommend showering regularly, never using harsh soaps, inspecting the stoma daily, and contacting your provider if your pouch creates any skin irritation. Our MicroSkin products are expressly designed to avoid this problem.

Odor Issues
Some folks experience more trouble with this than others initially. However, once you’re familiar with pouches, there should not be much trouble with odors. Also, the stoma and the pouches should not present any trouble for sexual relations.

Dietary Matters
There’s actually nothing about the colostomy procedure that requires you to change your diet. That is unless the procedure was done to address certain digestive troubles. In general, colostomy patients should pursue a well-balanced diet just like any normal person.

Traveling Issues
Flying or driving across the country can present some unique challenges with pouches. Fortunately, we wrote an entire piece on traveling with an ostomy, which you should consult before going on long trips anywhere. In a nutshell, it all boils down to planning ahead for the worst possible scenarios.

CYMED dedicates its entire mission to helping Americans cope with conditions of colostomy, urostomy, and ileostomy. We educate patients on how to manage things as well as provide them with top-notch medical supplies such as our patented MicroSkin pouches. If you’d like to learn more about colostomy, or any other condition we address, please call us at 1-800-582-0707.