October 1st marks the commemoration of World Ostomy Day. Every first Saturday of October, ostomy care advocates use this as an opportunity to spread awareness on this important medical topic.
This is a useful enterprise because it’s a widely misunderstood procedure, even though it helps thousands of Americans cope with serious digestive complications. Given all that, we’d like to reflect on what an ostomy is, why patients get it, and ways to spread awareness.
What is Ostomy? Why Do Patients Get It?
Ostomy is a procedure where a surgeon creates an opening in a patient’s abdomen for redirecting urine or feces into a pouch rather than through the normal digestive tract. Patients elect to do this for several reasons such as blocked bowels, rectal/colorectal/bladder cancer, Crohn’s Disease, diverticulitis, incontinence, or other serious infections. Whenever patients cannot safely pass bowels for any of these reasons, the ostomy procedure allows for a safer, yet still sanitary, alternative.
The best part is that it’s now easier than ever to manage the postoperative changes that come about from undergoing an ostomy. Easy-to-use pouches and mild skin adhesive allow the patient to evacuate discharge cleanly through the abdomen.
There are three general types of ostomy, depending on which digestive function requires intervention. Colostomy addresses fecal matter for patients missing all/some of their colon, whereas urostomy diverts urine away from damaged/missing kidneys, and ileostomy diverts the small intestines from the ileum.
You can learn more about the different ostomy types by checking out this previous post on the differences between colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy.
Good Ways to Spread Ostomy Awareness
What are some easy and effective ways to promote ostomy awareness?
- If you’re already knowledgeable on the topic, consider participating in educational events, seminars, and panel discussions to help folks understand ostomies.
- Partner with health organizations for fundraising purposes.
- Wear green or blue on Ostomy Awareness Day to commemorate the awareness effort.
- Share informative resources with others. This is especially relevant if you know somebody who’s considering an ostomy. You could even counsel new ostomy patients on how to eat following the procedure, while referencing research materials from the United Ostomy Associations of America.
CYMED MicroSkin enjoys bringing you new information and practical advice regarding ostomy topics. This is part of our business mission to provide ostomy patients with the best possible pouches and accessories through our MicroSkin brand.
We hope this message arms you with more information about ostomies. You can always contact us to learn more at (800) 582-0707.